Ocean

The ocean takes up carbon dioxide through photosynthesis by plant-like organisms (phytoplankton: essential food for marine life), as well as by simple chemistry. But the ocean has limits. As temperatures rise, carbon dioxide leaks out of the ocean. The warmer the surface water becomes, the harder it is for winds to mix the surface layers with the deeper layers. Without an infusion of fresh water from below, the surface water saturates with carbon dioxide. The stagnant water supports fewer phytoplanktons. Ongoing biogeochemical changes occurring in the ocean are resulting in a higher, more acidic and deoxygenated marine resource. In short, stratification cuts down the amount of carbon the ocean can take up. Uneven warming creates a temperature difference that strengthens the winds which enhance deep water upwelling, which allows carbon to vent into the atmosphere from carbon-rich deep water in an amplifying cycle during the El Niño effects on climate change.