Energy News  





. Giant ocean-based pipes could curb global warming: scientists

"We thought a small scale test at a tropical island with a coral reef would do for a start," Lovelock told AFP. If that worked, the scheme could be extended to a larger area, such as the Gulf of Mexico, which might need 10,000 to 100,000 pipes at least 100 metres long.
by Staff Writers
Paris (AFP) Sept 26, 2007
Two of Britain's best known scientists proposed Wednesday to curb global warming by sowing the world's oceans with thousands, perhaps millions, of giant vertical pipes 100-to-200 meters deep.

"We need a fundamental cure for the pathology of global heating," wrote James Lovelock and Chris Rapley in a letter to the British journal Nature. "Emergency treatment could come from stimulating the Earth's capacity to cure itself."

As the planet's atmosphere heats up, they explained, certain cyclical processes that normally regulate climate are beginning to amplify the process of warming rather than holding it in check.

When Arctic sea ice recedes further each year, for example, sunlight falls on heat-absorbing blue water rather than white snow and ice which reflects heat back into space, accelerating the warming process.

Lovelock and Rapley suggest that climate change may have already pushed Earth past the "tipping point" beyond which this, and other disrupted cycles, become part of a self-reinforcing, "positive feedback" loop.

They look to the world's oceans, which cover more than 70 percent of the planet's surface, for a solution.

Free-floating or tethered pipes with one-way flaps some 10 metres in diameter, they conjecture, would increase the mixing of nutrient-rich waters below the surface with the warmer -- and relatively barren -- waters at the ocean's surface.

"This upper layer is almost free of algae and of nutrients and is an ocean desert," Lovelock explained in and e-mail to AFP.

"We wondered if we could restore algal growth with its capacity to draw down carbon dioxide" -- the major cause of global warming -- "and to emit dimethyl sulphide, the precursor of clouds."

As with ice in the Arctic, white clouds reflect back much of the sun's heat. But clouds do not form spontaneously from water vapour -- they require chemical elements called condensation nuclei such as dimethyl sulphide, which plays a critical role in regulating the marine climate.

"We wanted to use this approach to illustrate the value of action to halt climate change that was based on the recognition of the Earth as a self regulating system at present in a state of failure," Lovelock said.

Well-intentioned technical schemes, such as carbon sequestration, and international efforts to reduce carbon emissions, will probably not suffice to restore the status quo, he said.

Lovelock said that entrepreneur Richard Branson had offered to fund a prototype experiment.

"We thought a small scale test at a tropical island with a coral reef would do for a start," he told AFP. If that worked, the scheme could be extended to a larger area, such as the Gulf of Mexico, which might need 10,000 to 100,000 pipes at least 100 metres long.

"With average wave height, one metre, each pipe moves about five tons of water per second -- this might be enough to change the surface sufficiently for algal growth in a few years," he explained.

Lovelock is best known for pioneering work on the causes of ozone depletion, and for his Gaia hypothesis, which argues that Earth is a kind of superorganism composed of living and non-living elements.

Rapley, and expert of climate change science, is the director of both the British Science Museum and the British Antarctic Survey.

Community
Email This Article
Comment On This Article

Related Links
Powering The World in the 21st Century at Energy-Daily.com




Tempur-Pedic Mattress Comparison

Newsletters :: SpaceDaily Express :: SpaceWar Express :: TerraDaily Express :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News
Fat Spaniel Launches Insight Manager Portal For Multi-Site Management
Long Beach CA (SPX) Sep 26, 2007
Fat Spaniel Technologies, the leading provider of critical information services for distributed renewable energy systems, today launched "Fat Spaniel Insight Manager," a new multi-site management portal that enables system operators to maximize performance and reduce maintenance costs across their entire portfolio of managed sites. Designed to simultaneously manage multiple commercial-scale renewable energy systems, Insight Manager delivers the full spectrum of Fat Spaniel's remote energy monitoring, reporting and fault management services in a comprehensive web-based portal.

.
Get Our Free Newsletters Via Email
  



  • Analysis: Exxon in oil row with Venezuela
  • Giant ocean-based pipes could curb global warming: scientists
  • Interview: J. Jay Park on the Iraq oil law
  • Boeing Projects 120 Billion Dollar Latin America Market For New Commercial Airplanes

  • EU clears French loan guarantees for Finnish nuclear plant
  • Bangladesh plans nuclear power plant
  • France ready to help any country get civil nuclear power
  • Nuclear energy to be key in low-carbon energy policy: Brussels

  • Argon Provides Atmospheric Clues
  • Volcanoes Key To Earth's Oxygen Atmosphere
  • Invisible Gases Form Most Organic Haze In Both Urban And Rural Areas
  • BAE Systems Completes Major New Facility For Ionospheric Physics Research

  • Age shall not wither them: Earth's oldest trees
  • Cheung Yan: Dragon queen of waste paper
  • Amazon Forest Shows Unexpected Resiliency During Drought
  • Refugia Of The Brazilian Atlantic Rainforest Could Be The Basis For Its Regeneration

  • Yam Bean A Nearly Forgotten Crop
  • Grazing Land Management For Better Beef And Reef
  • HARDY Rice: Less Water, More Food
  • UD Leads 5 Million Dollar Research Project On Rice Epigenetics

  • Envision Solar To Provide NREL With Solar Tree For Renewable Recharge Station
  • China's Chery group matures into global auto player
  • Judge rejects California bid to sue carmakers over warming
  • China to hold first-ever 'no car day' on Saturday

  • New Delft Material Concept For Aircraft Wings Could Save Billions
  • Cathay Pacific chief hits out at anti-aviation critics
  • Squabble over airline carbon emissions takes flight
  • Boeing Projects 340 Billion Dollar Market For New Airplanes In China

  • Nuclear Power In Space - Part 2
  • Outside View: Nuclear future in space
  • Nuclear Power In Space
  • Could NASA Get To Pluto Faster? Space Expert Says Yes - By Thinking Nuclear

  • The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2007 - SpaceDaily.AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by SpaceDaily on any Web page published or hosted by SpaceDaily. Privacy Statement