More on reengineering – what about the oceans?

Regarding Dan’s post on reengineering the planet, one more shortcoming of the commonly discussed geoengineering solutions (even assuming they work exactly as designed and have none of the unintended consequences Dan, and others, fear) is that they are far from complete, leaving out entirely any remedy for ocean acidification, the “other” greenhouse gas problem.  More info on acidification here, accompanying yesterday’s release of “Acid Test” on Planet Green.

New findings from marine researchers at the University of Alaska Fairbanks show that acidification there is happening fast.  This from a report today in Science Daily:

Scientists estimate that the ocean is 25 percent more acidic today than it was 300 years ago.  “The increasing acidification of Alaska waters could have a destructive effect on all of our commercial fisheries. This is a problem that we have to think about in terms of the next decade instead of the next century,” said [researcher Jeremy] Mathis.

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Reader Comments

One Reply to “More on reengineering – what about the oceans?”

  1. I haven’t done my Google homework on this, but I think proposals to spur algae growth in the oceans by seeding them with iron particles does remove CO2 from the atmosphere. Then it can’t be absorbed by the oceans. Atmospheric carbon is taken up by the growing algae, the algae dies and drops to the ocean floor, where it is, per the theory, naturally sequestered. Surely there are environmental consequences and no one really knows if it would even work. One company was trying to sell offsets this way.

    I guess along that line of thinking, planting or replanting forests on a vast scale would be geoengineering. Agriculture is probably a kind of geoengineering, unfortunately the kind that increases CO2. Has anyone considered/researched (with respect to atmospheric CO2)what happened when the North American forests were cut down in the 17th-19th Centuries? That’s a lot of forest and a lot of it has grown back.

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Cara Horowitz

Cara Horowitz is the co-executive director of the Emmett Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at UCLA School of Law. The Emmett Institute was founded as the f…

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