Oxygenating the Arctic

· Uncategorized
Authors
A study by Berkeley Lab and Los Alamos National Laboratory shows that, as global temperature increases and oceans warm, methane releases from clathrates would over time cause depletion of oxygen, nutrients, and trace metals needed by methane-eating microbes, resulting in ever more methane escaping into the air unchanged, to further accelerate climate change. 


To avoid such scenarios, or even more worrying scenarios in the Arctic, it may be helpful to artificially add oxygen to the water. This has been done before, e.g. in lakes in Finland. On the one hand, oxygenating Arctic waters seems beneficial, as this could enhance oxidation of methane in the water. Also, oxygen bubbles could form an insulating layer in between an ice-cap and warming water underneath the cap. Thirdly, bubbles could brighten the water, changing albedo and reflect more sunlight back into space. Where oxygen enters the atmosphere, this may help with the formation of hydroxyl and subsequent oxidation of atmospheric methane. 
 
On the other hand, though, some processes could be counter-productive. As an example, bubbles could disturb a hydrate and accelerate release of methane. Rising bubbles could take more methane along upwards than they help oxidize. Experience in Finland shows that adding oxygen could also increase concentrations of nitrous oxide, a greenhouse gas with tremendous global warming potential. Also, producing oxygen locally through electrolysis could result in the release of hydrogen that could bind with oxygen or result in hydroxyl and ozone depletion.
 
Offshore Wind Turbines on Floating BasesTests are therefore recommended, to research what kind of impacts and side-effects can be expected. As to the problems with hydrogen, these could largely be avoided by producing the oxygen at lower latitudes. Wind turbines on bases, floating offshore the Californian coast, could supply electricity for use on land during the day, while at night powering electrolysis of seawater (possibly preceded by distillation), to produce oxygen and hydrogen.
 
Space HoseThe hydrogen can be used to power shipping, while the oxygen can be transported by ship, either liquefied or as compressed gas, to the Arctic. On arrival, a hose could be lowered from the ship into the water to release oxygen, or a balloon could be launched, raising a hose to the desired height, and oxygen could be pumped up the hose for release into the atmosphere. If wanted, the same hose could also be used to release aerosols into the atmosphere, in further efforts to keep the Arctic from overheating. Finally, such hoses could carry devices to monitor composition of water and atmosphere, temperatures, currents and winds at various altitudes, etc.
 
Funding for the project could be provided in part by the electricity sold by the offshore turbines. To further fund the project, fees could be imposed on international shipping and aviation, e.g. on departures from U.S. seaports or airports, or on bunker fuel and jet fuel taken on board such ships or airplanes. The revenues of these fees could be used partly to fund the Arctic oxygenation project, and partly to fund rebates on hydrogen that is produced at the floating bases and sold to ships anchoring there. Such feebates could also satisfy calls by the European Union for airlines to join in with action on climate change.
 
Alternatively, such feebates could be imposed on international shipping only. Other types of feebates could then be imposed on international aviation, e.g. to fund air capture of carbon dioxide and the production of biofuel either in algae bags or as a result of pyrolysis of organic waste. More generally, feebates are the most effective way to facilitate the shift towards a sustainable economy.
  1. The potential for releases from Arctic stores to cause runaway global warming
  2. Arctic temperature anomalies September 2011
  3. Proposals to most effectively shift towards a more sustainable economy
  4. Thermal Expansion of the Earth’s Crust Necessitates Geo-engineering
  5. Towards a Sustainable Economy
  6. Ten most Electrifying Transport Ideas
  7. Transport
  8. America needs more wind turbines, onshore and offshore
  9. Electric Vehicles – Frequently Asked Questions
  10. Ten Dangers of Global Warming
  11. The Use of Beamed Interfering Radio Frequency Transmissions to Decompose Arctic Atmospheric Methane Clouds
  12. Stratospheric Methane Global Warming Veil
  13. Space Elevators
  14. Runaway warming
  15. Methane linked to Seismic Activity in the Arctic
  16. The Biochar Economy
  17. Vortex towers could vegetate deserts
  18. Biomass
  19. Towards a Sustainable Economy
  20. Runaway Global Warming
  21. Carbon-negative building
  22. Posts by Sam Carana – by date
  23. What will power your next car?
  24. Action Plan
  25. Earth at Boiling Point
  26. Danger of Arctic methane releases: the figures
  27. Feebates
  28. Global Warming
  29. Myths about Electric Vehicles
  30. Ten most Electrifying Transport Ideas of 2009
  31. America can win the clean energy race
  32. The Threat of Methane Release from Permafrost and Clathrates
  33. Reinventing the Wheel
  34. Global Warming Action Plan
  35. Electric Vehicles
  36. Let electric vehicles power homes!
  37. Transport troubles . . . and how to resolve them
  38. We want EVs now!
  39. Target 2020
  40. Climate Change Action Plan
  41. Communities without Roads
  42. Epistemology
  43. Green Flight Challenge
  44. SuperB Grid
  45. Biochar
  46. Funding of Carbon Air Capture
  47. Subaru Stella
  48. Electric Ford F-150
  49. The Nissan LEAF
  50. The Lynx
  51. Feebates are most effective
  52. Global Warming – Red Alert!
  53. Open Letter warning President Obama about a Global Cap-and-Trade Scheme
%d bloggers like this: