Why is it necessary to know how CO2 spreads in the water column?


We need to know where the CO2 goes (e.g. what is the rising velocity and will it be transferred to the atmosphere?) and its concentration (does it get diluted/dissolved to very low concentrations?) over what distances (what is the spatial footprint?) to understand what impact it may have on the marine ecosystem.

 

What is an effective method of learning how CO2 spreads?

Individual samples can be collected and analysed for dissolved CO2, which define the distribution at the time of sampling. However, currents and stratification in the water column can change this distribution rapidly. A better approach is to monitor dissolved CO2 continuously using sensors that remain in the water and make periodic measurements.