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Scientists Discover Huge Lake of Molten Carbon Under US. It Could Spell Disaster For The Planet!

Mark Andrew

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Scientists have recently discovered a massive lake of molten carbon hidden under the United States. It has been found 217 miles (350km) beneath the Earth’s surface and is estimated to cover about 700,000 sq miles (1.8 million sq km) – that’s roughly the size of Mexico!

What about it, you ask? Well, it could definitely do some serious environmental damage if it gets released!

Researchers say that the discovery could change our perspective regarding how much carbon the world really contains.

Judging by their findings, it is probably way, way more than we previously believed.

Although it would be impossible to dig deep enough to “see” the Earth’s mantle, researchers have created a picture using sensors and mathematical equations to help us all visualize it easier.

Using a huge network of 583 seismic sensors, geologists from London’s Royal Holloway University were able to create a picture of the deep sub surface.

The discovery of the molten carbon deposits resulted to scientists now believing that the amount of carbon in the planet’s upper mantle might be up to 100 trillion metric tons – an overwhelming figure compared to, say, the 2011 global carbon emission which was only almost 10 billion metric tons!

The carbon is expected to contribute to climate change as they surface through volcanic eruptions, although at a slow pace.

However, a sudden release could probably wreck havoc to nature as we know it.

Study leader Dr Sash Hier-Majumder of the University of London’s Department of Earth Sciences assured the public:

“The residence time of this carbon in the mantle is relatively large (nearly 1 billion years), so this reserve is not an imminent threat.

“But one important mechanism by which carbon, sinking into the mantle via a subducting oceanic plate, can make it’s way back to the surface is by arc volcanism.

“Arc volcanism returns between 30-40% of the total subducted carbon back into the atmosphere. The remaining carbon stays in the mantle for a much longer.”

He likewise shared:

“We might not think of the deep structure of the Earth as linked to climate change above us, but this discovery not only has implications for subterranean mapping but also for our future atmosphere.

“For example, releasing only one per cent of this CO2 into the atmosphere will be the equivalent of burning 2.3 trillion barrels of oil.

“The existence of such deep reservoirs show how important is the role of deep Earth in the global carbon cycle.”

Yellowstone National Park, one of the areas covered by the study, can be remembered by some as the spot where a dangerous super volcano has also been found.

The said volcano is located at the top of a huge molten rock reserve in Yellowstone National Park.

Source: youtube

It releases about 45,000 metric tonnes of carbon dioxide per day. Its last eruption was 640,000 years ago.

If it does erupt again one day, it is expected to be a thousand times more powerful as the Mount St Helens eruption back in 1980.

Source: youtube

It may even blanket the entire country in a “nuclear winter”.

Watch the video of Yellowstone’s Grand Prismatic hot spring here:

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