A study from the University of Pennsylvania has found that mountains contribute less to the carbon dioxide-consuming chemical weathering process than previously thought, according to a release.
Mountains are involved specifically in the chemical drawdown effect of the weathering process, which occurs when rock turns into soil. Carbon dioxide and rain combine to dissolve rock and the resulting sediment makes its way through waterways to the ocean.
The study points out that previous research didn’t take into account the ratio of mountains to sloping land, noting the amount of land that provides sediment to water greatly outstrips that of mountainous terrain.
Image: Montana’s Whitefish Range (Credit: Rajesh Dhawan, via Wikimedia Commons)