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Amount Of Carbon Deposits Beneath Earth Surface


A scientist from Deep Carbon observatory (DCO) has discovered that more than 99% of carbon on Earth, resides beneath the earth. Only two-tenth of around 1% of Earth’s total carbon about 43500billion tonnes is above the earth’s surface, in oceans, on land, in the atmosphere. Rest is in the deep reservoir, two-third lies down in the earth’s core.

Image Credit: BBC

Carbon Deposit findings will help to predict life on earth and forecasting of volcanic eruptions, DCO has spent 10 years assessing the reservoirs and fluxes of the chemical element.

“This work really came out of the realization that much of the carbon that we are concerned about for climate change is only a tiny fraction of our planet’s carbon. More than 90% of it is actually in the interior of the Earth – in the crust, in the mantle and the core,” said Prof Marie Edmonds from Cambridge University, UK.

“Very little was known about its form, how much there was, and how mobile it is. And, obviously, this all has huge importance for both the climate of the Earth, but also the habitability of our surface environment,” the DCO collaborator said.

The process involved monitoring gases, emissions from various volcanoes and examining deep-sea mud that is drawn into Earth’s interior at tectonic plates.

Carbon emission from human activities such as burning fossils has increased from 40 to 100 times then the potential of our planet to sustain it.

“It’s really revealing that the amount of carbon dioxide we’re emitting in a short time period is very close to the magnitude of those previous catastrophic carbon events,” said Dr. Celina Suarez from the University of Arkansas

“A lot of those ended in mass extinctions, so there are good reasons why there is discussion now that we might be in sixth mass extinction.”

“Putting very high-resolution sensors on crater rims allowed us to see very short time-scale changes in CO2 flux,” explained Prof Edmonds.

“The flux increased dramatically in the days and weeks before eruptions. We think this holds great promise for forecasting in the future, when used in tandem with things like volcano seismicity, and how the ground is moving.”