(p. C4) While experts search for ways to cope with excessive atmospheric carbon, the world’s ants may have had a solution all along.
A new paper reports that ants radically accelerate the breakdown of some important minerals into chemicals that suck carbon dioxide–a byproduct of burning fossil fuels–out of the atmosphere to form new rocks.
. . .
Ants are so effective at promoting this process that they might have played an unheralded role in cooling the planet over millions of years, the author writes, adding that if we can figure out how they do it, we could investigate how to emulate them to sequester atmospheric carbon ourselves.
For the full story, see:
DANIEL AKST. “R AND D; Are Ants Cooling the World?” The Wall Street Journal (Sat., Aug. 16, 2014): C4.
(Note: ellipsis added.)
(Note: the online version of the story has the date Aug. 15, 2014.)
The paper on the ant solution to global warming is:
Dorn, Ronald I. “Ants as a Powerful Biotic Agent of Olivine and Plagioclase Dissolution.” Geology 42, no. 9 (Sept. 2014): 771-74.