PerspectiveGeochemistry

Carbon Storage in Basalt

Science  25 Apr 2014:
Vol. 344, Issue 6182, pp. 373-374
DOI: 10.1126/science.1250828

You are currently viewing the summary.

View Full Text

Via your Institution

Log in through your institution

Log in through your institution


Summary

All the carbon in the atmosphere, living creatures, and dissolved in the oceans is derived from rocks and will eventually end up in rocks, the largest carbon reservoir on Earth. The carbon moves from one reservoir to another in what is called the carbon cycle (1). Humans have accelerated this cycle by mining and burning fossil fuel since the beginning of the industrial revolution, causing rising atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) concentrations that are the main cause of global warming. One option for mitigating high levels of global warming is to capture CO2 and safely store it for thousands of years or longer in subsurface rocks. By accelerating carbonate mineral formation in these rocks, it is possible to rebalance the global carbon cycle, providing a long-term carbon storage solution. However, this approach is both technically challenging and economically expensive.