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WADI ABDAH, Oman: Deep in the jagged red mountains of Oman, geologists are drilling in search of the holy grail of reversing climate change: an efficient and cheap way to remove carbon dioxide from the air and oceans.They are coring samples from one of the world's only exposed sections of the Earth's mantle to uncover how a spontaneous natural process millions of years ago transformed CO2 into limestone and marble.In all, 16 industrial projects currently capture and store around 27 million tons of CO2, according to the International Energy Agency.Natural CO2 levels have risen from 280 to 405 parts per million since the Industrial Revolution, and current estimates hold that the world will be 6 C hotter by 2100 .That has injected new urgency into the work underway in Oman, where Keleman's team recently spent four months extracting dozens of core samples, which they hope to use to construct a geological history of the process that turns CO2 into carbonate.Just like in Oman's mountains, the submerged rock would chemically absorb carbon from the water. The water could then be cycled back to the surface to absorb more CO2 from the atmosphere, in a sort of conveyor belt.
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