What are Carbon “Sinks?”


“Sinks” are reservoirs that remove carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere and store it, sometimes by converting it to another compound. The two largest natural sinks for CO2 are the oceans and terrestrial vegetation, including forests. For example, forests remove CO2 from the atmosphere during photosynthesis, converting that carbon to wood and locking it away from the atmosphere. Keeping forests intact instead of burning them or cutting them down can prevent CO2 from being released and expanding forests can enhance removal of CO2 from the atmosphere.

Source: Center for Climate and Energy Solutions

Website: http://www.c2es.org/science-impacts/basics/faqs/climate-science

This article is part of our educational series on Climate Change. See related articles below.