The following is by Ian D. Walsh; email@example.com; @iandavidwalsh; adapted from Ian’s WHOI OCB Summer Workshop Presentation at Woods Hole, MA, 20-23 June 2022 for website form by Salvador Garcia. Acknowledgments: IDW consults for Ocean-Based Climate Solutions Inc. (Ocean-Based) which has developed and built artificial upwelling pumps and is testing the systems. Ocean-Based did not directly pay for or have editorial control of the research presented here.
The idea of artificial upwelling using vertical tubes in the ocean open has been around for a long time (Stommel et al., 1956). Similarly, the linkage of atmoCO2 to ocean upwelling on a global scale through recent geological time has been long established (Dymond and Lyle, 1985). Current considerations of the potential impact of artificial upwelling have outlined an uncertainty matrix and a research strategy for artificial upwelling within a broader review of ocean-based carbon dioxide removal (CDR) (NASEM, 2021). Meanwhile, the carbon offset ‘market’ is booming (your favorite news source), including ocean CDR.
Here I present some considerations and calculations on the scalability of artificial upwelling and verification pathways to hopefully advance the discussion and spark interest in the OCB community.
OLIGOTROPHIC OCEAN: HAWAII OCEAN TIME SERIES NUTRIENT DATA
The oligotrophic ocean is an attractive deployment location or artificial upwelling at least through the testing phase because the generally low abundance of nutrients in the absence of upwelling provides an excellent background to track the impact of artificial upwelling and a source of excess phosphate at depth to test Karl and Letelier’s hypothesis that net sequestration CO2 is driven by excess phosphate.
Data obtained via the Hawaii Ocean Time-series HOT-DOGS application; University of Hawai’i at Mānoa. National Science Foundation Award # 1756517
PARTNERSHIPS TO DRIVE VERIFICATION
Verification of sequestration should be independent from the deployment and operation of sequestration technologies, though these should be tightly linked to drive the system towards increase effectiveness.
Continuation of public strategies to measure and model ocean carbon dynamics will contribute to ocean CDR measurements and verification.
Local modeling for additionally and effectiveness of ocean CDR technologies should couple with wider scale public modeling efforts.
Costs for verification relative to ocean CDR will then be spread between the operators of ocean CDR and the wider public and reduce conflict of interest uncertainties.
ARTIFICIAL UPWELLING – WAVE ENERGY DRIVES THE SYSTEM
SENSITIVITY AND DETECTION
SCALING: IS ONE GIGATON CO2 PER YEAR POSSIBLE?
Stommel, H., Arons. A.B., and Blanchard, D., 1956: An oceanographical curiosity: the perpetual salt fountain. Deep Sea Research, Vol. 3, pp. 152-153. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/0146631356900958?via%3Dihub
Dymond, J. and Lyle, M. 1985. Flux comparisons between sediments and sediment traps in the Eastern Tropical Pacific: Implications for atmospheric CO2 variations during the Pleistocene. Limnology and Oceanography, 30(4), pp. 699-712. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/237388050_Flux_comparisons_between_sediments_and_sediment_traps_in_the_Eastern_Tropical_Pacific_Implications_for_atmospheric_CO2_variations_during_the_pleistocene
Karl, David & Letelier, Ricardo. 2008. Nitrogen fixation-enhanced carbon sequestration in low nitrate, low chlorophyll seascapes. Mar. Ecol. Prog. Ser. 364, 257-268. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/238005444_Karl_D_M_Letelier_R_M_Nitrogen_fixation-enhanced_carbon_sequestration_in_low_nitrate_low_chlorophyll_seascapes_Mar_Ecol_Prog_Ser_364_257-268
National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2021. A Research Strategy for Ocean-based Carbon Dioxide Removal and Sequestration. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. https://doi.org/10.17226/26278
Kithil, P., Garcia, S., and Walsh, I., 2022. Ocean Carbon Dioxide Removal using Wave-powered Artificial Upwelling Pumps. The Journal of Ocean Technology, Vol. 17, No. 1, 2022. https://issuu.com/journaloceantechnology/docs/e-jot_vol17n1_interactive_book_lr_flipbook