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Arctic warming on the rise north of Siberia

Radio SwedenEye on the Arctic

Researchers in Sweden say they have found evidence that the Arctic Ocean north of Siberia is emitting carbon dioxide into the air, rather than consuming and storing it had in the past.

Iréne Wåhlström, a researcher at Gothenburg University, has studied the East Siberian Sea north of Siberia. She says the Pacific contributes a lot of water to the eastern part of the Siberian Sea. This is where photosynthesis takes place during the summer, a process that consumes carbon and ultimately decreases the level of carbon dioxide in the water. The process frees up the water to take in and store more carbon dioxide from the air.

However, the western part of the Siberian Sea has too much carbon dioxide, which is leaking out into the air and atmosphere. This is because as temperatures rise in connection to global warming, the Siberian tides take in a larger amount of organic carbon dioxide.

The organic carbon dioxide is partly broken down in the water, which means more carbon is released into the air. Researchers say the result is more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and an even warmer climate, especially in Siberia.

This story is posted on Alaska Dispatch as part of Eye on the Arctic, a collaborative partnership between public and private circumpolar media organizations.