What exactly is Weathering? In case you haven’t heard it before, Weathering refers to the breaking down of natural materials, rocks, soils and metals and the gradual reduction of all materials to bare metal or stone.
This process is a natural outgrowth of the earths crust, which pushes against the under layers of the earth creating an environment that is highly favorable for growth and development. In short Weathering is the evolution of all organic material.
What is truly amazing about Weathering is that it is a constant process in nature and mankind has been involved from the beginning of time. Man has been Weathering his world ever since he walked the earth. Throughout all of human history, man has built huge Stone structures such as temples, palaces, dwellings, and even massive Ice Wall, just to name a few, Weathering these things have given rise to much of what we understand about the historical Record of Earth.
The weathering process in our world has been controlled over the years by the accumulation of both Organic and inorganic substances over time. This Weathering occurs due to changes in the Earths atmospheric makeup, the Earths orbit around the sun, the speed of earth’s spin, chemical reactions within the earth, and many other factors. The accumulation of Weathering takes place in the following ways: by releasing moisture into the atmosphere, by removing moisture from the air, creating clouds, and blocking the sun from warming the earth. There are also several man made chemicals that initiate the process. Many people believe these man made chemicals are primarily Carbon Dioxide (Dioxide is known as “the bad air”, “fuego” the good air”, and “volcano” the yellow-orange glow)
The major reason behind Weathering is to prevent or remove Weathering from the atmosphere. By removing Weathering from the atmosphere, we can alter the earths climate. The major effect of Weathering on the climate is what is known as the oxidation of the atmosphere. By removing or altering the amount of Weathering in the atmosphere, we can change the earths chemical reaction to reduce or eliminate Weathering.
The earth’s chemical reaction to Weathering is as follows: When Weathering is present, Earth’s soils act as a filter through which Organic matter and Damp Earth mixture enter. The organic matter and Damp Earth mixture are carried out of the soil by plant roots. The climate of the location in which the plant roots reside determines how much of the earths total mass is removed by precipitation or is absorbed by the plant roots and by the roots themselves. These elements are carried in the air and eventually become part of the plant roots, which create the precipitation.
There is some controversy surrounding the exact relationship between Weathering and the earths carbon cycle. Some studies have indicated that the earths Carbon cycle is not sensitive to Weathering. Other studies have indicated that Weathering greatly enhances the earths ability to remove CO2 from the air and to store it in the soil. The soil at the base of the plant becomes a carbon storage reservoir for the world’s CO2. This carbon storage may be useful to future climate change mitigation efforts. But, other studies have indicated that there is no direct relationship between Weathering and the earths carbon cycle.
Weathering also removes Organic C, which acts as a stabilizing agent in the presence of additional atmospheric CO2 and other pollutants such as ozone. Weathering removes Humic acid, which is a powerful greenhouse gas, from the atmosphere. Humic acid is thought to be one of the drivers of global warming. Global Warming is believed to increase the level of atmospheric carbon dioxide to high levels that can cause climate change. It has also been determined that, in the presence of severe weathering, the earth’s ability to absorb and sequester carbon dioxide becomes significantly less.
Weathering is a complex process that removes numerous gases, organic compounds, minerals and other weathering ingredients from the earth’s surface. It is a collective term encompassing many different physical weathering processes, including chemical weathering, alkalinity and clay weathering. A wide range of environmental and industrial applications are possible with Weathering. This is a very important part of the earth system processes, so it makes sense to understand it in all of its forms.