Water, Sewage & Effluent January-February 2017 - Page 11

RESEARCH
Water exists deeper in Earth
Water exists far deeper in the Earth — some 400 – 600km into the mantle — than previously believed , researchers have found . A mineral far below the surface of the Earth may hold the key to how much water is stored in our planet .
Mainak Mookherjee , assistant professor at Florida State University in the US , and Andreas Hermann from the University of Edinburgh in the UK , estimate that in the deep Earth water is stored and transported through a high-pressure polymorph of the mineral brucite .
Previously , scientists thought brucite was not thermodynamically stable that deep in the Earth .
“ This opens up a Pandora ’ s Box for us . We did not think that water could be stored by hydrous minerals such as brucite . But now that we know it is there , we need to figure out how much water could be effectively stored inside it ,” Mookherjee said .
“ My goal is to understand how much water is stored in the deep Earth . If the planet becomes dry on the inside , the planet dies because geodynamic activity within the planet ceases .”
The research was published in the journal PNAS . u municipalities news
Ocean acidification speeds up erosion of coral reefs
Scientists studying naturally high carbon dioxide coral reefs in Papua New Guinea found that the erosion of essential habitat is accelerated in these highly acidified waters , even as coral growth continues to slow .
The new research by the Cooperative Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Studies of the University of Miami ’ s Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science , NOAA , and the Australian Institute of Marine Science has important implications for coral reefs around the world , as the ocean becomes more acidic as a result of global change .
The study , published in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B , measured changes in the structural habitat at two reefs situated in volcanically acidified water off remote Papua New Guinea . It found , for the first time , increased activity of worms and other organisms that bore into the reef structure , resulting in a loss of the framework that is the foundation of coral reef ecosystems . u
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