O/T: Up Yours

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Mother Gaia has done it, in clathrates, or whatever they call the complexes in the cold nether regions of the oceans. It can be done other ways as well.

I'm all for nuclear energy, but the volume of waste is not the problem. The problems with nuclear waste are the heat generated and the need to contain it for a very, very long time. Definitely problems that can be conquered, but there is a lot of NIMBY to contend with.

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Han
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Han wrote:

And where do we put these clathrates or "other ways"?

How much heat do you believe to be generated by nuclear waste once the short-half-life elements have decayed?

Whereas the CO2 has to be kept warehoused _forever_ or else there's no point in warehousing it.

And you think there won't be a lot of NIMBY once people figure out that warehousing CO2 is going to take a huge amount of storage volume?

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I really think we agree on the need for responsible use and generation of renewable energy . I'd suggest to put clathrates in the voids of coal or other mines, to help prevent sinkholes.

I'm not a nuclear engineer, so I can't quote you numbers, but I do believe that the heat generated by nuclear waste can be considerable. Obviously it depends on the energy of the decay step(s) and their respective energies expressed per unit mass or volume (ducking).

Warehousing would suggest you're going to use it again, which does not seem logical if you couldn't possible get energy or other use out of it. I think it has to be put away permanently, really.

Of course there will always be NIMBY, but I think that filling underground voids generated by mining would be a good place.

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Han
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Han wrote:
... snip

This is just amazing. The fear of a natural compound that is a very minor atmospheric constituent and the product of perfect combustion. The idea that humans can somehow influence the climate of the entire planet (of which 3/4 is ocean) by the production of a minor atmospheric constituent is pure hubris.
Can we foul our own nests? Absolutely, that's why smog controls and making sure that industrial smokestacks are not causing severe local pollution. But destroying the planet? It doesn't pass the laugh test. Yet so many are buying in to it that they are willing to cause economic (and in other countries survival) hardships on others rather than taking logical steps to increase energy production. A growing, prosperous economy cannot continue to use less and less energy (conservation) yet continue to grow and prosper. When alternate sources become competitive, they will be used; forcing their use and subsidizing it with other peoples' money is not the development of alternate energy sources.
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From your sig, and with all respect:

The scientific principles behind CO2 causing our planet to heat up are very convincing. Is CO2 the worst of the gases? No, methane is much worse, but because it is present in so much lesser quantities, it may not reach the importance of CO2. Is the heating by the increased CO2 that much? On a scale of 0 to a million degrees Kelvin, again, no, but try heating your body up 5 degrees K, from 310 to 315 degrees. That is not even a 2% increase! But less than a few hours and you're cooked.
You have to realize that things that in relative terms are minor can still affect life in a major way. Can we adjust? We don't know, because we don't really know how much things are going to change. Will the planet survive? Sure, by all records Earth has been much hotter and much cooler before, compared to now, but our society may not. Should we try to prevent extremes like we are seemingly having success in combating air pollution in our big cities? I think we should.
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Han wrote:

The oceans are known to be a huge sink for CO2 and with cooler temperatures absorb it. Also, with warmer temperatures, the oceans release CO2. So the question is which is cause and which is effect. Does CO2 increase precede heating or does heating precede CO2 increase.
I do know that if we eliminate the stuff from the atmosphere, we're done for.
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I would think that CO2 increases would precede heating. Which causes more CO2 release.
There are differences in solubility for cold and hot water (solubility decreases with increasing temp). There also appears to be an effect of ocean pH. As more and CO2 is dissolved and converted to carbonate via carbonic acid, the ocean surface pH starts to drop. As CO2 leaves the pH rises (more basic).
To complicate things even further CO2 solubility is not only a function of temperature, but a function of pH (this is a really complicated scenario). As pH rises more CO2 is dissolved and converted to carbonate.
CO2 <----> H2CO3<-----> HCO3-1 <------> CO3-2. As pH increases the equilibrium shifts to the right and more CO2 can be dissolved. (DAGS Le Chatelier's principle). As more and more CO2 is dissolved the equilibrium shifts to the left and pH falls.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ocean_acidification
So there does appear to be a negative impact on ocean water as more and more CO2 is dissolved/converted. DAGS ocean acidification.

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Garage_Woodworks wrote:

Do you have any true scientific cites for this? This sounds like it would be a runaway situation which couldn't be stopped until all the CO2 from the oceans was in the atmosphere!
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No! Remeber that solubility is also a function of pH. As temp rises, CO2 is released and pH climbs. As pH climbs CO2 is more soluble.
I think their is a lot of research being done on this with a lot of contradicting data.
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Garage_Woodworks wrote:

That would mean that the oceans and atmosphere will always be trying to reach equilibrium.

