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Subject: Re: Floating atmospheric regulators
From: Bill Silvert <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Scientific forum on fish and fisheries <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Fri, 22 Jun 2007 12:12:29 +0100

text/plain (61 lines)

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I agree with Trevor's message, but would like to comment on his note that 
"Then again, when a plant dies at the surface, its carbon is that much the 
more likely to return to the atmosphere, which is not what you are after." 
Most phytoplankton sink when they have exhausted their growth potential and 
do not die on the surface. They are then degraded by bacterial decomposition 
on the seabed, a process which consumes oxygen and releases CO2 into the 
water column. Unfortunately the consumption of oxygen can lead to hypoxic or 
anoxic conditions and the creation of dead zones on the ocean floor -- this 
often happens after massive algal blooms, and is not a desirable state of 

Bill Silvert

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Trevor J. Kenchington" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Friday, June 22, 2007 1:05 AM
Subject: Re: Floating atmospheric regulators

> PtP,
> Why would you want to focus on the surface of the ocean, meaning  perhaps 
> the top 10mm, when you could promote production in the entire  euphotic 
> zone, extending down to maybe 100m depth? With 10,000 times  the water 
> volume available, you would likely get more benefit for  your efforts that 
> way.
> Also, UV light has nasty effects on living tissue (as my sunburnt  back is 
> telling me after a rare clear day here). But UV doesn't  penetrate far 
> into seawater, so most marine organisms have not  evolved ways to cope 
> with it. By focusing on surface-dwelling  neuston, you would be closing 
> the door to most of the plants that  could take up the excess carbon.
> Then again, when a plant dies at the surface, its carbon is that much  the 
> more likely to return to the atmosphere, which is not what you  are after.
>  All in all, a focus on the ocean surface seems misguided for one 
> pursuing your objectives.
>  Trevor Kenchington
> You wrote:
>> Further to our previous discussion on atmospheric carbon absorption  by 
>> phytoplankton then (eg the "Planktos" work as covered by  Discovery TV 
>> recently) would it not be best to focus on just the  surface ecosystem? 
>> Lily pads float on the surface and absorb  carbon. There must be other 
>> living creatures which do the same and  maybe therein lies an effective 
>> carbon absorber which could be  cultivated in various waters by 
>> "mineralizing" them as the Planktos  ship will do.
>> PtP 

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