Last week scientists were extolling the virtues of duckweed—this week, another type of pond scum is being called a possible savior. Norwegian scientists believe microalgae could slash CO2 levels—responsible for a lot of our global warming woes—and even be tapped for a more effective biofuel in the future.
By taking exhaust fumes from carbon-burning plants and factories, mixing it with water so that the CO2 can dissolve into it and then pumping it into a "photobiorector" (a large transparent tube filled with microalgae), scientists can produce solar biofuel. The sunlight beating down on the tube presents the proper conditions for photosynthesis to take place, allowing the algae to convert CO2 into oxygen. The algae can later be removed and buried into the seabed, capturing the gases they take in.
When algae itself is a source of fuel, it's similarly environmentally friendly. Even if used as biodiesel feedstock or biomass—essentially any living or dead organic material that can be used as a renewable energy source—it still produces "carbon negative" energy. In other words, the net carbon it releases during energy production is less than the carbon it removes from the solar biofuel process. And, unlike other first-generation biofuels, like sunflowers or corn, made from food crops, scientists believe algae is more agriculturally-friendly. The residue left after they have been pressed for biodiesel, for instance, can come in handy as mineral-rich fertilizer.
Sounds too good to be true, but scientists worldwide, including in Australia, Germany, Japan and the U.S., are investigating the solar biofuel technique. Since the idea is still in its conception phase, researchers have yet to test how it could effectively work industrially and what types of algae work best.
Finally-an eco-frindly way to remove CO2.
93% of atmospheric carbon is removed by alpine timber and the efficiency of that removal is directly proportional to the square of the mean atmospheric temperature. If you want to reduce CO2 increase the temperature (can anyone say global warming). If you people would stop listening to some politician that thinks that he invented the internet, you would stop buying into this voodoo science. Grow up! There is irrefutable anthropological evidence that the earth has been in a global warming trend for at least the last 6000 years. Those 30 million people that were alive at the time must have been chunking some bad ass spears?
Next I suppose you will be telling us that eveloution can be "scientifically" proven.
We don't care about facts, just our beliefs.
The APS has reversed it's position on Global Warming:
Perhaps, Popular Science will do a blog on this, as well as all their other greeny CO2 blogs.
The IPCC results were flawed. I wonder if Nobel Prizes can be taken back?
This is why people have to wait until the scientific community regulates itself before coming to conclusions. Politics and science are a really bad mix, and Global Warming is proof of it.
If people want to reduce oil, coal, natural gas etc...and move to solar and wind, lets create proper incentives as a culture, and move in that direction in a methodical and planned way which allows failures to be over come.
Please don't use unproven science as an excuse for fear mongering.
TheRHogue you really need to fully investigate a claim like that. If you had you would see that the ASP never reversed there position on global warming. A few global warming deniers took a story written by one of the ASP Editors and over exaggerated it.
In fact The ASP has a disclaimer on the story which I will place bellow http://www.aps.org/
APS Climate Change Statement
APS Position Remains Unchanged
The American Physical Society reaffirms the following position on climate change, adopted by its governing body, the APS Council, on November 18, 2007:
"Emissions of greenhouse gases from human activities are changing the atmosphere in ways that affect the Earth's climate."
An article at odds with this statement recently appeared in an online newsletter of the APS Forum on Physics and Society, one of 39 units of APS. The header of this newsletter carries the statement that "Opinions expressed are those of the authors alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of the APS or of the Forum." This newsletter is not a journal of the APS and it is not peer reviewed.
while you're statement that 93% of atmospheric carbon is removed by alpine forest may be true it fails to shows the true state of things, not that I am able to do this (nor do I know of anyone who can make that claim). The atmospheric system is a very complex dynamic system with many variables, some which we not yet be aware of - such as the exact effect of temperature increase saying that it is exactly proportional to the square root of mean atmospheric temp. may be true for a certain range of circumstances but may change if the system were sufficiently disrupted, another thing you don't address is the time it would take for this uptake to return us to existing levels (if not earlier levels). It is widely accepted that the earth system will reach a new steady state at some point and at some stage it may be similar to the conditions we have, the question is when...
Sure there has been use of global warming as a political tool and it is causing a great deal of confusion a disinformation out there but it also (hopefully) leads to greater understanding and (again hopefully) a more cautious outlook on progression, which is something we seriously need for the coming years since there are other environmental issues which may gain from the kind of publicity that global warming gets.
The APS did not reverse its position on the IPCC's climate change claims. What it did was admit that a large number of its members are not in agreement with this poition and that there should be debate on the issue.The dissenters point out that the IPCC "models" predictions are missing the targets by varying degrees, some quite large in there errors. We've all seen the cartoon where the mathmetician is explaining a problem on a chalk board and smack in the middle of the equation is the statement "and here a miracle occurs". That seems to be what the APS dissenters see in the IPCC's math. I think the claims have merit and should be addressed. The IPCC needs to explain its math and models more clearly.
The media claims that a majority of "scientist" agree on the IPCC's position. That can't be anything but nonsense because nobody knows how many scientist there are in the world, nobody has ever polled them, and nobody can even define what exactly or even approximatly constitutes a scientist....a lab coat and a test tube?....scientist is a noun, not an actual occupation. A gardener trying to find out why all the dogs crap in his garden might use the "scientific method" to find the answer. Is he a scientist? If so should he be polled along with the senior resarchers at CrossEyed College on the issue of climate change? A scientist is someone who does scientific research...that is a huge number of people spread out over a huge number of projects concerning a huge number of interest.
I think the news media needs to do a little explaining also...have you noticed now how every little bit of "bad weather" is now "proof of global warming" on the evening news? One reporter called the fires in California "proof" of global warming...notice how the far more reasonable argument of bad luck and poor land management has been shoved off the table.
The clowns of the media circus have so confused the issue of global climate change that it may not be possible for an individual to arrive at any conclusion with certainty the information ued is accurate. I would feel better if the "scientific" community would step waaayyy back from the celebrity oriented air head news media. They are not an asset to either side of the argument.
I don't think the 93% for trees is correct as the oceans absorb a large amount of CO2 as well, however I do think it is true that the tropical forests are the major land based source of CO2 gathering. This is why it is critical to stop the slashing and burning of the rain forest and to start reforesting lands around the world.
Greece, turkey, the middle east etc all used to have forests. For example Lebanon was known for its massive forests. 50% of the world's forests have been killed and much of that land in tropical places is now barren of topsoil.
It is silly to speak of global warming not happening. Even a child knows that if you add more and more CO2 to the air than nature can remove and you get a greenhouse effect. (We don't need a scientific study to tell us it is reality nor others to try and debunk it. This is just the dame "debate until its too late" program that the tobacco industry used).
Though this algae idea is really just scientists playing for headlines, we do need to take real and serious action.
The world's problems far exceed global warming. We need to get serious on population control and reduction, to be left with a world worth living in.
Nature is in the intensive care ward, and we are ripping out the IVs.
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It will be great to have you there !