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Subject: Re: Deep oceans offer limitless clean energy
From: "Trevor J. Kenchington" <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Scientific forum on fish and fisheries <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Thu, 20 Nov 2008 14:02:23 -0400

text/plain (45 lines)

Pay_the_Piper wrote:

> How much ecological disturbance would it create?
>      This week's top stories from the web's No.1 science and  
> technology news service
>         20 November 2008
>               Dear New Scientist Reader, welcome to the New  
> Scientist newsletter. This week, we reveal how plumbing could be a  
> limitless source of energy, how light could help deaf people hear,  
> and why female monkeys are such gossips...
>               EDITOR'S CHOICE
>                     Dan Palmer, online sub-editor Plumbing the  
> Oceans Could Bring Limitless Clean Energy
>                     A clever trick with seawater could supply the  
> world with limitless clean, green electricity. Ocean Thermal Energy  
> Conversion exploits the difference in temperature between sea's  
> warm upper layers and its frigid depths, and with demand for  
> renewable energy climbing rapidly, could free many economies from  
> their dependence on oil... MORE

That was suggested during the last oil crisis, in the mid-1970s. At  
the time, environmental consciousness was nowhere near as ingrained  
as it has since become but I, for one, was appalled at the  
consequences of bringing cold, saline, nutrient-rich water up into  
the photic zone. Of late, however, I have been wondering ...

There has been some speculation that we may be facing a future with  
more freshwater input to the ocean surface, reducing vertical mixing  
and shutting down the "global conveyor" that re-distributes heat from  
low to high latitudes -- which would make human life untenable over  
wide areas of our planet. Usually, attempting to fix one  
environmental mess by deliberate manipulation just results in a  
second and larger mess. But lots of people are saying that the old  
rules no longer apply and, if they are right, bringing deep water up  
to the surface might be just what we need, with the net gain in  
energy a nice bonus but purely incidental.

Then again, throwing enormous research dollars into controlled  
fusion, followed by the construction of massive cooling plants might  
be a more viable alternative.

Trevor Kenchington

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