Thursday, September 27, 2007

James Lovelock's plan to pump ocean water to stop climate change and "Start Ice Ages in Your Spare Time"

From The Telegraph:

A plan to save our world from extreme climate change by pumping cold water from the depths of the oceans is outlined today by James Lovelock, the scientist who inspired the greens.

James Lovelock is best known for his ideas that portray Earth as a living thing, a super-organism - named Gaia, after the ancient Earth goddess - in which creatures, rocks, air and water interact in subtle ways to ensure the environment remains stable.

Today Lovelock, of Green College, Oxford University, outlines an emergency way to stimulate the Earth to cure itself with Chris Rapley, former head of the British Antarctic Survey who is now the director of the Science Museum, London.

They believe the answer lies in the oceans, which transport much more heat than the atmosphere and, covering more than 70 per cent of the Earth's surface.

They propose that vertical pipes some 10 metres across be placed in the ocean, such that wave motion would pump up cool water from 100-200 metres depth to the surface, moving nutrient-rich waters in the depths to mix with the relatively barren warm waters at the ocean surface.

This would fertilise algae in the surface waters and encourage them to bloom, absorbing carbon dioxide greenhouse gas while also releasing a chemical called dimethyl sulphide that is know to seed sunlight reflecting clouds.....MORE

Just as a side note, Russ George of Planktos is a panelist at the Woods Hole Iron Fertilization Symposium.

More interesting to me is the idea of focusing on the sulphur cycle; again using iron, but not to hustle the carbon market.

Rather, a billion dollars worth of iron sulphate dumped over a large enough area should be enough to trigger a new ice age:
Full-scale iron fertilization of the Southern Ocean must be ruled out simply because major cooling of the region by increased DMS would result in a temperature drop of perhaps 10 degrees Celsius or more," Wingenter says.
And, from the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences:
Changing concentrations of CO, CH4, C5H8, CH3Br, CH3I, and dimethyl sulfide during the Southern Ocean Iron Enrichment Experiments