Volcanoes played essential role in stabilising Earth's temperature, study claims | Details here
New Delhi | Jagran Trending Desk: The working of the solar system has always been a fascinating thing to study, especially when it comes to the Earth as several discoveries have been made over the past few years that have left the human mind amused. Recently, researchers have discovered new facts about volcanoes and what role they play in the Earth's functioning.
The team -- which included researchers from the University of Southampton (UK), University of Sydney (Australia), University of Ottawa (USA), and University of Leeds (UK) -- has found that volcanoes play an essential role in stabilising the Earth's temperature.
In their research, which was published in the journal Nature Geoscience, the scientists studied the processes in the solid Earth, atmosphere and ocean in the past 400 million years.
Their research was mainly based on the investigation of the chemical weathering process which contains the natural breakdown and dissolution of rocks at Earth's surface. Through this, elements like magnesium and calcium are produced which later are flushed into oceans via rivers and there they form minerals that lock up CO2. This mechanism helps in regulating the atmospheric CO2 levels and the global climate level over geological time.
For the research purpose, the scientists created a novel name 'Earth Network' through the help of machine learning algorithms and plate tectonic reconstructions. This will help them to look for supreme interactions within the Earth system and the process they develop with time.
The revelation made by the findings indicated that over the last 400 million years continental volcanic arcs, chains of volcanoes, were mainly responsible for weathering intensity. Volcanoes are known to be the highest and fastest eroding features on Earth. Since the volcanic rock is fragmented and chemically reactive, they flush minerals into the oceans which later helps to lock CO2 in the ocean water.
"It’s a balancing act. On one hand, these volcanoes pumped out large amounts of CO2 that increased atmospheric CO2 levels. On the other hand, these same volcanoes helped remove that carbon via rapid weathering reactions," Martin Palmer, Professor of Geochemistry at the University of Southampton and co-author of the study, as quoted by scitechdaily, said.
This new finding gives an insight into the future of climate change and also recommends the usage of artificially improved weathering which can help in maintaining the CO2 level in the atmosphere.
Posted By: Mallika Mehzabeen