When we think about volcanoes, the first thing that pops into mind is the scorching heat. Wandering anywhere near molten lava is a bad idea, but even so, it seems that volcanoes also have a positive side. Let’s not forget that the Sun can also be just as dangerous if we get too close to it – but otherwise, life on Earth wouldn’t be possible without our star’s energy and light.
Phys.org reveals that scientists discovered that chains of volcanoes have stabilized temperatures present at the surface of Earth by emitting and removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. The researchers had been exploring the impact of processes from Earth’s solid part, oceans, and the atmosphere for the past 400 million years.
Weathering leads to regulation of atmospheric CO2 levels
Chemical weathering produces chemical elements that land in oceans, where they will form minerals capable of locking up CO2. This process regulates atmospheric CO2 levels and global climate. Chemical weathering is the dissolution and break-down of rocks at the surface.
Dr. Tom Gernon, lead author of the new study and an Associate Professor in Earth Science at the University of Southampton, declared as quoted by Phys.org:
In this respect, weathering of the Earth’s surface serves as a geological thermostat,
But the underlying controls have proven difficult to determine due to the complexity of the Earth system.
The research team involved in the new study incorporated plate tectonic reconstructions and machine-learning algorithms for building a new “Earth network”.
According to USGS, there are currently about 1,500 potentially active volcanoes across the world. Roughly 500 of these volcanoes have erupted in historical time.
VolcanoDiscovery.com tells us that, on average, about 50-70 volcanoes erupt every year. Some of these volcanoes erupt multiple times, and others can even erupt a single time.
The new findings are published in the journal Nature Geoscience.