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Thread: ocean pumps anyone ?

  1. #1 ocean pumps anyone ? 
    WYSIWYG Moderator marnixR's Avatar
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    read the following article in New Scientist :

    Ocean pumps could counter global warming

    i think James Lovelock's thoughts have gone a bit too much in crisis mode
    he seems to be willing to disregard the fact that big projects can go wrong in a big way too


    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." (Philip K. Dick)
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  3. #2  
    Forum Ph.D. Cat1981(England)'s Avatar
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    It seems slightly over the top especially as it is not beyond us to create carbon neutral society's, it must however be a better idea than praying for it to go away.


    Eat Dolphin, save the Tuna!!!!
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  4. #3  
    Forum Isotope Bunbury's Avatar
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    One thing about this proposal is that it appears to be technically simple and easily reversible if undesirable consequences occur. Even if the CO2 reduction proved to be small globally the more localized possibility of reducing the strength of hurricanes could be a huge benefit.
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  5. #4  
    Forum Ph.D. Cat1981(England)'s Avatar
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    True, but the cost of constructing this would be unimaginable.
    Eat Dolphin, save the Tuna!!!!
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  6. #5  
    Forum Professor
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    The snag is that as well as being rich in nutrients, water rising up the pipes will be rich in carbon - this could mean CO2 is released into the atmosphere.
    Surely there are other snags. He is proposing stimulating algal blooms, if I understand correctly. Algal blooms occur presently, at coastal areas of high nutrient runoff, and these blooms are responsible for oxygen-depleted zones in the oceans, which leads to massive fish dieoffs.

    Algal blooms are also assocated with red tides and shellfish poisoning.

    Which nutrients is he suggesting would be flushed up from the bottom waters? Algae fix their own carbon from CO<sub>2</sub>, have immediate access to hydrogen and oxygen (H<sub>2</sub>O), leaving phosphorous, sulfur, and nitrogen as possible 'nutrients' that he is considering. Nitrogen is limiting at the ocean floor, I believe. Is Lovelock suggesting that organic matter (which only occurs in significant quantities along the continental margins) is an important foodsource for cyanobacteria .... which are photoautotrophs? If there were merit to this (which perhaps there is but I don't immediately see it - help?) then it would be far simpler to add fertiliser to the surface waters - and we already do that unintentionally with negative environmental effects.

    Does Lovelock realise that organic matter at the ocean floor feeds the benthic community, I wonder.

    And then there is the matter of temperature. Pumping bottom waters up, would drag warm waters down. We've seen that the slight acidification of the oceans has had troubling impacts on corals. This plan could not only potentially accelerate ocean acidification, but also increase temperature at depth, which would be detrimental to organisms that live on the ocean floor.

    Those are a few snags that come to mind. A better plan is the notion of putting a giant mirror in space to reflect sunlight . The best plan is to reduce population and consumption, not only because it could reverse warming but also because it would address other problems such as overfishing and deforestation.
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  7. #6  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard spuriousmonkey's Avatar
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    A better plan even is to stop taking fixed carbon from the crust and burning it up.
    "Kill them all and let God sort them out."

    - Arnaud Amalric

    http://spuriousforums.com/index.php
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