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back to article Boffins nail oceanic carbon capture process

The world’s oceans are known to be carbon sinks, but the process that draws CO2 from the air down into the deep ocean hasn’t been documented. Until now. A team of British and Australian scientists have identified huge plunging currents – as much as 1,000 kilometers wide – that appear to be key to the process of storing CO2 in …

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Okay so next bit of research should be how to get the ocean to take more of the crap out of the air surely?

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Anonymous Coward

Okay so next bit of research should be how to get the ocean to take more of the crap plant food out of the air surely?

There, fixed it for you.

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crap is plant food

Raw sewage, they call it pollution, we call it life

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The ocean is no more a dustbin than the air.

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Anonymous Coward

> The ocean is no more a dustbin than the air.

And CO2 is no more a pollutant than water.

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Boffin

Okay so next bit of research should be how to get the ocean to take more of the crap out of the air surely?

Nope. We already know where that will get us: ocean acidification. Look it up.

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Boffin

The problem isn't getting the oceans to absorb more CO2, but to get more algae to use it up. The limiting factor in most oceans is not the amount of CO2 the water can dissolve, but the available nutirients for the algae. This is why ocean fertilisation with iron could be a good idea - in most places, lack of iron is the productivity bottleneck. Increase that, then you increase algae and plankton production, which feeds its way up the food chain. Some of the biomass gets carried to the ocean floor by currents and dead things sinking, thus effectively locking it away on a geological time scale. Eventually, over thousands/millions of years this produces crude oil.

The side-effects of this are unknown which is why we're being cautious about doing it, but they could be positive, such as an increase in ocean productivity all throughout the food chain, ultimately resuting in more fish for those pesky humans to eat..

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Anonymous Coward

> Nope. We already know where that will get us: ocean acidification. Look it up.

And if we burnt every gram of coal, every barrel of oil and every litre of gas we know exists, it still wouldn't turn the oceans acidic.

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Oil

Guess where's a good place to start looking for oil.

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Excellent...

...the world's biggest SodaStream. Anyone for plankton-flavoured pop?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Excellent...

> plankton-flavoured pop?

Burping whales. Now there's an unpleasant thought...

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Alert

Re: Excellent...

Burping whales I could handle. Whales suffering the efter effects of a curry .. now there's a thought!

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Alien

co2 made easy ..

just make more cans of pop if you take the billions of fizzy drinks we have how much co2 would that be ?

it's not just a chuck in the ocean or water down the sink ... :)

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Boffin

Re: co2 made easy ..

A quick google tells me that a can of $cola contains about 2g of CO2. If the can is aluminium, about 14g of CO2 will have been produced in its production, if it is steel, about 25g. Either way, there is quite a large net release of CO2.

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Mushroom

CTD's

They are deploying contra-terrene devices in the Pacific? It'll all end in tears I tells ya...

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Boffin

Nice article, Richard - as usual -

but perhaps you could explain to me why the usual Reg stalwarts - none named, none forgotten - have refrained from commenting on the report by the BEST team and ertwhile skeptic Richard Muller to the effect that 1) global warming is real and 2) that it is largely anthropogenic. In addition to Professor Muller's own OpEd in the «NY Times», to which you kindly provide a link, a fairly lengthy article on the matter can be found in yesterday's «Guardian» : http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2012/jul/29/climate-change-sceptics-change-mind?CMP=EMCNEWEML1355....

Henri

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Nice article, Richard - as usual -

You mean the one whose methods for producing the reconstruction never got past peer review?

They submitted the papers Oct 2011 and they have been rejected twice.

Here's a quote from the "sceptic" Richard Muller in 2008

The bottom line is that there is a consensus — the [Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change] — and the president needs to know what the IPCC says. Second, they say that most of the warming of the last 50 years is probably due to humans. You need to know that this is from carbon dioxide, and you need to understand which technologies can reduce this and which can’t.

Doesn't sound very sceptical to me.

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Anonymous Coward

ice melts, oceans rise, california sinks

Isn't change a good thing?

Currently everything is attributed to evolution. Gone on a killing spree? Its a random aggressive mutation. On the wrong end of a one night stand? Its just the selfish gene. Are you kind? Its the evolutionary benefit of cooperation. Hawk-eyed bird? Evolution. Blind bat? Evolution.

Now we have everything attributed to AGW. Is it warmer? AGW. Is it cooler? AGW. Is it warmer and cooler and a bit of each in between? AGW. Wetter? AGW. Desertification? AGW.

When something becomes the lens through which we see the world, it becomes difficult to distinguish between the effects of the lens and the reality on the other side because you have no objective point of reference.

If you think AGW is true, you will see its effects everywhere and when there is no "control" environment to test against, you're pretty much home free.

None of this means AGW isn't real, of course. Though if it was real, you might want to think about migrating everyone off the flood plains, buying up large chunks of Siberia and putting a little more robustness into the building regs. Its probably more effective than setting up a new market in carbon tax credits and more responsible than hoping we might, in the future, be able to undo the harm we have done.

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