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Episode 903: The Fate of Carbon
For millennia, the exchange of CO2 between the oceans and atmosphere has been in balance. Two distinct processes, known in the scientific community as the solubility pump and the biological pump, transport carbon from surface waters down to the depths, where it can stay for thousands of years before returning to the surface and re-entering the atmosphere as CO2. Now, with more anthropogenic carbon-dioxide in the atmosphere, the oceans are taking up more CO2 as well. This additional CO2 is negatively impacting sensitive ecosystems through a process called ocean acidification, and scientists worry how changes to the ocean environment will affect the way carbon is cycled through the seas.

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