Over the past 200 years, humans have introduced ~ 400 petagrams (Pg = 1015 grams) of carbon to the atmosphere through deforestation and the burning of fossil fuels. Approximately half of this anthropogenic CO2 is accumulating in the atmosphere. The fate of the other half of the released CO2 has been a matter of great concern to scientists and politicians over the past few decades. The processes relevant to the carbon cycle span the range of scales from molecular to global. They also include a wide range of biological, chemical and physical phenomena, as well as interactions between humans and the environment. Our understanding of the current carbon cycle is improving very rapidly thanks to aggressive research in this field. Click on the icons below to learn more about the ocean carbon cycle and the synthesis and interpretation activities of the PMEL Carbon Program.
Recently Published Study in Science:     Abstract           Full text

Brief overview of the global carbon cycle

Summary of surface ocean carbon chemistry with rising atmospheric CO2 levels

Discussion of the distribution of anthropogenic CO2 in the water column
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PMEL has been working with a team of scientists to synthesize the 1990s global carbon survey data from the WOCE & JGOFS programs

PMEL is working with researchers at GFDL to assimilate ocean carbon measurements into global climate models

PMEL is currently working with a team of scientists to interpret the carbon cycle changes from the ongoing ocean carbon measurements