It's becoming much cheaper to suck carbon dioxide from the air


#62

Also proposals to breed and seed the stuff the way we do shellfish already.

Issue is that algae and what have is not always good. Especially when its referred to as a bloom.

You need an aggressive approach to wetlands restoration and ocean health. Which would lead to restoration of higher, healthy algae and phytoplankton levels. And bring the ocean back up on that whole “giant active carbon sink” thing.

Too large a bloom in a localized area effectively leads to a dead spot there. We like these big, grand, fix it fast gestures. But to me, its always sounded more likely to seriously fuck the ocean fast. Rather than rapidly reverse global warming. I mean I get to see (and smell) the effects of nasty algae blooms first hand every summer these days. I don’t see that as “solving” anything.


#63

I do not recall a problematic algae bloom in the open ocean, which is what they’re proposing, they’re always in confined shallow areas like deltas and bays. The article cites the project as creating an artificial version of the nutrient upwelling that often creates an oasis of life in the ocean, not a zone of death.

I recall years ago proposals to generate power using ocean thermal, the temp differential between the surface and depths, by pumping deep water up. One of the side effects was believed to be this kind of nutrient bloom feeding the local ecosystem.


#64

Sequestering CO2? Great idea, not a solution by any means–it’s only treating the symptom, the “illness” is dependence on burning hydrocarbons for fuel, but I digress–but it will help temporarily alleviate the situation.

The problem that I have is the notion of turning it back into fuel. Doing that takes more energy than the fuel will release, and then we’ll only get some of that back with the scrubbing process, so it doesn’t permanently remove CO2 from the atmosphere, it’s just expending a lot of energy to move it around some.

Now if we take the CO2 and turn it into something stable and stick that stable thing back in the ground where we found it (whether it be oil, wood, whatever) then that might make a dent in things.


#65

The point is to create transportation fuel using renewable energy and no fossil carbon. We do not currently have electric aircraft nor will we for the foreseeable future. Electric trucks may be closer, or maybe not.


#66

We have electric aircraft, and there’s a huge amount of effort going into making them commercially viable. I don’t think I can be any clearer about this, you’re expending a bunch of energy to repackage CO2 into a new fuel. They only way you can do that is by putting more energy into it than you’ll get back out of it, and you’re putting the CO2 right back into the atmosphere.

How is this not clearly a problem? You could power the scrubbers and fuel plants with wind or solar, but all you’re doing is increasing the carbon footprint of those energy sources.

Moreover, these devices are likely to suffer from the same problem that cities have when they add lanes to busy roads in order to ease traffic–the existence of the scrubbers, even if they made only a tiny difference, would serve as an excuse for people to ignore the problem for even longer.

This is brown trousers time. At our current rate, we’ve got less than 500 years left. We have no time for splitting differences or “minimizing impact.” We are too close to the point of no return as it is, false hope stop-gap solutions are not going to work this time, we have to act or perish.


#67

I don’t believe it’s been confirmed but I’ve repeatedly heard it proposed as an explanation for fish kills in open water. Because:

That temperature differential creates a sort of “thermal shelf”. Below a certain depth temperature shifts rapidly. But so do dissolved oxygen and nutrients. The top of the water column is where the bulk of biodiversity in the ocean exists (together with the shallows). The top of the water column is in a lot of ways more cut off from the depths than it is from coastal water ways.

So it’s theoretically possible to deoxiginate a section of it just like the shallows. Because they function a lot like the shallows. But just because your fertilizing for green algae doesn’t mean you get green algae. And some blooms, red tide, cause kills through toxins not eating up oxygen and nutrients. Red blooms have been proposed as the source of some of those weird seabird and marine mammal die offs in open water. And studies looking at the consequences of forced blooms have looked at both possibilities.

Here’s one about red tides from almost a decade ago.

But the bigger problem as I see it is just how freakishly connected marine environments are. What you do in the open ocean has effects at the coast. And what happens at the coast is insanely important to the state of things in the open ocean. If you drop nutrients in open water they don’t neccisarily stay there. If you fuck the coastal estuaries you fuck the open water. Both shallower reefs and the deeps. Fuck the top of the water column you fuck the bottom of it.


#68

It’s becoming much cheaper to suck carbon dioxide from the air

If we can get a machine to suck all the bullshit from the air, we’re golden.


#69

We’d have to position it fairly close to Washington DC, tho.


#70

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