Eroding Away

http://www.whoi.edu/imageOfDay.do

Eroding Away

Scientists have long known that mountain ranges can draw carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere: As rocks are exposed to the air by erosion, minerals chemically react with carbon dioxide in the air to produce carbonate minerals like calcite. But a new study has found that the process of mountain erosion may be a new source of carbon dioxide that can be released back into the atmosphere far faster than it’s being absorbed. The WHOI research team conducted fieldwork in one of the most erosion-prone mountain chains in the world—the central range of Taiwan. The team included WHOI marine geochemists Valier Galy and Jordan Hemingway. (Photo courtesy Robert Hilton, Durham University)