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Thursday, September 23, 2010

Playing God with the planet.

Removing carbon from the atmosphere would help the ocean acidification issue, but the most commonly discussed method for doing this is ocean fertilization. This involves adding nutrients to the ocean to induce phytoplankton to bloom and suck carbon out of the atmosphere. The phytoplankton would then die and sink and take their carbon to the deep sea, there to be stored forever. At least, that’s the idea.

Some kind of geoengineering may very well be part of the solution to our climate woes. As Goodell points out, we are currently geoengineering the planet by accident – changing the albedo and adding all kinds of things to the atmosphere and warping the entire water cycle. However, we got ourselves into this mess by doing irreversible things to the planet without adequately considering the cost. Ocean scientists need to be at the forefront of geoengineering considerations, making sure that decision makers don’t forget about the health and welfare of 70% of the earth’s surface. And hopefully in the future, that will include participating in meetings like Future Tense.

Why ocean scientists can’t ignore geoengineering

A Future Tense Event: Geoengineering

Very scary stuff!

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