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Typhoons ‘bury CO2 under the sea’, claim scientists

Billions of dollars are being invested in the controversial carbon capture and storage technology but scientists have discovered that nature could have its own answer.

Research published in Nature Geoscience this week suggests that tropical cyclones help to bury carbon under the sea.

Cambridge University’s Robert Hilton and colleagues analysed the sediment composition of Taiwan’s LiWu river during periods of flooding induced by tropical cyclones, to try and measure the proportion of young organic carbon in the river — that is, carbon recently taken up from the atmosphere.

By looking at decades of river erosion, they estimate that 80 to 90 per cent of this carbon is transported to the ocean during cyclone-induced floods. These dense, sediment-laden floods are often injected directly into the deep ocean, potentially providing a mechanism for long-term carbon burial.

More here (you’ll need a subscription to access the full research).

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