Monday, June 09, 2008
PROF's POSER - Killer Cure?
Carbon capture, but where’s the polluter?
A little science is a dangerous thing. Which is why I lack the certitude of many in the climate arena, and usually content myself with simply asking often daft or at least possibly naive questions. If they are really daft then I get politely put back on track. If they are daft like a fox then it's fun seeing the experts get busy.
I was at school doing Physics, Chemistry and Biology when Isambard K Brunel was in short stovepipes. I did 2/3 of a vet degree but dropped out when it was clear I would not be meeting the lady who played James Herriot's missus in the TV series, and then went on to a Civ. Eng degree I was mainly granted on the strict understanding I didn't try an build anything. So detail is not my strong suit. However I still often have a fair grasp of the bigger pictures.
Some notions may yet go astray. I have merely wondered what might happen if we suck the energy out of all the wind that blows ashore before it gets to where it used to. And while I appreciate the vastness of the earth, I do still concern myself as to the possible consequences of sucking a bunch of heat from down there to up and out on top. I guess all pale to the as yet unconfirmed consequences of sucking bazillions of litres of oil up as well over the last several decades. I have seen the 'Crack in the Earth', you know. Mind you, many of my doubts on nuclear are based on Space 1999.
Anyhoo, this latest wheeze has promoted my next 'but what about...'.
I'm going to plump for the scientific term osmosis. I know it's usually associated with fluids and movements of short distances in liquids, but basically I thinking that basically Nature likes balance, just as it abhors a vacuum. Hence you have a bunch of stuff in one place and less in another, so it will migrate.
Now, ignoring the vastness of our Earth, and even in the form of its wafer thin crust coating and micro-bubble of atmosphere, assuming these calumpter-calumpter machines do what they say on the tin, is there not a slight danger that if they don't suck at sucking, pretty soon there will be less Co2 overall globally to be sure, but won't here also be some very odd pockets where there is an extremely low concentration, namely in a gradient to the hemisphere centered on these things.
So, and just asking here, bearing in mind that some C02 is still part of the old natural balance, is there not a danger that there might be large areas where the plant life is gasping a bit and ends up prevented from its millenia-long task of Co2 scrubbing... and O2 emitting?