I hope so - I'd hate to think we we're going down this man made GW path with no firm scientific evidence.
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I should clarify here. The CO2 solubility as CO2 (aq) (dissolved CO2 gas) doesn't change with changes in pH, but as pH rises the equilibrium shifts to the right, which pushes more CO2(aq) into the form of HCO3- and CO3-2. So the net effect is more CO2(g) is removed from the atmosphere, but the concentration of CO2 in the form of CO2(aq) doesn't change. But because more CO2(g) is removed from the atmosphere it has the appearance of being more soluble. (And pH falls).
CO2(g)<------> CO2(aq) <----> H2CO3<-----> HCO3-1 <------> CO3-2.---increasing pH------>
The opposite is also true. As CO2(aq) goes to CO2(g) and leaves the ocean the equilibrium shifts to the left and the CO2(aq) concentration doesn't change. And the pH rises.

YES! Or steady state.

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ABOVE should have read equilibrium shifts to the right. pH rises (more basic) shifts to right. pH falls (more acidic) shifts to left.
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difficulty is that oceans are not homogeneous, and we do not exactly know where in the oceans their is really a good totaal capacity to dissolve more gaseous CO2 (whether as truely dissolved gas or transformed into bicarbonate and carbonate). Also, it is not yet known whether ocean acidification will indeed kill off corals or not. Or whether more dissolved CO2 in whatever form will enhance coral growth. Very complicated indeed, mostly because ocean mixing is still hotly discussed science. What effects chanes in salinity will have is also important when more arctic and antarctic ice will melt, and mix into the oceans.
Hopefully it will all only happen in a disastrous way after my adult teeth have stopped hurting me ... Which brings up the question whether cremation or burial is the "greener" way to go ...
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Han wrote:

Sanity check time. Find the volume of water contained in the world's oceans, take the absolute worst-case CO2 concentrations that are being bandied around. Determine the amount of CO2 required to have even a measureable effect upon that volume of water.

Good heavens, I hope that was sarcasm. If not, I fear we are wasting our time here.
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You need to elaborate here. How would you determine what you are proposing?
You can measure the drops in pH directly and make projections.
See: http://royalsociety.org/document.asp?id249 http://www.science.org.au/nova/106/106key.htm

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Garage_Woodworks wrote:

It seems that there is a confusion of cause and effect here. The presumed cause in the articles you cite is human activity increasing the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere. CO2 concentration is on the order of 300 ppm. My point was that in order to lower the pH of a volume of liquid, a specific volume of acidic substance must be added. Even the most hysterical of the GW believers don't place human impact at more than several ppm. If one were to compute the volume of water in the ocean, the question is how much volume of acidic substance must be added to that liquid volume in order to change the pH even 0.1? The ultimate point being that it is ludicrous to blame human activity on the ability to influence that large a volume of liquid and even more ludicrous to blame it on western (particularly US) society when areas such as India and China produce far larger volumes of sulfur dioxide and other pollutants that can contribute to acidification. Yet, all the GW believers seem to feel that if they can just choke the life out of US industry and citizens, the world will return to its previous balances.

...snip
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How do you determine this? Define your experiment for me. I think you will begin to see the complexity. The ocean is not just water. There's lots of stuff in it.

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Garage_Woodworks wrote:

Why do I have to define the experiment? I'm not trying to prove that humans are changing the ocean pH. I'm merely pointing out that there is a heck of a lot of volume of water, that were everything else to remain constant would require huge volumes to change the pH.
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Because you proposed determining "how much volume of acidic substance must be added to that liquid volume in order to change the pH even 0.1"
This type of experiment can't be done in a jar. Which is why I was interested in how you would go about computing "the volume of acidic substance" needed.

Well guess what? The pH is changing. So what was the point to your "sanity check"?
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This is where the sanity check should come in. The oceans are not sitting on an enormous stirrer and are not getting mixed instantaneously. There are great differences (relatively speaking) in salinity and temperature throughout the oceans. I have never been in the Dead Sea, where not floating is an effort, but I do know the differences in floatation and tempreatures in fresh water, North Sea and Atlantic Ocean, and Mediteranean Sea. And that was just close to shore (believe me!).
Mixing of intra-oceanic waters is fairly limited. Otherwise the waters off Maine should not be as cold, and the North Sea not as warm.
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Han
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