Skip to content
Science, Maths & Technology
Author:

Carbon process: Dissolution

Updated Sunday, 7th May 2000

Carbon in the atmosphere can become dissolved in water.

This page was published over five years ago. Please be aware that due to the passage of time, the information provided on this page may be out of date or otherwise inaccurate, and any views or opinions expressed may no longer be relevant. Some technical elements such as audio-visual and interactive media may no longer work. For more detail, see our Archive and Deletion Policy

Waterfall Creative commons image Icon Gregory Pleau under CC-BY-NC-ND licence under Creative-Commons license

Carbon dioxide from the atmosphere will easily dissolve in water. Because carbon dioxide passes readily between water and the atmosphere the two reservoirs remain globally in a steady state.

The amount of dissolved carbon the water can hold depends on its temperature. Cold water can dissolve more carbon dioxide than warm water. And the rate at which carbon dioxide is removed from the air depends partly on the activities of water plants and phytoplankton.

These organisms remove carbon dioxide from the water, and more gas dissolves from the air to replace it.

Solid forms of carbon can also dissolve. When creatures from the surface of the ocean die, their bodies sink, along with calcium carbonate skeletons and other particles. As the debris rains down, some of the calcium carbonate dissolves back into the deep ocean water.

 

Author

Ratings

Share

Related content (tags)

Copyright information

For further information, take a look at our frequently asked questions which may give you the support you need.

Have a question?