Scientists have found that the earth’s atmosphere is leaking, mainly in polar areas. They used satellite data and ground observations to discover this. A gas called helium 3 is coming out of the earth’s core and is being released continuously.
Many people have questions about the gas’s origin, release, and impact on earth.
Scientists are interested in helium 3 inside the earth. They study how it forms, spreads, and what it does. They also want to know why it is released and how it affects the earth.
The formation and distribution characteristics of helium 3
Helium 3 (He3) is rare on earth. It comes from two sources: helium in the solar nebula and interplanetary collisions during earth’s formation.
Many hydrogen and helium ions entered the solar system through solar wind in the solar nebula. They made planets and moons by adsorption and collision. During this, some helium ions stuck to Earth and slowly gathered on it.
In the past, Earth collided with things that raised its temperature and pressure. Some hydrogen and helium ions were also absorbed and turned into helium 3. The helium 3 is trapped inside Earth but comes out when the plates move or there are volcanic eruptions.
The Earth’s air has helium-3 gas. It comes from hydrogen in the solar wind and nitrogen in the air. Natural gas and oil in the earth also have helium. When plates move or volcanoes erupt, helium goes into the air and becomes helium-3. The air carries it around the world.
Helium 3 is not evenly distributed in the Earth. It’s less on the surface but more inside due to high temperature and pressure in the mantle and core.
Why does helium 3 “leak”?
Helium 3 emerges from the earth and spreads out to space. This happens because of two things: (1) what’s going on in the earth and (2) changes in the air around our planet.
The Earth has crustal plates that move. The movement causes pressure and friction between the plates. This pressure may cause temperature increases and lead to helium 3 release from the mantle or core.
Volcanic eruptions is another way of getting helium 3. This happens when hot temperature and pressure cause rocks to melt. As the rocks melt, helium 3 is released from it.
Helium 3 in the atmosphere escapes into space because of atmospheric flow and diffusion. It spreads around the world with the atmospheric flow and some of it gradually disappears into space due to atmospheric diffusion.
What is the impact of the earth’s “leakage”?
“If we consider the release of helium 3 from inside Earth as one process, it will increase helium 3 in the atmosphere. This will affect the earth in these ways:”
The migration of helium 3 can affect the earth’s crust stability. Helium 3 moves fast and may change the pressure distribution between crustal plates. This can alter earthquake frequency and volcanic activity intensity.
Climate change is the second problem. Helium 3 is released from the earth and can affect the air we breathe. This may change the climate around the world. If there is too much helium-3, it could make the air more see-through, which might cause temperatures to rise globally.
The Biosphere is the third layer of the earth. Helium 3 concentration on Earth may affect it. Helium 3 may not affect organisms directly, but it can upset ecosystems when its level goes up. This change can cause temperature, pressure, and air composition to fluctuate and alter the growth and reproduction of different organisms.
The excessive helium 3 can affect the geomagnetic field. The geomagnetic field is vital for protecting the biosphere from ultraviolet radiation. Helium 3 release may have a significant impact on the biosphere.
However, if we look at the earth in relation to the entire universe, the above effects can be ignored or even have no effect at all.
Helium 3 is formed, stored, and released on Earth in a dynamic way. It moves from the inside to the outside, and from the atmosphere to space. Helium 3 also comes from hydrogen ions in solar wind. Nitrogen enters Earth’s atmosphere through reactions and channels. It also goes into the ocean and soil, creating a balance of helium 3.