Calling all the Brains ...

Posted by danno might on Jan 16, 2004 at 07:19

Here is a problem.
The deep ocean contains amazing levels of frozen methane and CO2. It is stablized by pressure and temperature in solid form.

If industrial nations start pumping CO2 down into this region, does it not threaten to:
1. change the temperature of this level
2. induce energy (heat) in the dumping process
3. change the relative pressure by adding more volume of this slushy ice.

I have read estimates that 2 tetra-tons of methane could be outgased if this sea zone were to change in pressure or temperature in the range of a few degrees C. I understand the vastness of these fields and agree that the problem is not a direct dump and burp that can be seen in just one person's life time, but is this not like planting a ticking bomb deep in the ocean that one day, maybe a thousand years or so from now, could start what could amount to an Extinction Level event?

(methane souring the sea, killing of many lifeforms, increasing greatly the greenhouse effect, melting the ice caps, etc)

Any thoughts about this threat and should we not oppose the dumping of CO2 into the deep ocean as a short sighted and dangerous policy? I have read about deep sea core drilling samples that lead to a hypothesis that cyclic methane outgasing occurs and drives climatic change and species extinction. Would not kicking more CO2 down into those trenches only speed up the cycle and hasten the day the seas go sour?

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