Carbon Balance

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igorsboss

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<font color="yellow">Oil Fields: Cold Storage for Greenhouse Gases?<br />By Larry O'Hanlon, Discovery News<br />July 9, 2004 — Canadian geologists may have found the perfect place to hide all those troublesome greenhouse gases: old oil fields.<br /><br />By pumping carbon dioxide into emptied natural oil reservoirs, they hope not only to keep the global warming gas out of the atmosphere, but also to force up remaining oil that couldn't be extracted any other way.</font><br /><br />Wow, it APPEARS as if our global warming problem is solved! We'll take all the greenhouse gases as pump them underground.<br /><br />Does anyone else see the problem here?<br /><br />Let's count carbon atoms... How many carbon atoms are coming up from the wells for every carbon atom they pump down the well? What do we do with those extracted carbon atoms? We convert them to CO2!
 
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mcbethcg

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So, what is your problem with it? I assume they could pump as much CO2 in as they want.
 
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Saiph

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yeah, basically they hope to put LOTS of CO2 back into the ground.<br /><br />Sure, a lot comes out via oil production, but you put it right back in there. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p align="center"><font color="#c0c0c0"><br /></font></p><p align="center"><font color="#999999"><em><font size="1">--------</font></em></font><font color="#999999"><em><font size="1">--------</font></em></font><font color="#999999"><em><font size="1">----</font></em></font><font color="#666699">SaiphMOD@gmail.com </font><font color="#999999"><em><font size="1">-------------------</font></em></font></p><p><font color="#999999"><em><font size="1">"This is my Timey Wimey Detector.  Goes "bing" when there's stuff.  It also fries eggs at 30 paces, wether you want it to or not actually.  I've learned to stay away from hens: It's not pretty when they blow" -- </font></em></font><font size="1" color="#999999">The Tenth Doctor, "Blink"</font></p> </div>
 
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Saiph

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Actually, if you put it in certain strata type, it'd be locked for a long time.<br /><br />It probably isn't to expensive, they've done a few trial runs.<br /><br />Now, i don't think our personal Co2 emissions mean squat, compared to the vast amounts of Co2 in the natural cycle.<br /><br />Then agian, i'm not familiar enough with the system, a small bit might just be enough. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p align="center"><font color="#c0c0c0"><br /></font></p><p align="center"><font color="#999999"><em><font size="1">--------</font></em></font><font color="#999999"><em><font size="1">--------</font></em></font><font color="#999999"><em><font size="1">----</font></em></font><font color="#666699">SaiphMOD@gmail.com </font><font color="#999999"><em><font size="1">-------------------</font></em></font></p><p><font color="#999999"><em><font size="1">"This is my Timey Wimey Detector.  Goes "bing" when there's stuff.  It also fries eggs at 30 paces, wether you want it to or not actually.  I've learned to stay away from hens: It's not pretty when they blow" -- </font></em></font><font size="1" color="#999999">The Tenth Doctor, "Blink"</font></p> </div>
 
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mcbethcg

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Naturally, Carbon gets trapped in plants as carbohydrates like starch, which is edible, and cellulous, which is not.<br /><br />Naturally, eventually, all that carbon gets returned to the atmosphere as CO2 as the plants are digested by animals and bacteria.<br /><br />Plant materials can be sequestered to remove the CO2 from the atmosphere.<br /><br />We need to build large cubes of wood everywhere. We can hollow them out and live in them, to make this endevor have a good side effect. We can put rain-repellent sheathings and roofs on them to slow down baterial and insect activity that would cause the plant material to revert to CO2. We could call these "houses".<br /><br />In addition, we could take all of our waste materials that are composed of carbon based materials, like waste paper and food and packaging, and bury them in underground storage repositories. We could line them with rubber liners to keep out ground water and external oxygen, thus inhibiting decomposition. We could call these carbon repositories "Land fills."
 
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silylene old

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One week of a strong hurricane releases more CO2 into the atmosphere than the US does in a whole year. It does this by churning the water in the oceans to a depth of about 100m and frothing the surface....releasing dissolved CO2. There was a good article in Science on this subject a few years ago. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature" align="center"><em><font color="#0000ff">- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -</font></em> </div><div class="Discussion_UserSignature" align="center"><font color="#0000ff"><em>I really, really, really miss the "first unread post" function.</em></font> </div> </div>
 
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aaron38

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There is carbon balance in other ways too that many global warming scientists seem to forget about.<br /><br />You hear talk about cattle, and how they release methane, a greenhouse gas into the atmosphere. They talk about how many millions of cattle there are now that weren't around before.<br /><br />But they forget about the bison. Before the settlers killed them off, millions of bison roamed North America. They had digestive systems almost identical to cattle and they farted more methane into the air than today's cattle do.<br /><br />The bison are gone, replaced by cattle. It's an even trade, one farting animal replaced another, and net carbon emissions did not increase. That is the carbon balance that is being ignored.
 
