Global warming for fun an profit
Geo engineering is something that has interested me for a while, in fact ever since I read James Lovelock’s book on Gia theory many years ago. In one chapter of the book he talks about using a ship full of iron to cool the climate. Specifically “Give me half a tanker of iron, and I’ll give you the next ice age.” The idea being that there are zones in many of the oceans that are laking in iron and as a result have a much lower amount of plankton. Add iron and you get a sudden algal bloom which sucks up a vast amount of CO2. When the bloom dies off or its eaten it eventually ends up on the ocean floor taking the CO2 with it.
The zones where this would work are known as the Desolate Zones, and they are huge. Also, they have basically nothing in them, the area we are talking about is vast.
There is some controversy about geo engineering in this way and on the scale that would be required. Experiments have been performed but the results so far have been mixed. Also there has been much wailing and gnashing of teeth from the scientific community.
I think that some of the main objections stem fro the fact that the companies that are wanting to do this are going to try and sell any CO2 that they sequester as carbon credits. Which is totally reasonable but is possibly what is making the science community less than happy.
I think that the adding iron approach, has merits and is worth looking into. But I also think that there is possibly a simpler and also more directly useful method.
In contrast to the Desolate Zones some of the most fertile areas of the ocean are caused by upwellings of deep water the California coastline is a good example if one. Deeper cold water carries a lot of the nutrients to start driving a food chain. The chain looks like this:
We’re in that food chain too, all that tasty fish. Currently we are fishing the productive zones of the oceans to the point that they may never recover. When trawlers are going out to the southern for krill to be turned into generic protein then things are getting dicey. Calling them trawlers is probably incorrect they are basically hoovers for krill.
Eco hand wringing aside where there is a demand, and there obviously is for fish, then there is a profit to be made.
The Desolate Zones, we need to make them less desolate. My solution is to create artificial sea mounts. I don’t mean build great mountains to push up deep water, that would be a little on the expensive side. What I’m interested in is floating large platforms out in the Desolate Zones that have a pipe that goes down to the deep water, and some solar panels and a large pump at the top. One instant sea mount.
The ideally the platforms would be associated with some form of artificial habitat, I’m thinking something like an artificial kelp forrest, or ropes and floats as its more prosaically known.
Nutrients and habitat in the same place will effectively create a large fish farm that can be harvested at will. The important difference with this farm is that most of the significant resources are supplied by a food chain that is effectively free.
This method has the potential of being even cheaper than going out and taking what is already in the sea. Purely because it concentrates all of the food chain, and as a result the fish, in one place.
So a big pipe, solar panels, a large pump, and an assload of rope creates loads of food from where there was nothing. Seem useful?
Oh it also sucks up a load of CO2 but thats just a useful side effect.