11 August 2020.
According to a study by the scientists of the Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology (WIHG), The Himalayas host hundreds of geothermal springs and they release a huge amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. WIGH,(Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology) is a Dehradun-based institute under the Department of Science and Technology.
- Carbon dioxide in these thermal springs are sourced from the decarbonation process of carbonate rocks which are present deep in the Himalayan core, along with oxidation of graphite.
- The scientific team carried out a detailed chemical analysis of water samples collected from 20 geothermal springs from major zones of Garhwal Himalaya and found that water contains high levels of dissolved inorganic carbon.
- The study was published in the journal Environmental Science and Pollution Research .
- Study notes these geothermal springs have the potential to emit around 7.2 × 106 mol of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere every year.
- According to the scientists such carbon dioxide emissions should be taken into account to assess global carbon discharges in the earth’s atmosphere.
- Himalaya is home to around 600 geothermal springs, which have varied temperature and chemical conditions.
- Most of the geothermal water is dominated by evaporation followed by weathering of silicate rocks. Isotopic analyses further point towards a meteoric source for geothermal water.
- Carbon outflux from Earth’s interior to the exosphere through volcanic eruptions, fault zones, and geothermal systems contribute to the global carbon cycle that affects short and long term climate of the Earth.
- Their role in regional and global climate, as well as the process of tectonic driven gas emission, needs to be considered while estimating emissions to the carbon cycle and thereby to global warming.
- The aspect of impact of the release of carbon molecules in such a huge quantity and its impact on global warming, needs to be studied as other gases too contribute to rising temperatures.
What are Geothermal Springs?