Imagine a massive international effort to combat global warming by reducing carbon dioxide build-up in the atmosphere. It involves gathering billions of tons of cornstalks, wheat straw, and other crop residue from farm fields, bailing it, shipping the material to seaports, and then burying it in the deep ocean.
Making bales with 30% of global crop residues–the stalks and such left after harvesting–and then sinking the bales into the deep ocean could reduce the build up of global carbon dioxide in the atmosphere by up to 15% a year.
Scientists have concluded that this Crop Residue Oceanic Permanent Sequestration (CROPS) approach is the only practical method now available for permanently isolating the enormous quantities of CO2 necessary to have a real impact on global warming.
Researcher Stuart Strand says, "The ocean waters below 1,500 meters do not mix significantly with the upper waters. In the deep ocean it is cold, oxygen is limited and there are few marine organisms that can break down crop residue. That means what is put there will stay there for thousands of years."
They can bury plant detritus, but what about all those cows?
Art credit: freeimages.co.uk
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