September 16, 2023
It is known that four important non-metals reside inside the Mantle of all planets, bound to metals.
Carbon, Sulfur, Oxygen, Hydrogen.
Under the extreme heat and pressure at the Core-Mantle Boundary (2900 km down), Iron Sulfides melt, producing molten Iron for the Outer Core while the lighter Sulfur fraction percolates upward to react with oxygen furnished from the conversion of Iron Oxide into H phase Iron. Sulfur is oxidized (burned) and the entire spectrum of sulfur-based acids are formed in the Lower Mantle.
At approx. 350 km down in the Upper Mantle there are huge reservoirs of molten carbonate minerals. The sulfur-based acids percolating up from the Lower Mantle decompose the massive carbonate layers to generate immeasurable amounts of CO and CO2, vastly exceeding any human activity. Researchers from the Univ. of London have determined that a carbonate reservoir lies beneath Yellowstone that covers and area larger than Mexico and varies 25 to 70 km thick. They further estimate than if just 1% of this carbonate layer were to decompose it would be equivalent to burning 2.3 trillion barrels of oil. Mind you that Yellowstone is only one of 40 to 50 similar "hot spots” in the world. All of these described reactions are exothermic (give off heat). None of these geochemical reactions have been included in the heat balance of the Earth.
The molten Iron/Nickel Outer Core is important in providing our magnetic field. Of course, the magnetic field deflects cosmic rays and the solar wind so Earth maintains its atmosphere as well as protects life on the surface from radiation.
Scientists are a bit uncertain about when Earth’s magnetic field formed. The general "consensus” is that Earth’s magnetic field formed at least 3.5 billion years ago but some evidence provided by examination of zircon minerals from Australia place the date at 4.2 billion years, about the time that anaerobic bacteria formed around hydrothermal vents. "Black smokers” form fumaroles (chimneys) comprised of metal sulfides which are the requisite for sulfur reduction, the power source for anaerobic bacteria.
The earliest photosynthetic life, Cyanobacteria, began approx. 3.5 billion years ago. This brings us to the Faint Young Sun Paradox. At that time the Sun was only 70 % as luminous as today. The Sun didn’t achieve its current luminosity until approx. 500 million years ago. I hypothesize that the initiation of solar flares drove the change in luminosity (The Sun is basically a delayed Fissoon Boost device - a separate discussion).
The Earth should not have had liquid water on the surface 4.2 to 3.5 billion years ago. The Earth should have been covered with glaciers if all we consider is warming from solar radiation. A lot of hand-waving papers claim that CO2 caused a Green House Gas effect to warm the planet. However, the latest word from NASA (in a burst of honesty) was that the GHG effect could not have warmed Earth sufficiently.
The dense atmosphere of Venus is comprised of 95 % CO2 and remainder is almost entirely sulfuric acid which forms the all-enshrouding clouds of sulfuric acids. Venus has a much weaker magnetic field than Earth but the great atmospheric density resists the solar wind so the atmosphere is preserved. The clouds of Venus rain liquid sulfuric acid. The CO2 and sulphuric acid were formed from millions of years of intense volcanism triggered by Tidal Pumping from the Sun. Astrophysicists think that Venus could still be volcanic, but certainly diminished as it has decomposed its reserviors of carbonate minerals.
Origins of Earth’s magnetic field remain a mystery
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