Researchers from Rutgers University, New Brunswick have found that carbon absorption in the Southern Ocean off the West Antarctic Peninsula has been drastically altered by climate change, which could ultimately have a global impact.

Presently, the Southern Ocean absorbs nearly half of the carbon dioxide, which is the key greenhouse gas connected to climate change, that is absorbed by all the world’s oceans.

The researchers found that carbon dioxide absorption by the surface waters in the Southern Ocean is linked to the stability of the upper ocean. A stable upper ocean is the perfect environment for growing algae, and when algae goes through photosynthesis, it removes carbon dioxide from the surface ocean, therefore taking it out of the atmosphere.