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Climate Engineering Scenarios

Public Group active 5 years, 6 months ago

Conversations about specific methods of climate engineering rather than climate engineering in general. E.g. solar radiation management, Atmospheric carbon removal through algae or machines, space filters or sunscreens. Looking for conversation that considers unmentioned benefits and risks (not just risks and disasters)

Marine Microalgae

  • This topic has 2 replies, 2 voices, and was last updated 7 years ago by .
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  • #3106
    Ian Miller
    Participant

    More than once there have been suggestions that seeding the oceans with iron will promote microalgal growth. This has been discounted somewhat  because the results have been variable, and the specific target, namely sequestering the algal carbon at the bottom of the ocean, does not seem to be particularly efficient, however it is possible the point has been missed. First, variable growth. It may be that iron is not the only element required, for example manganese is also required for photosynthesis. Second, there are other benefits. One is, light absorbed and stored as chemical energy does not heat the water, and the ocean has a particularly low albedo. Second, the algae have to go somewhere; if they are eaten, then they at least help the food chain. Third, it is sometimes claimed the photosynthesis liberates dimethyl sulphide. If that is true, then that will be sent into the atmosphere, where it will be photooxidized and converted to sulphate, which in turn will seed clouds, and if so, this will seriously raise the albedo over the seas. This might be particularly effective over the arctic, as the clouds would encourage more ice formation. Maybe this won’t work, but we don’t know, and at least we should try and find out.

    #3172
    Adam Cherson
    Participant

    Ian, Here is a quote from Dr. Jame Bishop: “Just adding iron to the ocean hasn’t been demonstrated as a good plan for storing atmospheric carbon,” says Bishop, a member of Berkeley Lab’s Earth Sciences Division and a professor of Earth and planetary sciences at the University of California at Berkeley. “What counts is the carbon that reaches the deep sea, and a lot of the carbon tied up in plankton blooms appears not to sink very fast or very far.” What you’re saying is that there could be other climate cooling benefits so it could be interesting to ask Bishop for remarks. How about pasting your post to an email to him for feedback? Could be interesting. Here is the address as far as I know: . My apologies if this post appears twice. First time using this site. Cordially, AC

    #3173
    Adam Cherson
    Participant

    It seems the program blocks email addresses so here it is in another format: jkbishop at berkeley dot edu. Let’s see if that slips through.

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