The airborne fraction is a scaling factor defined as the ratio of the annual increase in atmospheric CO
2 to the CO
2 emissions from anthropogenic sources. It represents the proportion of human emitted CO2 that remains in the atmosphere. The fraction averages about 45%, meaning that approximately half the human-emitted CO
2 is absorbed by ocean and land surfaces. There is some evidence for a recent increase in airborne fraction, which would imply a faster increase in atmospheric CO
2 for a given rate of human fossil-fuel burning. Changes in carbon sinks can affect the airborne fraction.
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