Free Newsletters - Space News - Defense Alert - Environment Report - Energy Monitor
. Earth Science News .




CLIMATE SCIENCE
Climate: 'Rock' fix for oceans is badly flawed: study
by Staff Writers
Paris, France (AFP) Jan 22, 2013


Claims that global warming can be braked by dissolving huge quantities of rock in the sea to absorb carbon emissions are laden with flaws, a study published on Tuesday says.

The analysis is the latest scientific appraisal into geo-engineering, or techniques that are being promoted as quick fixes to the climate crisis.

Scientists in Germany probed the feasibility of "enhanced weathering," in which a plentiful magnesium-silicate rock called olivine would be crushed and scattered in the oceans.

Doing so would make the seas more alkaline and thus better able to absorb man-made carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from the air.

The oceans are a massive carbon "sink," having absorbed roughly half of the fossil-fuel gases we have emitted, researchers say.

But this sponge-like ability is thought to be in worrying decline. As a result, comparatively more heat-trapping gases are entering the atmosphere, and the oceans themselves are becoming more acid, threatening many marine species.

Writing in the British journal Environment Research Letters, scientists at the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research in Bremerhaven calculated that if three billion tonnes of olivine were deposited into the oceans each year, it could compensate for only around nine per cent of today's carbon emissions.

And nearly a third of those emissions would indirectly return to the atmosphere because of the energy cost of grinding the rock to a diameter of around one micrometre -- about 10 times finer than a grain of talcum powder -- so that it could dissolve.

There could also be a shift in the fundamental marine ecosystem, as one species of phytoplankton, benefiting from the chemical change in the ocean, won out against another.

The findings are based on lab research into the CO2 absorption abilities of olivine, which were then factored into a powerful US model for ocean circulation.

"If this method of geo-engineering was deployed, we would need an industry the size of the present-day coal industry to obtain the necessary amounts of olivine. To distribute this, we estimate that 100 dedicated large ships with a commitment to distribute one gigatonne of olivine per year would be needed," lead author Peter Koehler said.

"Taking all our conclusions together -- mainly the energy costs of the processing line and the projected potential impact on marine biology -- we assess this approach as rather inefficient," said Koehler.

"It certainly is not a simple solution against the global warming problem."

Once dismissed as science fiction, geo-engineering has gained a respected audience in recent years as carbon emissions scale new peaks and UN talks on tackling climate change make meagre progress.

In parallel, though, scientists are giving closer scrutiny to what these once-scorned ideas might mean.

In the past year, studies delving into two other geo-engineering schemes have sounded caution about their cost effectiveness and potential impact on the environment.

The ideas comprise sowing the stratosphere with light sulphate particles to reflect the Sun's rays and thus cool the planet; and dumping iron particles in the ocean to stimulate plankton that suck up CO2 at the surface.

.


Related Links
Climate Science News - Modeling, Mitigation Adaptation






Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News





CLIMATE SCIENCE
US climate fears mount, but political action wanes
Washington (AFP) Jan 19, 2013
Climate change was thrust to the forefront of the US political agenda recently in the wake of the devastation caused by superstorm Sandy and record high temperatures across the country. But despite President Barack Obama renewing his early promises to act, experts said political opposition would make it at least as difficult as during Obama's first, failed push to get new legislation through ... read more


CLIMATE SCIENCE
Canada to resettle up to 5,000 Iranian, Iraqi refugees

China factory fire hidden by thick smog: media

Allianz sticks to profit goal despite Hurricane Sandy hit

Hannover Re hit by 261-million-euro loss from Sandy

CLIMATE SCIENCE
Record high radiation level found in fish: TEPCO

NASA Beams Mona Lisa to Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter at the Moon

New surfaces repel most known liquids

Sustainable reinforcement for concrete has newly discovered benefits

CLIMATE SCIENCE
Rare dolphin species threatened by big fishnets

New UMass Amherst Research Shows Fishways Have Not Helped Fish

Beijing water supply at risk?

Audit slams S. Korea's $20 bn river project

CLIMATE SCIENCE
Melt ponds cause the Artic sea ice to melt more rapidly

New Antarctic geological timeline aids future sea-level predictions

Russian national park to bridge US-Russia divide

Will changes in climate wipe out mammals in Arctic and sub-Arctic areas?

CLIMATE SCIENCE
Dietary shifts driving up phosphorus use

Amino Acid Studies May Aid Battle Against Citrus Greening Disease

Potential harvest of most fish stocks largely unrelated to abundance

China crash sees cats escape cooking pot

CLIMATE SCIENCE
Floods ease in Jakarta, at least 11 dead

Eleven dead, two missing as floods swamp central Jakarta

Four children die in Mozambique floods

Mozambique floods kill 2, destroy homes

CLIMATE SCIENCE
Eritrean troops besiege mutineers in Asmara

Mugabe calls for peace as VP Nkomo buried

Hollande, in Gulf, defends France's Mali offensive

French marines in Mali wait for orders to join the fight

CLIMATE SCIENCE
DNA database not so anonymous on the Internet: study

Chimpanzees successfully play the Ultimatum Game

Gene flow from India to Australia about 4,000 years ago

Eliminating useless information important to learning, making new memories




The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement