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Global Warming

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smiley_face
395117.  Wed Aug 20, 2008 4:29 am Reply with quote

Here is an interesting possible solution to the problem of global warming...

Iron is essential to aquatic life, especially phytoplankton (i.e. algae). Although it is highly abundant in terrestrial regions, it isn't readily available in the sea due to the fact it doesn't dissolve very well. That which does dissolve tends to react with other chemicals and bond with particles making it sink to the bottom of the sea.

Scientists have found that the lack of iron is what limits algae productivity in some parts of the ocean. The theory is that if you add a lot of iron to seawater, you will cause a boom in phytoplankton. As a result, the phytoplankton would draw large amounts of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, which could help reduce the effects of global warming.

If this were to be carried out, it would most likely occur in the Southern Hemisphere, where there is more water and less land, thus a lower concentration of iron in the seas (since land is the source of iron in the ocean from run off or blow off as dust).

S: The Encyclopaedia of Recreational Diving, PADI

 
Jenny
395397.  Wed Aug 20, 2008 12:32 pm Reply with quote

Forgive my ignorance, but are phytoplankton the same as algae? Because there is a very interesting suggestion around for using algae to generate energy, thus solving two problems in one go.

 
gruff5
395456.  Wed Aug 20, 2008 2:54 pm Reply with quote

There's a company set up with a catchy name to do this, well maybe not that catchy as I've forgotten it. Invested millions in setting it up and plan to recoup profit thru sellinng CO2 offsets and the like, but they've been refused permission to go ahead by the int'l body responsible for int'l waters. Too risky from side-effects etc

 
Curious Danny
402826.  Fri Sep 05, 2008 11:34 am Reply with quote

Surely polluting our oceans with iron is not exactly the kind of thinking we need?

 
gruff5
402917.  Fri Sep 05, 2008 2:20 pm Reply with quote

It does sound rather like ol' mother Hubbord swallowing a spider to catch the fly...

Mind you, apparently some climatologists are now talking seriously about "geo-engineering", as it's called. Squirting millions of tons of SO2 into the atmosphere to reflect sunlight and such. :-(

 
djgordy
402955.  Fri Sep 05, 2008 5:25 pm Reply with quote

gruff5 wrote:
It does sound rather like ol' mother Hubbord swallowing a spider to catch the fly...


All those versions of nursery rhymes I was told must have been wrong.

 
Ion Zone
403305.  Sat Sep 06, 2008 3:14 pm Reply with quote

There was a damn good quote in new scientist this week that I unfortunately can't find, but it compared scientists seeking a solution to climate change to Victorian doctors tinkering with the body but not understanding it. It urged strong restraint from this kind of gung-ho planet-altering until we have done a lot of testing, though knowing the scientific community, they are probably going to do something rather un-scientific.

Other methods include painting roofs white, pontoon cooling plants at the north pole, and spraying the atmosphere with sulphur particles.

 
Curious Danny
404701.  Tue Sep 09, 2008 1:09 pm Reply with quote

Painting roofs white is actually quite a good idea. I think i've read in new scientist or something a calculation of how much sunlight would be reflected back.
Either way, cities would look a lot cleaner.

 
Spamperial
404706.  Tue Sep 09, 2008 1:18 pm Reply with quote

I imagine white rooftops would soon look pretty dirty, actually.

 
Fudgie
404708.  Tue Sep 09, 2008 1:32 pm Reply with quote

Maybe we could do it at the end of the year and kid ourselves that we're actually having a white christmas in this country again?

 
jakamneziak
404723.  Tue Sep 09, 2008 1:59 pm Reply with quote

thing is with shirts and cars white rooves would get very dirty (and i think the plural for a roof is rooves not roofs but correct me if im wrong.) As for geo-engineering this sort of thing has happened before. If the titanic was made of iron (which im sure it was) and it sunk surely then there would have been a localised burst of phytoplankton around the shipwreck. Im not sure it would have been enough to cause a drop in temperatures but it would have been some degree of effect.

Also i believe there was a mini ice age in the 16th century where the average temperature dropped by a whole degree. This correlates with a low level of sun spot activity and wondered has anyone else heard of this and can enlighten me further?

Also as most of us know global warming has happened before so why do the government tax us to try to reduce carbon emissions in what i believe is an ill-fated attempt to stop the effect which is happening already thanks to the melting of the permafrost in siberia. A melting permafrost tax? SOD OFF!

 
Ion Zone
404741.  Tue Sep 09, 2008 2:22 pm Reply with quote

Quote:
If the titanic was made of iron (which im sure it was) and it sunk surely then there would have been a localised burst of phytoplankton around the shipwreck.


That happens quite a lot, the artificial reef society is always making holes in things made of metal and dumping them in the sea. But we really don't know what would happen if they powdered a lump of iron and dumped it in, it could cause some form of alge to multiply out of control.

 
djgordy
404747.  Tue Sep 09, 2008 2:25 pm Reply with quote

jakamneziak wrote:
(and i think the plural for a roof is rooves not roofs but correct me if im wrong.)


You're wrong.

 
samivel
404752.  Tue Sep 09, 2008 2:29 pm Reply with quote

jakamneziak wrote:
Also i believe there was a mini ice age in the 16th century where the average temperature dropped by a whole degree. This correlates with a low level of sun spot activity and wondered has anyone else heard of this and can enlighten me further?


Try Wikipedia for starters:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Little_Ice_Age

 
Spamperial
404760.  Tue Sep 09, 2008 2:49 pm Reply with quote

jakamneziak wrote:
(and i think the plural for a roof is rooves not roofs but correct me if im wrong.)


(The following is just my understanding, I may too be wrong)

Roofs is in the dictionary rather than rooves. However, roofs may still be pronounced rooves. Weird.

 

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