Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Dumping plant waste in the ocean may slow air pollution

At first glance, this idea sounds perfectly ridiculous. Come to think of it, at second glance, it still seems pretty ridiculous. The idea (from a University of Washington team): dump crop waste in the oceans so it doesn't decay on land and increase atmospheric CO2 levels (New Scientist).

To avoid increased erosion and decreased soil fertility, the plan recommends taking just 30 percent of leaves and stalks left after harvesting. But wouldn't this increase ocean acidity levels? Yes. Eventually. If the waste is dumped into deep, oxygen-poor waters it will take "thousands of years" to decay.

This plan would cut annual CO2 buildup by 14 percent and cost $95 per ton of CO2.

Pound360 still doesn't like this idea. We file this under "buying a bigger belt to fix my weight problem" solutions.

(Photo by
matsuyuki via Flickr)

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I started pound360 to channel my obsession with vitamins, running and the five senses. Eventually, I got bored focusing on all that stuff, so I came back from a one month hiatus in May of 2007 (one year after launching Pound360) and broadened my mumblings here to include all science.