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Old 12th February 2007, 2:44 AM   #1
hlokk Thread Starter
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Default Consolidated Climate Change/CO2/Global Warming Thread

Thought I would start a feasability discussion of this: http://www.theage.com.au/news/nation...524347037.html


Quote:
Originally Posted by theAge
The winner must devise a way of removing 1 billion tonnes of carbon gases a year from the atmosphere for 10 years — with $US5 million ($AS6.4m) of the prize being paid at the start and the rest at the end.
First, how much are we removing?
wiki:"As of January 2007, the earth's atmospheric CO2 concentration is is about 0.0383% by volume (383 ppmv) or 0.0582% by weight.[4] This represents about 2.996×10^12 tonnes, and is estimated to be 105 ppm (37.77%) above the pre-industrial average.[5]" (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/4803460.stm)
Article says we are at 381ppm.
So 280 before, 380 now. So about 0.8x10^12 is from us (i think thats right, someone check it). Which is 800x10^9 tonnes. I.e. Bransons goal will remove about 12% of manmade CO2.


What does 1 billion tonnes represent
Lets say we freeze the CO2, and store in blocks (not that thats feasable, but is the most volumetrically efficient).
1x10^9 tonnes is about 650 million cubic meters (CO2's density is around 1.5g/mL or 1.5tonnes/m3
650 million cubic meters (650 billion liters) would form a cube 873.6m square!. The tallest man-made tower is only 629m high (KVLY-TV mast). Hell the burj dubai might not even be that high, so you could imagine how ridiculously big a cube with that dimension would be And one of these would be produced each year. If we laid it out in a 1m high square sheet, it would be 25.5km along each edge. Seems like a ridiculously huge amount of material (imagine how much it would be using some co2 sink materials like trees (or plankton)).


Other gasses
Other gases have a much higher GWB than CO2, so maybe removing them is going to be more energy/cost efficient. The branson ransom doesnt seem to include those. Can someone find out what percentage of the increased greenhouse gases are due to what gases (e.g. methane increased by x amount, which is X percentage of greenhouse effect since preindustrial).


Costs
Who pays for the cleanup? Are you supposed to fund it with the US$25m or does someone else providing it actually can be done. I doubt the former as that would be 0.25c per tonne. If someone else pays, why dont they just build forrests and bury them in concrete (which ironically produces co2...). Or mine floating algae?

I'll try to find full conditions later, but hopefully this should start some discussion.




Admins: I have put this in science not current events because it is discussing the technical and feasability aspects
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Old 12th February 2007, 2:55 AM   #2
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http://blogs.mirror.co.uk/scienceand...07/branson.htm
"viable solution to remove the equivalent of a million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions a year from the atmosphere to combat global warming."
The original article said billion not million. Which is correct?

"Sir Richard says: I could close down the airline tomorrow and still make plenty of money from television and mobile phones. Anyway if I closed my airline tomorrow British Airways would simply take over the routes.

But isn't this just like saying: "Look If I didn't drive a gas guzzling car someone else would. Do you think if I didn't fly away on holiday my seat wouldn't be taken by someone else?""

Idiot. If I dont drive a gas guzzling car, i will be driving a car with less emissions. It wont affect what someone else buys in the simple example. Its not like someone is going to go "hey look, an unbought hummer, i'll buy that iinstead of the prius". Also, if virgin shut down, thered be another airlines making about the same amount of pollution, so Branson's point was that it wont be different who is operating. Nothing like Swain's example.

http://money.cnn.com/2007/02/09/news...reut/index.htm
"The prize will go to the individual or group able to show a commercially viable design resulting in the net removal of man-made atmospheric greenhouse gases each year for at least 10 years, without harmful side-effects."
How can it be commercially viable if there isnt an income source? What is this income source?
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Old 12th February 2007, 8:27 AM   #3
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Quote:
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How can it be commercially viable if there isnt an income source? What is this income source?
Maybe rather than ONE 'device' that takes out the million/billion tons of emissions, you could market the benefits to the community.

They would in turn, place pressure on governments to install a 'device' or fund a 'device', in a/some cities.

For example, if the people of Sydney decided that there was too much pollution in their air, and they wanted the air around the city to be cleaner, they could put pressure on the government to install one or more devices in and around the city to reduce the man-made emissions in Sydney. It is the people in the city that would benefit from cleaner air, so it is the people/council/government that has to be convinced that they want it, and also that they have to pay for it.
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Old 12th February 2007, 3:32 PM   #4
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Removing CO2 from the atmosphere and tying it up in some stable form, such as Calcium carbonate? That's piss easy, a trivial piece of chemistry and engineering.

But it's going to consume a lot of energy. Where are we going to get the energy from?

At the end of the day, all these discussions seem to reduce back to the same simple issue.
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Old 12th February 2007, 3:34 PM   #5
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Quote:
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Where are we going to get the energy from?
Ooo OOOOO!!! Pick me pick me!

Fossil fuels!!!
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Old 12th February 2007, 3:43 PM   #6
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Quote:
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Ooo OOOOO!!! Pick me pick me!

Fossil fuels!!!


Of course! Coal is cheaply available here, so we've got all the energy we need to cheaply and easily remove all that pesky CO2 from the atmosphere once and for all, and the climate change doomsayers will be silenced!
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Old 12th February 2007, 3:47 PM   #7
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But it's going to consume a lot of energy. Where are we going to get the energy from?
Well, over here in WA, we have just a few spare square kilometres of desert nobody uses much that gets rather a lot of sunshine...
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Old 12th February 2007, 3:53 PM   #8
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Quote:
The winner must devise a way of removing 1 billion tonnes of carbon gases a year from the atmosphere for 10 years
This technology already exists. It's called the Amazon Rain Forest.
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Old 12th February 2007, 4:14 PM   #9
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Let's start an OCAU thinktank! And win the monies.
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Old 12th February 2007, 5:01 PM   #10
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Let's start an OCAU thinktank! And win the monies.
For a split in $25million? Hell yeah!
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Old 12th February 2007, 7:52 PM   #11
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If i plant a tree can i claim the $$???

Seriously, find a tree that takes in the most CO2 a year a plant a couple of thousand.
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Old 12th February 2007, 7:53 PM   #12
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If i plant a tree can i claim the $$???

Seriously, find a tree that takes in the most CO2 a year a plant a couple of thousand.
We'll figure out how to GM them so they use more CO2.
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Old 12th February 2007, 8:13 PM   #13
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I wonder if it would be possible to integrate photosynthetic bacteria into outdoor paints, with occasional watering of walls to keep them happy?

(and also so they didnt change colour if they died from being in a shady spot)
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Old 12th February 2007, 10:49 PM   #14
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Actually come to think of it, im sure i remember seeing some documentry a while back about a guy in Britain using an algae to clean up waste material around power plants. I wonder if the same concept could be used here???
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Old 13th February 2007, 12:43 PM   #15
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a while back i was working as a research assistant at CQU. was on a project that was using different types of ferns to draw arsnic out of contaminated mine sites...


since plants already draw CO2 out of the air. surely we could GM some to increase the amount?

nature has a Co2 Scubber already. why not improve on her methods ^_^
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