You say tomato, I say tomahto
Brian Schmidt has an interesting post over at Back Seat Driving which Eli would encourage all to go read. Tokyo Tom, from the old Prometheus gang pointed Brian to a recent paper by Jim Hansen. Hansen's hair is on fire. He and his co-authors think that we are VERY close to a non-linear transition to out of control sea level rise as the Greenland and West Antarctic ice caps start to disintegrate. You can read about that on Brian's blog and in the paper. Brian points to a suggestion from Hansen, et al.
We conclude that a feasible strategy for planetary rescue almost surely requires a means of extracting GHGs from the air. Development of CO2 capture at power plants, with below-ground CO2 sequestration,may be a critical element. Injection of the CO2 well beneath the ocean floor assures its stability (House et al. 2006). If the power plant fuel is derived from biomass, such as cellulosic fibres5 grown without excessive fertilization that produces N2O or other offsetting GHG emissions, it will provide continuing drawdown of atmospheric CO2.about which
Tokyo Tom and I disagree somewhat about the last paragraph. He thinks it lends support for open-air carbon capture, the approach favored by Roger Pielke Jr. and the only semi-mainstream idea more speculative than geoengineering. I think Hansen's referring to carbon sequestration from biomass power generation, which is a means of extracting GHGs from the air.Eli would have commented about this at Back Seat Driving, but comments appear to be turned off, or the Rabett has taken his stupid pills. It appears to Eli that they are both right, which is why the suggestion is elegant. Plants extract CO2 from the atmosphere on balance and convert it to biomass. The are evolved to work with low concentrations of CO2. In that sense TT is right, the plants are efficient at open air capture. By burning the biomass in a power plant the CO2 is captured in the smokestack where it is concentrated. This proposal separates the capture (diffuse) from the sequesterization (concentrated), optimizing each step. In the diffuse capture step plants are much more efficient and lower cost than the various liver in the sky schemes that have been suggest. The gas in a smokestack given efficient combustion, is almost completely water vapor and CO2. The former can be condensed, leaving almost pure CO2 to be sequestered.