Here’s where Earth stores its carbon

Asteroid impacts, giant lava outflows and now humans have released enormous amounts of carbon

Lastarria volcano in Chile

Generally, the carbon that escapes Earth's mantle through processes like volcanic activity (gas sampling at Lastarria volcano in Chile shown) is balanced by the carbon folded back into the planet's interior through plate tectonics. But anomalies like massive lava outflows and human-driven pollution have upset that balance.

Yves Moussallam/Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory

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