It looks like we’re not even by far nearly the only ones emitting carbon dioxide, but even our very own planet does this in a process discovered recently. Researchers from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) have observed the phenomenon which, although unquantified, emits more carbon dioxide and methane than active ocean floor volcanoes do.
The phenomenon happens on the background of another: swaths of magma called sills are being injected from the inner Earth. Instead of getting out, the magma spreads under the sea floor in the thick layers of organic-rich sediments deposited there in millions of years.
Thanks to this phenomenon, the molten material that intrudes at numerous points below the sediments within a radius of 50 km from the seafloor ridge, releases nutrient-rich fluids from the sediments.
But it’s not only sediments that the action of magma releases. It’s also carbon dioxide and methane, 10 times more than volcanic rocks spewing through a vent onto the seafloor do.
The researchers suspect that the Gulf of California, where this phenomenon has been seen, is not the only one on the planet where it happens. It is also not known how much of these two greenhouse gases are being absorbed in the sea water and how much is released into the atmosphere.
Either way, this is another source of global warming producing gases, added to the man-made ones. My fear is that our struggle is mostly in vain, because there are naturally-occurring phenomena we can’t ultimately control that will influence our lives even if we stop producing a gram of carbon dioxide tomorrow.