Syvorotkin, V.L., 2010. Hydrogen degassing of the Earth: Natural disasters and the biosphere. In: Florinsky, I.V. (Ed.), Man and the Geosphere. Nova Science Publishers, New York, pp. 307–347.
The role of natural disasters is very important in humanity’s evolution. The author proposes that there is a common reason for the current intensification of natural disasters at the global scale. This reason is the increase of emission of reduced gases, primarily hydrogen, via degassing from deep within the Earth. The process of inner core crystallization leads to the release of hydrogen, which is then accumulated at the boundary of the liquid core and the mantle and diffuses outward to the Earth’s surface. The gravitational influence of the Moon and Sun on the Earth modulates this process. The impacts of this degassing on the biosphere and humans are three-fold: (1) Passing from the Earth’s core to space, the gas flow affects each geochemical barrier. There are three important consequences: (a) intensification of seismic and volcanic activity; (b) massive decline of aerobic biota and development of blue-green algae in the oceans due to gas outbursts along mid-ocean ridges; and (c) ozone layer depletion over degassing centers. The author presents a theoretical concept of the Earth degassing-driven depletion of the ozone layer. Spatial correlation of the most stable negative ozone anomalies with the major rift zones, degassing channels, and monitoring results of the dynamics of subsoil hydrogen gas content support the author’s concept. (2) A surplus of biologically active ultraviolet (UVB) reaches the Earth’s surface through the negative ozone anomalies. UVB adversely affects biota: in particular, it reduces its productivity, impairing reproduction and development, inducing DNA damage, increasing mutations, and causing immune suppression. It is argued that UVB radiation over the deep degassing centers is one of the geological driving forces for speciation along with topographic barriers, millennial-scale climatic fluctuations associated with the precession of the geomagnetic axis, geomagnetic reversals and excursions, geochemical anomalies, radon emission through active faults, and seismicity. (3) A surplus solar energy in the infrared range, arriving at the Earth’s surface through these same negative ozone anomalies, leads to abnormal heating of local parts of the Earth’s surface. This causes an increase in frequency of short-term regional extreme meteorological events around the world and general destabilization of the atmosphere and ocean known as global warming. The Earth degassing model is used to explain nature and mechanism of El Niсo phenomenon. It is argued that the Earth degassing essentially influences evolution of the biosphere including humans and the development of nations at the global scale.