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The natural world. Looking pretty for 3.5b years.

Sources & Sinks

interactive models are powerful tools in understanding the role and impact of CO2

Author: Hugh Bollinger/Friday, March 22, 2013/Categories: climate change

Carbon is ubiquitous.

Most is stored in geologic formations and inert on a timescale of interest to people. The rest exists as carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere, as biomass in land plants and soils, as fossil fuels in geologic reservoirs, and dissolved in the oceans. Using these active 'sources and sinks', students at the University of Wisconsin's Center for Climate Research and the Institute of Environmental Studies have developed an interactive model that helps understand this dynamic.

Global Carbon Map (credit: University of Wisconsin)

The new Wisconsin application is presented here: Carbon Budget Model   The simulation can be manipulated by adjusting the level of carbon produced (sources) or consumed (sinks), running the model, and viewing the impacts of the new projections on the atmosphere and therefore the climate.

The Wisconsin climate modelers have provided an important and powerful visual tool for anyone wishing to understand CO2's role in heating the atmosphere and therefore impacting the biosphere.


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