Days ahead of the climate change summit in Copenhagen, where India will demand incentives for increasing forest cover, New Delhi on Monday came up with a comprehensive report that showed that its forest cover continued to grow and that it had the potential to become the largest carbon sink in the world.

So far, the oceans have protected us from the full force of anthropogenic climate change. The global ocean is the largest active carbon sink on Earth, and since the industrial revolution it has soaked up around one third of all anthropogenic carbon dioxide emissions.

The Earth

The ocean takes up 20 to 35 per cent of anthropogenic CO2 emissions, but uncertainties remain as to the distribution of this CO2 in the ocean, its rate of uptake over the industrial era, and the relative roles of the ocean and terrestrial biosphere in anthropogenic CO2 sequestration.


Efforts to control climate change require the stabilization of atmospheric CO2 concentrations. This can only be achieved through a drastic reduction of global CO2 emissions. Yet fossil fuel emissions increased by 29% between 2000 and 2008, in conjunction with increased contributions from emerging economies, from the production and international trade of goods and services, and from the use of coal as a fuel source. In contrast, emissions from land-use changes were nearly constant.

Following recent discussions, there is hope that a mechanism for reduction of emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD) will be agreed by the Parties of the UNFCCC at their 15th meeting in Copenhagen in 2009 as an eligible action to prevent climate changes and global warming in post-2012 commitment periods.

In what can be seen as a positive impact of global warming, large blooms of tiny marine plants called phytoplankton that can absorb carbon dioxide from atmosphere are flourishing in the area opened up by massive ice melting in Antarctica.

Concentrations of carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), carbon monoxide (CO), nitrous oxide (N2O) and hydrogen (H2), and the stable carbon (? 13C

The carbon cycle is closely linked to the climate system and is influenced by the growing human population and associated demands for resources, especially for fossil-fuel energy and land. The rate of change in atmospheric CO2 reflects the balance
between carbon emissions from human activities and the dynamics
of a number of terrestrial and ocean processes that remove