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carbon sink

A reservoir that absorbs or takes up released carbon from another part of the carbon cycle. The four sinks, which are regions of the Earth within which carbon behaves in a systematic manner, are the atmosphere, terrestrial biosphere (usually including freshwater systems), oceans, and sediments (including fossil fuels).

By absorbing carbon, carbon sinks offset carbon dioxide emissions. The Kyoto Protocol allows certain human-induced sinks activities undertaken since 1990 to be counted towards Annex I Parties emission targets.

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