A new study highlights Earth’s current situation and is worse than we previously imagined.
According to a team of scientists from NTU Singapore and Cambridge University, our planet experiences something quite peculiar yet shocking. The slow-motion collisions of tectonic plates apparently swallow more carbon into Earth’s core than previously believed.
Here is what you need to know.
Earth’s Core Drag High Levels of Carbon
The new study found that the carbon absorbed into our planet’s interior at subduction zones (where the tectonic plates meet and dive into Earth’s core) remains stored there, away at depth. Previously, scientists believed that the carbon is eventually discharged in the form of volcanic emissions. But that’s not all.
Scientists have also discovered that only around a third of the carbon recycled underneath volcanoes resurfaces via recycling.
The team of scientists did a couple of experiments at the ESRF (the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility). The results include enough proof that carbonate rocks turn into something less calcium-rich and more magnesium-rich when directed way deeper into the mantle.
That represents a chemical transformation where the carbonate becomes less soluble. What does this mean?
It shows that the carbonate doesn’t actually get drawn into the fluids that feed volcanoes. According to the new findings, the carbonate ends up more profound into the mantle, where it might turn into diamond.
Simon Redfern, the co-author of the study from the NTU Singapore, stated:
“These results will also help us understand better ways to lock carbon into the solid Earth, out of the atmosphere.”
Scientists have also discussed the possibility of accelerating that process way faster than nature to help solve the climate crisis.
Of course, there is still a lot of research to be done, but as long as we try to find the best methods to tackle the situation, we still have hope.