A new use for the oceans

Holy smokes.

There’s actually serious consideration being given of using the oceans, specifically the deep ocean or benthic area, as a dump for excess carbon dioxide. Even though we already have evidence that the extra CO2 in the atmosphere that’s dissolving in the ocean is causing serious problems.

The Guardian just published article on what is termed "deep-sea carbon storage," the injection of gaseous CO2 into depths where the great pressure will cause it to solidify. Bubblesliquidco2Wallace Broecker, one of the scientists suggesting we investigate this solution, acknowledges that some worms and other benthic organisms would be killed in the process, but the implication is that these creatures are less valuable to us than, say, the fish we eat, and so can be sacrificed.

The notion reminds me of the kind of cleaning many of us have done as children. You know, your parents tell you to clean your room and you just stick everything in your closet and hope no one opens the door. Out of sight, out of mind.

(image of liquid CO2 courtesy of Oregon State University)

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