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Scientists Are Trying to Pull Carbon Out of the Ocean to Combat Climate Change

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CLIMATEWIRE | There’s a growing consensus among climate scientists that in order to avoid the worst effects of global warming, humanity has to find a way to sequester carbon dioxide — and most efforts to date have focused on removing CO2 from the atmosphere.

But two ongoing efforts — including one from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology — have turned to the oceans, rather than the air. And if successful, the scientists say the process could significantly cut the cost of using carbon capture to fight global warming.

One big reason? “In oceans, the capture step has already kind of been done for you,” said T. Alan Hatton, a professor of chemical engineering and a leader of the MIT team, which published a report on their process this month in the journal Energy & Environmental Science.

That’s because the oceans are the Earth’s main “carbon sink,” sucking 30 to 40 percent of the greenhouse gas out of the atmosphere.

“Moreover, the density of the greenhouse gas in the oceans is more than 100 times greater than it is in the air,” Hatton added….

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