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A study published Monday in Nature Geoscience discovered a new factor that is lowering the rate at which oceans absorb carbon dioxide, a finding that could have a major impact on future climate change predictions.
Currently, around one-fourth of human generated carbon dioxide emissions are absorbed by oceans, making them the world's largest carbon sink. But researchers from Newcastle, Heriot-Watt and Exeter Universities found that surfactants, invisible biological particles on the ocean's surface, can reduce the exchange of gases between the ocean and the air by up to 50 percent.