by Staff Writers
Southampton, England (UPI) Dec 4, 2013
The Earth's crust beneath its oceans could store many centuries' worth of industrial CO2, keeping it out of a warming atmosphere, British researchers say.
With dramatically increasing concentrations of CO2 in the atmosphere from the burning of fossil fuels such as coal, oil and natural gas causing climate change and ocean acidification, a storage solution for the greenhouse gas has been a research priority in recent years.
Doctoral student Chiara Marieni at the National Oceanography Center at the University of Southampton has been studying the physical properties of CO2 to develop global maps of the ocean floor to estimate where it can safely be stored.
At high pressures and low temperatures such as those in the deep oceans, CO2 becomes a liquid denser than seawater.
By estimating temperatures in the upper ocean crust, Marieni and her colleagues identified regions where it may be possible to stably store large volumes of CO2 in the basalts, the university reported Wednesday.
These fractured rocks have high proportions of open space, and over time may also react with the CO2 to turn it into solid calcium carbonate, permanently preventing its release into the oceans or atmosphere, the researchers said.
"We have found regions that have the potential to store decades to hundreds of years of industrial carbon dioxide emissions, although the largest regions are far off shore," Marieni said.
Five potential regions were identified, off the shores of Australia, Japan, Siberia, South Africa and Bermuda, ranging in size from 200,000 square miles to almost 1.5 million square miles.
"However, further work is needed in these regions to accurately measure local sediment conditions and sample the basalt beneath before this potential can be confirmed," Marieni said.
Climate Science News - Modeling, Mitigation Adaptation
|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|