Deep in the heart of Texas--just east of Houston, actually--a research project designed to answer some of the technical questions about storing carbon dioxide underground is producing its first results. Scientists hope that carbon capture and sequestration could help ameliorate global warming without harming the local environment. The preliminary data at this geologic site, called the Frio Formation, are thus far providing mixed lessons.

Interring carbon dioxide may become an important option for curbing global warming. "By 2050 nations could be burying five to 10 billion tons of carbon dioxide every year," says geologist Julio Friedmann of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. The capacity to store many decades' worth of carbon dioxide exists underground.