Carbon dioxide enters the ocean through the photosynthesis of phytoplankton and marine plants. The ocean plays a vital role in the carbon cycle, storing around 48% of the carbon emitted by the burning of fossil fuels. The photosynthesis of marine autotrophs (organisms that create their own “food” through light or chemical energy) accounts for at least half of the oxygen we breath.
Oceans are actually what are called carbon sinks, places (either natural or artificial) that store carbon in the form of carbon-containing compounds for an indefinite period of time. Thus, they naturally take in carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, which technically removes it from the air we breathe for a period of time. Once carbon does get dissolved into the ocean, an atom can stay there for over 500 years on average. However, this process is also extremely slow.
It is even less effective when taking into account how much more carbon dioxide is being put into the atmosphere through anthropogenic means. This article notes that the Southern Indian Ocean is becoming a weaker carbon sink because it is already saturated with carbon as a result of climate change. This older article suggests the same.
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