Pumping sea water could bring global warming under control
Pipes hung in the sea could ‘help the planet to heal itself’, scientists have suggested.
Scientists James Lovelock and Chris Rapley, suggest that mixing deeper water with surface water will aid the sea in absorbing larger quantities of carbon dioxide, the principal greenhouse gas.
Writing in the journal Nature, the scientists suggest huge pipes hung in the sea, and powered by the ocean’s waves, would take up more carbon by ‘fertilising’ the plankton in its top layer with nutrient-rich waters from the deep.
Millions of pipes would be needed to cover the earth’s seas – but it would use only natural energy.
Lovelock and Rapley suggest that free-floating pipes, 200 metres long and 10 metres thick, which would pump water to the surface via wave movement to fertilise algae and encourage them to bloom, taking up much more CO2, which is eventually locked up in the tiny shells of plankton when they die and fall to the ocean bottom.
It may sounds far-fetched, but Virgin boss Sir Richard Branson, who in February launched a $25m (£13m) prize for the best way of removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, is considering funding a trial of the project.
A spokesman confirmed to The Independent: ‘Richard has been in touch with Jim Lovelock about this idea and is very interested. We are looking into it to see if we can fund a trial.’