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What is a Carbon Sink?

Carbon Sinks are natural parts of the carbon cycle that absorb carbon from the atmosphere. These sinks are made up of oceans, soils and plants. Plants rely on carbon as a part of a process called photosynthesis and release some of the contained carbon into the ground when they die and decompose. Oceans are significant in carbon storage as carbon is not only needed for marine life but also breaks it down in seawater.

Carbon sinks are responsible for storing 50 percent of all human emissions, but may be decreasing as the twenty-first century continues. Deforestation means that there are fewer trees to absorb carbon while the absorbability of the ocean is weakening due to climate change. This has prompted scientists to look for ways to assist nature in sequestering carbon while looking for alternative ways to store carbon dioxide.

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Other Sources

Fern. What are carbon sinks?” Fern. http://www.fern.org/campaign/carbon-trading/what-are-carbon-sinks. Accessed July 27, 2016.

Thompson, Andrea. “What is a Carbon Sink.” Live Science. http://www.livescience.com/32354-what-is-a-carbon-sink.html. Accessed July 26, 2016.