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earthseed

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<blockquote><em>One week of a strong hurricane releases more CO<sub>2</sub> into the atmosphere than the US does in a whole year. It does this by churning the water in the oceans to a depth of about 100m and frothing the surface....releasing dissolved CO<sub>2</sub>.</em></blockquote>This is interesting, but given that the oceans contain fifty times as much dissolved carbon dioxide than the atmosphere, it is not that surprising. Hurricanes occur regularly, so they are only a part of the regular CO<sub>2</sub> cycle between the oceans and the atmosphere.<br /><br />The fact remains that CO<sub>2</sub> levels in the atmosphere are steadily increasing, from 280 parts per million (ppm) in the preindustrial era to about 364 ppm in 1997. The dispute is over what affect this will have on our climate. The greenhouse effect is responsible for raising the surface temperature by about 30<sup>o</sup> C. If CO<sub>2</sub> was the only greenhouse gas, then the expected doubling would be bad news indeed. Fortunately, most of the greenhouse effect is due to water vapor.<br /><br />The direct warming effect of doubling CO<sub>2</sub> levels is 4 watts per square meter, causing about a 1<sup>o</sup> C rise in temperature. But of course, the global climate is not a simple hot water tank, it is an extremely complex system with positive and negative feedbacks. So the debate is really about whether the climate system will absorb most of the CO<sub>2</sub> (negative feedback), or will positive feedback cause temperatures to accelerate. Most general circulation models predict a larger temperature rise, but our ability to model the global climate is very limited at present.<br /><br />The point here is observing large fluxes of CO<sub>2</sub> is not relevant to the climate change issue.<br /><br />aaron38 - there are a lot more cattle today than there ever were buffalo, so that is not balance.
 
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igorsboss

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I'd like to explain my point a bit more.<br /><br />The CO2 gas would be pumped into the ground, while liquid crude oil comes out. The CO2 gas could not possibly be as dense as liquid crude oil.<br /><br />So, for every carbon atom sequestered underground as CO2, there are many many carbon atoms of crude oil coming out. The crude oil's carbon is now no longer sequestered underground!<br /><br />So, the net flow of carbon shows that the atmospheric greenhouse gasses would be increased, not decreased.<br /><br />If greenhouse gasses are the real issue, we would be better off doing nothing, leaving the carbon sequesterd underground as crude oil.<br /><br />Hence the real issue isn't about greenhouse gasses. Rather, it is oil poduction. The greenhouse gas discussion is mere propoganda.<br />
 
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j_crockett

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We are not leaving crude oil underground. If someone pumps CO2 into old resevoirs ... then that is a step in the right direction. Te alternative is to burn the oil and leave the CO2 in the atmosphere
 
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gameforanything1

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Why don't we build big huge* greenhouses all over with hundreds of plants and trees in them......Pump the CO2 into the greenhouses, let the plants change it into Oxygen. Then pump the oxygen out using special oxygen filters?<br /><br />* Big as in 100 sqaure miles or something. Ther's plenty of open space.<br />
 
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igorsboss

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Ok, I'll bite... The key is to sequester the carbon.<br /><br />Since plants use solar energy to convert CO2 to carbohydrates, you've reduced the problem from sequestering CO2 to the problem of sequestering carbohydrates. How are you going to do that?<br /><br />Obviously, bury the plant matter to sequester the carbohydrates! Of course, that's going to be a lot of plant matter. Given enough time, heat, and pressure, it might undergo metamorphism, and change into...<br /><br />Coal, Crude oil, and Natural Gas.<br /><br />Oops! We're back to where we started!<br /><br />Oh, by the way, I think this will take a few million years worth of solar energy conversion... Too late for us.<br /><br />Instead, let's build a huge nuclear-powered dry ice freezer in Antarctica to build artificial CO2 glaciers, and cover them with a recycled styrofoam insulating blanket.<br />
 
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centsworth_II

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<i>"One week of a strong hurricane releases more CO2 into the atmosphere than the US does in a whole year. It does this by churning the water in the oceans to a depth of about 100m and frothing the surface....releasing dissolved CO2. There was a good article in Science on this subject a few years ago."</i> -- silylene<br /><br />Some may be tempted to use this to show that nature produces far more CO2 than man. But they need to be reminded that much (most?) of the huge amount of CO2 released by the hurricane-stirred ocean was produced by man's burning of fossil fuels before it was absorbed by the ocean. The latest research is reported in the current (7/16/04) issue of Science (which I have not read). <br /><br />According to the LA Times reporting on the research: <br /> />From 1800 to 1994, 244 billion tons of carbon have been released by the burning of fossil fuels. <br /> />The oceans have absorbed 118 billion tons (48%) of this. <br /> />The increasing CO2 content in the oceans is causing a reduction in calcium carbonate concentration which is leading to weakening of shells and corals. If the concentration drops too low, shells and reefs will begin to dissolve. <br /><br />A note on units: although the article uses tons, the research abstract in Science uses petragrams. I haven't verified the conversion. <br /> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> </div>
 
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aaron38

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Earthseed,<br /><br />I checked the numbers and stand corrected. Best historical estimate for Bison heard size is 10-15 million.<br /><br />Current American cattle heard size is 100 miilion! I had no idea that there were that many cows out there. I've been in the city too long.
 
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