4 March 2013

Deep Carbon

Less than 10% of the Earth's carbon is in its atmosphere, seawater and top crusts. The rest is locked away or in motion deep underground - a "hidden dimension of the planet as poorly understood as it is profoundly important to life on the surface."  

Carbon in Earth, a new publication by scientists collaborating on the Deep Carbon Observatory, notes that:
Among the gaps in our knowledge of deep carbon relate to the deep biosphere. Remarkable discoveries of subsurface microbial life and associated viruses hint at a surprising hidden diversity, primarily within the microbial domains of archaea and bacteria. [But] surprising discoveries of a rich subsurface community of eukayotes promises an even richer deep taxonomy. These findings, coupled with advances in single-cell genomics, predict a coming decade of extraordinary discovery.

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