And that the oceans gave an expandable rate of CO2 absorption.
There are substantial variations in the amount of carbon being absorbed by the North Atlantic Ocean, a study shows.Writing in Science, an international team of researchers said the ocean's uptake of carbon varied by as much as 10% over the space of a few years.
The data set, described as the largest of its kind, was gathered by devices fitted to a fleet of commercial ships.
The world's oceans are believed to absorb about half of the total carbon emissions from human activities.
"Out of all the carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere, about half of it does not stay there," said lead author Andrew Watson, a researcher from the University of East Anglia's School of Environmental Sciences.
"It is taken up by the natural world; half of it is absorbed on land, and half of it ends up in the oceans."