Ocean crust could store many centuries of industrial carbon dioxide

Dec 04, 2013
ocean

Researchers from the University of Southampton have identified regions beneath the oceans where the igneous rocks of the upper ocean crust could safely store very large volumes of carbon dioxide.

The burning of fossil fuels such as coal, oil, and natural gas has led to dramatically increasing concentrations of CO2 in the causing climate change and . Although technologies are being developed to capture CO2 at major sources such as power stations, this will only avoid further warming if that CO2 is then safely locked away from the atmosphere for centuries.

PhD student Chiara Marieni, who is based at the National Oceanography Centre, Southampton, investigated the physical properties of CO2 to develop global maps of the ocean floor to estimate where CO2 can be safely stored.

At high pressures and low temperatures, such as those in the deep oceans, CO2 occurs as a liquid that is denser than seawater. By estimating temperatures in the upper ocean crust, Chiara and her colleagues identified regions where it may be possible to stably store large volumes of CO2 in the basalts. These fractured rocks have high proportions of open space, and over time may also react with the CO2 so that it is locked into solid calcium carbonate, permanently preventing its release into the oceans or atmosphere. As a precaution, Chiara refined her locations to areas that have the additional protection of thick blankets of impermeable sediments to prevent gas escape.

They identified five potential regions in off-shore Australia, Japan, Siberia, South Africa and Bermuda, ranging in size from ½ million square kilometres to almost four million square kilometres.

Postgraduate researcher Chiara says: "We have found regions that have the potential to store decades to hundreds of years of industrial emissions although the largest regions are far off shore. However, further work is needed in these regions to accurately measure local sediment conditions and sample the basalt beneath before this potential can be confirmed."

The new work, which is published in Geophysical Research Letters, shows that previous studies, which concentrated on the effect of pressure to liquefy the CO2 but ignored temperature, have pointed to the wrong locations, where high temperatures mean that the CO2 will have a low density, and thus be more likely to escape.

Explore further: Researchers estimate amount of CO2 released into atmosphere by rivers and streams

More information: "Geological storage of CO2 within the oceanic crust by gravitational trapping" by Chiara Marieni, Timothy J. Henstock, and Damon A.H. Teagle is published in Geophysical Research Letters and can be viewed at: onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10… 013GL058220/abstract

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User comments : 8

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VENDItardE
1.3 / 5 (12) Dec 04, 2013
STOP. stop this madness before the alarmists start reengineering our environment to fix a nonexistent AGW and create real, unforeseen problems. This way lies madness and extinction.
Maggnus
4.3 / 5 (6) Dec 04, 2013

denialist

Pronunciation: /dɪˈnʌɪ(ə)lɪst/ noun -a person who refuses to admit the truth of a concept or proposition that is supported by the majority of scientific or historical evidence:

eg -the small minority of very vocal climate change denialists

freethinking
1.3 / 5 (14) Dec 04, 2013
Idiot
Pronunciation: idiot
Noun -a person who believes 1. in AGW 2. anything Obama says 3. anything a Progressive says.
orti
1.4 / 5 (9) Dec 04, 2013
There's heat hiding in the mid-levels of the oceans and in the 16% of the world where we aren't monitoring. There's CO2 hiding in the ocean crust – also waiting to jump out at you. And there's a boogeyman under your bed. It's settled science.
WattsUpDoc
Dec 05, 2013
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
alfie_null
Dec 05, 2013
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
full_disclosure
1 / 5 (12) Dec 05, 2013
Time to change you diaper Maggnus…Vendicar A through Z…..NOM….Neinsense….or whatever you effing name is….
goracle
2.3 / 5 (6) Dec 06, 2013
There's heat hiding in the mid-levels of the oceans and in the 16% of the world where we aren't monitoring. There's CO2 hiding in the ocean crust – also waiting to jump out at you. And there's a boogeyman under your bed. It's settled science.

Real science beats sarcastic rhetoric every time.
Maggnus
3 / 5 (2) Dec 06, 2013
Time to change you diaper Maggnus…Vendicar A through Z…..NOM….Neinsense….or whatever you effing name is….
Aww isn't that cute, little 6 year old trying to act all grown up! What's the matter little denialist, are you getting all mad? Poor little thing, how about we get you a soother?
Maggnus
3 / 5 (2) Dec 06, 2013
Idiot
Pronunciation: idiot
Noun -a person who believes 1. in AGW 2. anything Obama says 3. anything a Progressive says.


Freethinking the gullible stupid troll;

Gullible: adjective; 1. easily persuaded to believe something; credulous, naïve, overtrusting, overtrustful, easily deceived, easily taken in, exploitable, dupable, impressionable, unsuspecting, unsuspicious, unwary, ingenuous, innocent, inexperienced, unworldly, green;

stu·pid· adjective; 1. lacking intelligence or common sense; unintelligent, ignorant, dense, foolish, dull-witted, slow, simpleminded, vacuous, vapid, idiotic, imbecilic, imbecile, obtuse, doltish

Troll: noun; 1. a person who sows discord on the Internet by starting arguments or upsetting people, by posting inflammatory, extraneous, off-topic messages in an online community, with the deliberate intent of provoking readers into an emotional response ...