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Earth Science Technology

A Modest Proposal For Sequestration of CO2 In the Antarctic 243

First time accepted submitter Alienwise writes "Judith Curry reports a scientific concept of an atmospheric CO2 sequestration plant. It would be based in the Antartic to profit from the cold weather, which would facilitate the creation of CO2 snow — which would then be buried. The plant could be powered by windmills." The lead author has agreed to let Curry link to a copy of the final manuscript, if you'd like to read more.
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A Modest Proposal For Sequestration of CO2 In the Antarctic

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 25, 2012 @08:45PM (#41126061)

    You've heard the explanation from a few other people, so I'm here to tell you the really important thing that most people won't tell you:

    Please kill yourself.

  • Re:Also known as (Score:5, Informative)

    by Chris Mattern ( 191822 ) on Saturday August 25, 2012 @08:58PM (#41126137)

    The amount of heat produced directly by all human activity combined is tiny compared to the heat applied by the sunlight the earth receives. The contribution of all human direct heat production is so small that no large-scale analysis of global heat retention even bothers to include it. Global warming is effectively entirely the result of increasing CO2, which increases the amount of incoming solar heat the Earth retains. Removing significant amounts of CO2 from the atmosphere would relieve global warming regardless of how much direct heat the process generated.

  • Re:Some observations (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 25, 2012 @09:50PM (#41126363)

    1 B tonnes (1 billion, I assume) into 1012 kg

    The dumbfucks who wrote the article copypasted the 10^12kg without copying the font. In the original abstract, the 12 was a superscript, indicating exponentiation.

    Skip the article and read the abstract directly: []

  • Re:Modest Proposal (Score:4, Informative)

    by mbone ( 558574 ) on Saturday August 25, 2012 @10:09PM (#41126497)

    The words "modest proposal" do not appear in the actual article.

  • by Ungrounded Lightning ( 62228 ) on Sunday August 26, 2012 @02:15AM (#41127569) Journal

    Am I the only one ... to think that this is a really terrible idea.
    It sounds like a great way to enable massive CO2 release just by any heating accident or lack of maintenance.

    I was about to post something similar but was checking whether anybody had beaten me to it. You came close.

    This looks like a DANDY way to set up a runaway-positive-feedback event:

      1) Make gigatons of dry ice by freezing CO2 out of the atmosphere.
      2) Bury it in Antarctica.
      3) Pray that it stays cold.
      4) If the temperature of the burial site rises above â'78.5 ÂC (â'109.3 ÂF) the dry ice starts sublimating, releasing the CO2 back into the atmosphere.
      5) The released CO2 increases the greenhouse effect, which captures more heat, which raises the temperature, which sublimates more dry ice.
      6) Rinse and repeat.
      7) Prophet!

    Even if the global warming observations aren't the sign of an oncoming anthropogenic overheating disaster, THIS could create one. Artificially sequestering the CO2 would retard natural sequestration mechanisms (such as increased photosynthesis stimulated by higher CO2 levels). Then suddenly (in geologic time) releasing the stockpile back into the atmosphere could leave you with a substantially higher CO2 level than if you hadn't run the project in the first place.


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