in figure 31.6 shows these areas to scale alongside the British Isles. As
usual, a plan that actually adds up requires country-sized facilities! And
we haven’t touched on how we would make all the required urea.
While it’s an untested idea, and currently illegal, I do find ocean nour-
ishment interesting because, in contrast to geological carbon storage, it’s
a technology that might be implemented even if the international com-
munity doesn’t agree on a high value for cleaning up carbon pollution;
fishermen might nourish the oceans purely in order to catch more fish.
Commentators can be predicted to oppose manipulations of the ocean, focusing on the uncertainties rather than on the potential benefits. They will be playing to the public’s fear of the unknown. People are ready to passively accept an escalation of an established practice (e.g., dumping CO2 in the atmosphere) while being wary of innovations that might improve their future well being. They have an uneven aversion to risk.Ian Jones
We, humanity, cannot release to the atmosphere all, or even most, fossil fuel CO2. To do so would guarantee dramatic climate change, yielding a different planet...J. Hansen et al (2007)
“Avoiding dangerous climate change” is impossible – dangerous climate change is already here. The question is, can we avoid catastrophic climate change?David King, UK Chief Scientist, 2007
240climate change... was a controversial question. Indeed there still is a “yawning gap between mainstream opinion on
climate change among the educated elites of Europe and America” [ ].
241Where is the carbon? Sources: Schellnhuber et al. (2006), Davidson and Janssens (2006).
242The rate of fossil fuel burning... Source: Marland et al. (2007).
–Recent research indicates carbon-uptake by the oceans may be reducing. www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/science/
article1805870.ece, www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/1136188, [ ], Le Quéré et al. (2007).
–roughly half of the carbon emissions are staying in the atmosphere. It takes 2.1 billion tons of carbon in the atmosphere
(7.5 Gt CO2) to raise the atmospheric CO2 concentration by one part per million (1 ppm). If all the CO2 we pumped
into the atmosphere stayed there, the concentration would be rising by more than 3 ppm per year – but it is actually
rising at only 1.5 ppm per year.
–Radioactive carbon... has penetrated to a depth of only about 400 m. The mean value of the penetration depth of
bomb 14C for all observational sites during the late 1970s is 390±39 m (Broecker et al., 1995). From [ ].