A carbon sink is any system, natural or artificial, that takes carbon out of the atmosphere. As of the early 2000s, artificial carbon sequestration schemes were still only in the testing and study stage. This article is concerned only with natural carbon sinks.
Carbon is removed from the atmosphere by two basic mechanisms, namely: 1) photosynthesis by green plants, which obtain carbon with which to build their tissues by breaking up carbon dioxide (CO2) molecules in the air releasing the O2; and 2) absorption of CO2 by the oceans. Natural carbon sinks remove slightly more than half of the carbon from the atmosphere that is placed there every year by the burning of fossil fuels. Scientists refer...Read more