Like a dirty filter, the Earth’s oceans are growing less efficient at absorbing vast amounts of carbon dioxide, the major greenhouse gas produced by fossil-fuel burning, reports a study co-authored by Francois Primeau (pictured), UC Irvine Earth system science associate professor. The oceans largely kept up when carbon dioxide emissions began soaring in the 1950s, but the absorption rate has slowed since the 1980s and dropped off even more noticeably since 2000, according to the recent study in the journal Nature.