Scientists from different projects are dumping things into the ocean to see if they can sequester carbon and reduce the impacts of climate change.
Scientists They are throwing all kinds of things into the ocean to reverse the impacts of climate change through crushed rock, iron, terrestrial biomass, and foreign minerals. Carbon capture, a natural process, has become an industry in recent years. The idea behind the sector is to capture carbon from the atmosphere to reduce emissions and save the planet from climate change.
Companies offering carbon capture technology sell their services to other companies seeking carbon neutrality. The industry is growing rapidly but still needs innovation. Early last year, Ellon Musk offered $ 100 million for the best carbon technology. And the oceans absorb more carbon than all rainforests combined.
On Gran Canaria, an island off the coast of Africa, GEOMAR scientists The Helmholtz Center for Ocean Research dumps crushed rocks into the ocean and tests how much carbon they absorb. They believe this could be a way to fight climate change. But scientists in Gran Canaria are not the only ones throwing things into the ocean. Another project wants to dump massive amounts of iron from various cargo ships. And another project, the Vestas Project, intends to dump olivine, a silicate of magnesium and iron, into the waters of North Carolina, New York, India and the northern Caribbean.
The best of the worst ideas
The crushed rocks used in Gran Canaria are mainly limestone. Limestone has a high level of alkalinity. Small-scale experiments have shown that limestone can absorb carbon from the atmosphere when submerged in the ocean. Alkaline rocks create the opposite effect to acidification. As global emissions increase, the ocean absorbs more and more carbon. This absorption transforms the pH value of ocean waters, making them more acidic. Acidification is driving a massive global phenomenon known as coral bleaching, which kills corals in large numbers, so they never recover.
GEOMARThe Gran Canaria project has faced resistance and criticism. For the project to work, it needs to be scaled to monumental levels. A global mining effort as significant as the coal industry as a whole should be launched. However, even the leader of the Gran Canaria project, marine biologist Ulf Riebesell has his doubts. He explains that to capture 1 ton of carbon with this method, it takes one to five tonnes of crushed rocks, and that’s a lot of stones to throw into the ocean without affecting its environment. “It would be a huge undertaking. And should we keep mining like this?”Riebesell says.
Similar arguments have been made to the idea of dumping hundreds or thousands of tons of iron into the ocean using freighter runs. The idea is not new. Years ago, it gained popularity as Ocean Iron Fertilization OIF. A study published by GEOMAR urges the world to do more research on OIF. They say that it is not fully understood how a sudden increase in iron could affect the marine environment and life. The best chance the world has today seems to be sgoing green, reducing emissions, carbon capture technology plants, reforestation and care of natural resources, oceans and rivers.. Dropping rocks into the oceans can be exciting Sciences, but it is necessary to go directly to the source to solve a problem.