Amazing Discovery - Nature Buries CO2 Underwater
|Porcupine Bank Canyon|
What a discovery! A research expedition of scientists from University College Cork to a huge underwater canyon off the Irish coast discovered a hidden natural process that pulls greenhouse gas carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere.
Mission to Map Underwater Porcupine Canyon
They towed a drone out on Porcupine Bank to the Porcupine Bank Canyon, which is a huge, cliff walled underwater trench. It's at the point where Ireland's continental shelf ends. The scientists are building a detailed map of the canyon's interior and boundaries. That was the purpose of their just completed journey.
Along the way, they spotted a process at the edge of the canyon that pulls CO² from the atmosphere and buries it deep in the sea. All around the canyon's rim live cold-water coral which thrive on dead plankton. The plankton build their bodies on carbon from CO² in the air. When they die, the coral falls deep into the canyon along with the carbon and stays there.
Natural Process Reduces CO²
The researchers report there's a lot of carbon deep into the canyon's floor. This is a natural process that reduces CO² levels. It's not enough to reverse climate change on its own but it's a significant finding and a natural start.