Scientists from 15 countries study deep carbon sources in Costa Rica

June 25, 2014

The interior of the Earth has large unexplored sources of carbon, and a group of 35 scientists are meeting at the University of Costa Rica (UCR) Thursday to share the latest advances and research on the subject.

The experts, from 15 countries, were invited by the U.S. Deep Carbon Observatory (DCO) to attend a workshop organized by the UCR’s Central American School of Geology and the National Seismological Network (RSN).

The group will tour the Turrialba and Poás volcanoes, where they will conduct measurements of gases that will help them better understand those emissions.

“Currently the location of only 10 percent of the planet’s carbon is known, and the remaining 90 percent is in the interior of the Earth. Hence the importance of joint research,” RSN expert Carlos Ramírez Umaña said.

Some substances obtained from carbon such as methane, benzene and alcohol, are widely used in industry and in everyday activities such as vehicle fuel, cooking and for providing energy to homes.

The forum also will address issues related to underground life, volcanic emissions and even the beginning of life, “as the human being is made ​​of carbon compounds,” RSN geologist Gino González said.

The group of scientists includes geologists, biologists, chemists, physicists and engineers from India, China, France, Italy, Japan, England, Portugal, South Africa, the United States, Taiwan and Costa Rica.

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