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The confounding case of the missing carbon ?

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posted on Jul, 30 2015 @ 06:53 AM
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Many of us have heard the trees and the oceans are a carbon sink which is correct, however, they have just found another place where carbon is stored. A place few lay people would have guessed, IMO.


For several decades, scientists have been searching for about a billion tons of carbon dioxide generated from the burning of fossil fuels.

Of the roughly 11 billion tons of carbon produced each year, it has been estimated that more than 5 billion remains in the atmosphere. Another 3 billion is stored in the oceans. The rest of it, it seems, is sequestered in tropical and northern forests, but there's some -- perhaps a billion tons' worth, perhaps even more -- that can't quite be accounted for.


So Padawan where did it go missing to and how much is stored ?

They guesstimate underground deserts aquifers are storing 14 times more carbon every year than previously thought. The Tarim Desert aquifer may hold over 22 billions tons of recaptured carbon.


"The carbon is stored in these geological structures covered by thick layers of sand, and it may never return to the atmosphere," said Yan Li, a desert biogeochemist with the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Urumqi, Xinjiang, and lead author on the study. "It is basically a one-way trip."

www.cbsnews.com...




posted on Jul, 30 2015 @ 08:56 AM
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They guesstimate underground deserts aquifers are storing 14 times more carbon every year than previously thought. The Tarim Desert aquifer may hold over 22 billions tons of recaptured carbon.
How much carbon every year are they estimating all these aquifers absorb then? The article doesn't make it clear. They could have only been absorbing a very small amount before and so multiplying it by 14 might not be that big of a deal. Any numbers on yearly absorption would be nice. The article just says how much they think aquifers have accumulated, not the yearly absorption.

Also, I'm interested to know why they think a billion tons of carbon (i.e. 3.67 billion tons of CO2) can't be accounted for. The IPCC's carbon-cycle diagram shows all the CO2 is accounted for and the "missing sink" was addressed years ago. Of course the IPCC' carbon-cycle may night not be correct, but why do they think a billion tons of carbon cannot be accounted for?
edit on 30-7-2015 by Nathan-D because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 30 2015 @ 07:25 PM
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edit on 30-7-2015 by ntech because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 30 2015 @ 07:33 PM
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a reply to: ntech

Carbon is not a gas by itself

When it's CO2 it's connected to two hydrogen atoms, that's when it's a gas.

Helium, when released will leave the atmosphere.



posted on Jul, 31 2015 @ 05:33 AM
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To clear up my thoughts from the other day. The Earth and Venus are approximately the same size. Yet the air pressure on Venus is much higher than Earth's. Since there is "missing carbon" in their equation it only makes sense the earth has a pressure regulator they are not accounting for.

My thought is that it's the Moon. The atmosphere around the Earth is chasing the Moon in a tidel fashion. My thought is the upper top of the tide of air is using the Moon's gravity to escape the Earth and leak into outer space. And it would be taking carbon with it in the form of water vapor.

Otherwise the Earth would have drowned under all the excessive air pressure that Venus has now.



posted on Aug, 1 2015 @ 01:01 AM
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originally posted by: ntech
To clear up my thoughts from the other day. The Earth and Venus are approximately the same size. Yet the air pressure on Venus is much higher than Earth's. Since there is "missing carbon" in their equation it only makes sense the earth has a pressure regulator they are not accounting for.

My thought is that it's the Moon. The atmosphere around the Earth is chasing the Moon in a tidel fashion. My thought is the upper top of the tide of air is using the Moon's gravity to escape the Earth and leak into outer space. And it would be taking carbon with it in the form of water vapor.

Otherwise the Earth would have drowned under all the excessive air pressure that Venus has now.


Well that is certainly a different perspective on the matter !



posted on Aug, 12 2015 @ 05:14 AM
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Just a little more on desert reservoirs:




Huge hidden ocean under Xinjiang’s Tarim basin larger than all Great Lakes combined

The ocean acts as a major carbon sink, sucking up CO2 and preventing even greater climate change

There could be an “ocean” hidden under one of the driest areas on earth, according to a breakthrough discovery by Chinese scientists.

The amount of salt water beneath the Tarim basin in northwestern Xinjiang province could be equivalent to 10 times the water in all five Great Lakes in North America.

“This is a terrifying amount of water,” said professor Li Yan, who led the study at the Chinese Academy of Sciences’ Xinjiang Institute of Ecology and Geography in Urumqi, the Xinjiang capital.

“Never before have people dared to imagine so much water under the sand. Our definition of desert may have to change,” he said.

The Tarim is the world’s largest landlocked basin and home to Taklimakan, the biggest desert in China. The basin is known for its rich oil reserves, but to access them requires large amounts of water.

For a long time scientists had suspected that melt water from high mountains nearby had sipped beneath the basin, but the exact amount of water reserves there remained unknown.

Precise estimates are difficult because surface water in the region, such as seasonal rivers and lakes appear at random times in inconsistent locations, making direct measurement impossible.

www.scmp.com...



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