A study by the University of Bristol found that terrestrial ecosystems and the oceans have a much greater capacity to absorb CO2 than had been previously expected. The research is based solely on measurements and statistical data, and counters the theory that Earth's capacity to absorb CO2 should start to diminish as CO2 emissions build up.
The results run contrary to a significant body of recent research which expects that the capacity of terrestrial ecosystems and the oceans to absorb CO2 should start to diminish as CO2 emissions increase, letting greenhouse gas levels skyrocket. Dr Wolfgang Knorr at the University of Bristol found that in fact the trend in the airborne fraction since 1850 has only been 0.7 ± 1.4% per decade, which is essentially zero.
The strength of the new study, published online in Geophysical Research Letters, is that it rests solely on measurements and statistical data, including historical records extracted from Antarctic ice, and does not rely on computations with complex climate models.