CO2 ending up in the oceans
The physics shows that CO2
contributes substantially to
the greenhouse effect. Increase in CO2 levels in the atmosphere
changes our climate. And there is another problem. Half of the manmade CO2 during
industrial era has ended up in the oceans affecting their ecological system.
Doing nothing and neglecting should not be an option.
With pessimism I see that there is no real
will to do anything for the consumption of fossil fuels. In a relatively short
range of time (250 years) most of oil and gas resources will be burned, and the
CO2 will end up in the atmosphere and then in slow pace to oceans. So why should we
bother doing anything?
Coal is a little different. It will last
maybe a thousand years. We do not have to burn all coal –
the right place for coal is in the ground. We should have time to
find alternatives. And we have alternatives. We should be ready to pay a little
more for our electricity.
Oceans as carbon sink
About half of the manmade CO2 since 1850
has ended up in the oceans (back in 1850 there was 280 ppm CO2 in the
air). That is mostly positive, because otherwise we would
have 480 ppm instead of 380 ppm CO2 in the air. Acidification of oceans, coral
reefs disappearing and changes in sealife overall is the other side of the coin.
Changing the oceans' ecosystem is a risky business.
Lackner Klaus, Chemistry & Industry, 2004
September 06, Is the ocean a good carbon sink?:
"Climate change may be well
established in public consciousness but ocean acidification may prove to be
equally serious, says Klaus Lackner, Ewing-Worzel professor of geophysics, earth
& environmental engineering, Columbia University, New York."
"Public concern over anthropogenic CO2 emissions has focused almost exclusively on greenhouse gas-driven
climate change. Other environmental impacts of CO2 have gone almost
unnoticed. But two recent articles in Science reveal that almost half of all CO2 produced by human activities in the past 200 years has found its way
into the oceans. Most of it resides near the surface in the top few
Taro Takahashi, The Fate of Industrial Carbon Dioxide, Science, 16 July 2004; 305: 352-353 [DOI: 10.1126/science.1100602]
"The Chemical Engineer 2004 August Oceans
absorbed half of CO2 emissions."
Christopher L. Sabine, Richard A. Feely, Nicolas Gruber, Robert M. Key, Kitack
Lee, John L. Bullister, Rik Wanninkhof, C. S. Wong, Douglas W. R. Wallace,
Bronte Tilbrook, Frank J. Millero, Tsung-Hung Peng, Alexander Kozyr, Tsueno Ono,
and Aida F. Rios, The Oceanic Sink for Anthropogenic CO2, Science, 16 July 2004; 305: 367-371 [DOI: