May 23, 2019 | Updated: 06:04 PM EDT

Carbon Dioxide Extracts On Trial At Oman Hills

Apr 16, 2017 05:24 AM EDT

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Oman Hills
(Photo : Sam McNeil | AP) This March 5 photo shows travertine pools with white films of carbon-fused with calcium, a chemical process being explored by a geological research project, in the al-Hajjar mountains of Oman.

Scientists are drilling the red mountains of Oman, in order to attempt reversing climate change. The effort is to find a way to reduce carbon dioxide in the air as well as the oceans.

Samples were taken from the world's sole exposed sections of the Earth's mantle at Oman Hills. Scientists tried to disclose how there was a phenomenon millions of years ago that changed carbon dioxide into limestone and marble, according to The Press Reader.

Currently, the world is trying to bring down global emissions through fuel efficient cars and clean power plants. The Paris Agreement did set the world on a road towards reducing carbon emissions as a road towards clean energy, according to The Guardian.

Researchers are trying to find out how they can eliminate or recycle carbon dioxide that is already present in water and air. An interesting experiment at the Hellisheidi geothermal plant in Iceland takes on a project of injecting carbon dioxide into volcanic rock. At the Sinopec fertilizer plant in China, the gas is filtered and used as fuel.

Hence, 16 industrial projects are at present storing 27 million tons of carbon dioxide, according to the International Energy Agency. The total works out to less than 0.1 percent of global emissions. Still, the technology is showing positive signs.

"Anyone technique is not guaranteed to succeed," said Stuart Haszeldine, a geology professor at the University of Edinburgh. He is part of a U.N. climate body that is currently examining how to bring down carbon dioxide. In the al-Hajjar Mountains of Oman, at a corner of the Arabian Peninsula, there is a unique rock formation that can just pull out carbon dioxide from the air.

Peter Kelemen, a 61-year-old geochemist at Columbia University's Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, has been exploring Oman's hills for nearly three decades. There are large, exposed sections of the earth's mantle that has peridotite. It is a rock reacting with carbon dioxide in the air as well as water in order to form marble and limestone. "Every single magnesium atom in these rocks has made friends with the carbon dioxide to form solid limestone, magnesium carbonate, plus quartz," he said.

With a team of 40 scientists, Keleman heads the Oman Drilling Project to check how it can scrub off the carbon dioxide in the earth's environment. This is a $3.5 million project that is supported by all the organizations all over the world, including NASA.

YouTube/Patricial Blakeley

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