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Summer Science Exhibition 2016 | Monday 4 July - Sunday 10 July | London

Breaking the greenhouse: storing sky as stone

Hands-on at the exhibit

  • Handle meteorites – including from Mars - provided by the Natural History Museum.  
  • Locate carbonate minerals on a large interactive light globe of Mars, called a ‘puffersphere’.
  • View carbon dioxide mineralisation in samples from Mars and Earth via a microscope, then print and keep your images.

Find out more

Ninety seven percent of scientists agree that our planet is warming, with negative social, ecological and financial effects. Our exhibit reveals how one solution to our Earthbound global warming problems may lie underground on Mars, where we believe carbon dioxide from the planet’s ancient atmosphere is now stored as rock. 

Human activity is releasing carbon which becomes trapped in the atmosphere as CO2 gas, causing warming. Evidence suggests that Mars was once surrounded by an atmosphere dominated by CO2, and that some of it ended up underground as mineral carbonate. On Earth, scientists have discovered how to capture CO2 and turn it into carbonate rock, but the technique needs to be refined and scaled up. We hope that by learning lessons from Mars this technology could efficiently and stably lock away carbon for millions of years, helping to combat global warming.

Find out more at and visit the Breaking the greenhouse Facebook page. You can also view Mars rocks through a virtual microscope with the Open University.

Presented by: University of GlasgowThe UK Space Agency, The British Geological Survey, The Natural History Museum, London, Scottish Universities Environmental Research Centre, The University of Glasgow