SCIENTISTS TO DRILL OFF JAPAN'S COAST TO MAP UNDERGROUND CARBON
Scientists will start drilling off Japan this month to seek the hottest place where life can survive deep below the seabed. The drilling under the Nankai Trough in the Pacific Ocean will be part of a project by 900 experts to map carbon underground, hoping for clues to everything from the origin of life on earth to the formation of oil and gas. Scientists will drill into rocks where temperatures reach 130°C (266°F) in a two-month trip off southern Japan starting on September 12, said Kai-Uwe Hinrichs, of the University of Bremen in Germany who led the scientific proposal for the mission. Water in the Nankai Trough is 4.7 kilometers (2.92 miles) deep and the scientists will drill another 1.2 km into the earth. Scientists say that they are discovering vast amounts of carbon-based life in the little-understood subterranean zone. Still, they reckon deep rocks are too disconnected from the surface to be exploited by humanity to soak up carbon dioxide, the main greenhouse gas emitted by human activities. To read the full story, see http://uk.reuters.com/article/us-environment-temperatures-idUKKCN11E1LI.