Following on from the Geological Society’s 2018 themed Year of Resources, in 2019 they will be looking at carbon, one of the most important elements on our planet.

Carbon is of critical importance in:

  • The oceans and atmosphere where it has important consequences for the global climate system.
  • Complex organic molecules that led to life on Earth.
  • Carbon-based energy resources which remain of critical importance as both a source of energy but also in planning for a future carbon-neutral society.
  • Understanding the carbon budget of our planet over long timescales, which requires quantification of the cycling of carbon between surface reservoirs and Earth’s deep interior.

Carbon is also at the heart of a number of important societal challenges. The rapid increase in atmospheric CO2, caused by the burning of fossil fuels, is one of the greatest scientific challenges of our time, and will occupy generations to come. Carbon-based fuels, however, remain essential for our economy, transport, communications and everyday life and petroleum geoscience develops innovation in exploration, in extraction and in mitigating emissions.

In the future, however, a move to carbon-neutral fuels and energy sources is unavoidable, and is the focus of much research, including studies in the field of carbon sequestration.

Throughout 2019 the Society will explore the geoscience of carbon through research conferences, lectures, our education programme and other activities.