About this issue
In this issue, Bernard Marty explores the origin and fate of volatile elements, i.e. those which form the atmosphere and the oceans and permitted the development of life on our planet. From the analysis of volcanic rocks, ancient atmospheric gases, and meteorites, we learn that the Earth is depleted in volatile elements when compared to its potential cosmochemical ancestors and that natural fluxes of carbon are two orders of magnitude lower than those emitted by current anthropogenic activity. Further insights have come from space missions that document the composition of the proto-solar nebula and the outer solar system.