The ongoing rise in greenhouse gases (GHG) is arguably the most significant problem to face the planet now and in the coming decades. Increased GHG directly contribute to a global temperature rise that significantly impacts all living organisms, our water and soil resources, and global climate. To place the rise of GHG in context and to implement appropriate mitigation strategies, it is crucial that we place quantitative constraints on the sources, sinks and fluxes of GHG over geologic time, from the deep Earth to the atmosphere, biosphere, land surface and ocean.
Overarching questions for this emerging research theme are:
What are the pathways, processes, limits and timeframes for GHG distribution between the atmosphere, biosphere, ocean, land surface, crust and Earth’s interior?
This question is at the heart of understanding the Earth’s past record and predicting the future direction of: climate regulation; atmosphere development and changes; the development and elimination of life in the ocean and on land; the concentration of organic and some mineral deposits; and the formation and evolution of the Earth’s interior.
Which mitigation and geoengineering strategies will be the most successful in combatting atmospheric GHG rise in terms of science, uncertainty, policy and infrastructure development?