Geo-engineering the deep ocean could sequester all our carbon emissions, solve climate change, reduce ocean acidity, and give us almost everything else we need as well!
On this page:-
- The deep sea, not coastal shallows
- Tim Flannery TED talk: 17 minutes
- Tim Flannery on the ABC: more details. 1 hour documentary, “Can seaweed save the world?”
- Wave-powered ocean pumps to bring nutrients up
- Ocean conservation groups to support that will save local fisheries and threatened ecosystems
1. The deep sea, not coastal shallows
We have already seen that we can feed the world many times over by growing seaweed and shellfish in nutrient rich coastal waters.
This page is different. It’s not about the 2% nutrient rich coastal shallows but the 98% deep sea where there are no nutrients. It’s about growing all the seaweed we need to:-
- sequester CO2 by cutting the mature kelp free and letting it sink down into the deep ocean kilometres below where it will be locked up for centuries.
- We’re talking a gigaton a year.
- This alone could return us to the safe 350ppm CO2 this century! Let that sink in for a moment!
- Also, floating submerged bio-digester bags could ferment biogas that would replace oil! Let that claim sink in for a moment!
- De-acidify the oceans, correcting ocean chemistry! Once again, let that sink in!
- provide all the seaweed fibre for paper
- seaweed for concrete chemistry
- seaweed for all the fertiliser we need
- It will also stimulate ocean fisheries to increase fish productivity to feed a world of 10 billion on fish.
- This is in addition to the shellfish in the coastal version I mentioned on my feeding the world page! (We can easily feed the world many times over.)
- These gigantic kelp farms could provide us with paper, building products and even seaweed concrete! So grab a coffee and watch the ABC’s special “Can seaweed save the world?” It’s well worth the 60 minutes, and again covers the maths behind sequestering all our CO2 emissions. If you’re a reader not a watcher, please check “How farming giant seaweed can feed fish and fix the climate.”
Australia’s Dr Tim Flannery popularises the idea in the talks below. It’s crazy ambitious, farming 9% of the world’s oceans, or an area 4.5 times the size of Australia! Flying across Australia is a long flight in a modern jet, so how on earth do we fertilise that much ocean? The irony? Oil industry kit might save us from the effects of the oil industry itself! Tinkering with oil industry deep-ocean plumbing can give us pumps that will bring nutrient rich seawater from the cooler ocean depths, feeding the kelp farms.
2. Tim Flannery TED talk: 17 minutes
3. Tim Flannery on the ABC: more details. 1 hour documentary, “Can seaweed save the world?”
4. A look at wave-powered ocean pumps
Dr Antoine De Ramon N’Yeurt proposes that wave-powered pumps could bring nutrients up to increase plankton growth, but the same technology could help seaweed. The video is about 10 years old but it could prove to be economically viable in so many different markets.
5. Ocean conservation groups to support that will save local fisheries and threatened ecosystems
Now, we also want people saving the whales and fighting to create marine parks and of course clean up ocean plastic. There are of course many marine conservation societies that you can support financially. I’m recommending 2 enormous organisations in particular because they also seem to accept the need for nuclear power. (Which is sadly rare in conservation groups these days.) If you love their ocean work, chances are you’ll love their forest habitat protection, wetlands work, and many other areas of environmental protection.