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Trillions Of Tonnes Of Water Is Being Swallowed Into The Earth's Interior

Trillions Of Tonnes Of Water Is Being Swallowed Into The Earth's Interior

It has been found that Earth is eating its own oceans. What the actual fuck, you might be thinking?

Well, this is blowing the minds of scientists across the globe so there ain't much hope for the lot of us. But lets have a go at explaining all of this.

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So, as the tectonic plates dive beneath each other, they drag three times as much water inside the planet as initially thought and it's left scientists baffles as to where all this H2O ends up.

The study from the Mariana Trench calculated that around three billion teragrams of water is inhaled by Earth every million years - to try and explain how much water that is, one teragram is equal to one billion kilograms.

The study was published to the journal 'Nature' with lead author, Chen Cai, from Washington University, explaining: "People knew that subduction zones could bring down water, but they didn't know how much water."

The oceanic research vessel returns to the home port after a team of 59 Chinese researchers completed a deep-sea research mission. Credit: PA
The oceanic research vessel returns to the home port after a team of 59 Chinese researchers completed a deep-sea research mission. Credit: PA
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Candace Major, a program director in the National Science Foundation's Division of Ocean Sciences, added: "This research shows that subduction zones move far more water into Earth's deep interior - many miles below the surface - than previously thought.

"The results highlight the important role of subduction zones in Earth's water cycle."

China's manned submersible 'Jiaolong' is dispatched on its fifth, and last, dive of the year in the Mariana Trench, descending to depths of 6,700 metres. Credit: PA
China's manned submersible 'Jiaolong' is dispatched on its fifth, and last, dive of the year in the Mariana Trench, descending to depths of 6,700 metres. Credit: PA

According to the MailOnline, what actually happens to the water after it's pulled down remains unclear. It's thought that most returns to the atmosphere as water vapour through faraway volcanic eruptions.

But, the new estimates suggest more water is being pulled into the interior than it lets out.

Doug Wiens, the Robert S. Brookings Distinguished Professor in Earth and Planetary Sciences in Arts & Sciences, said: "The estimates of water coming back out through the volcanic arc are probably very uncertain. This study will probably cause some re-evaluation.

"Previous estimates vary widely in the amount of water that is subducted deeper than 60 miles. The main source of uncertainty in these calculations was the initial water content of the subducting uppermost mantle."

Featured Image Credit: Pexels/NASA Global Climate Change

Topics: News, Study, Interesting, Planet, Earth

Rebecca Shepherd

I'm Becky - a journalist at LADbible. I graduated with a First Class BA in Journalism before going on to cover criminal court cases, medical tribunals and breaking news for the national media - which inevitably and eventually became as glum as it sounds. Can often be found rocking a bag for life - which I made a 'thing' way before Rihanna. You can contact me at [email protected]

 

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