Media Releases and Opportunities

» Go to news main

Media opportunity: Researchers discover new marine conveyor belt that moves carbon‑rich particles to the deep sea, absorbing as much atmospheric CO2 as Iceland’s yearly emissions

Posted by Communications and Marketing on November 21, 2022 in News

A team of researchers has discovered a new marine conveyor belt that moves more than 2,000 metric tons of carbon into the Arctic deep sea every day -- the equivalent atmospheric CO2 as Iceland’s yearly emissions.

The scientists, who were part of an Arctic expedition in 2018, found large quantities of particulate carbon in the Nansen Basin of the central Arctic. Further analyses revealed a body of water with large amounts of particulate carbon at depths of up to two kilometres, composed of bottom water from the Barents Sea.

This finding, outlined in a paper released today by first author Dr. Andreas Rogge of the Alfred Wegener Institute in Germany, suggests the Barents Sea could effectively remove roughly 30 per cent more carbon from the atmosphere than previously thought.

The plume of water, which spans the Barents and Kara Sea shelf roughly 1,000 kilometres into the Arctic Basin, contains carbon-absorbing algae that sinks to the deep sea, where it stays for several thousand years. If the carbon is deposited in deep-sea sediments, it can even be trapped there for millions of years.

Dr. Anya Waite, scientific director at the Ocean Frontier Institute and a professor in Dalhousie University's Department of Oceanography, participated in the research mission and is the paper's senior author.

Dr. Waite is available to discuss how the biological carbon pump can remove carbon from the atmosphere for long periods of time and how an understanding of these processes is essential to creating global carbon dioxide budgets and projections for global warming.


Images can be found in the media library.

Media contact:

Alison Auld
Senior Research Reporter
Communications, Marketing and Creative Services
Dalhousie University
Cell: 1-902-220-0491


All comments require a name and email address. You may also choose to log-in using your preferred social network or register with Disqus, the software we use for our commenting system. Join the conversation, but keep it clean, stay on the topic and be brief. Read comments policy.

comments powered by Disqus