Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute
Seminars

Wally Broecker, Ph.D

Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University

CO2 Capture and Storage



Friday, December 12, 2008

Pacific Forum – 2:00 p.m. **NOTE TIME CHANGE**

A case is made that despite the coming large effort to substitute alternate energy, fossil fuels use will continue. If so, CO2 will have to be captured and stored. It is my view that the capture is best done directly from the atmosphere and that part of the captured CO2 should be stored in the deep sea.

Dr. Wallace S. Broecker is perhaps the world's foremost interpreter of the Earth's operation as a biological, chemical, and physical system. He began his research in the 1950s with the development of techniques for measuring the radiocarbon content of ocean water and the ages and accumulation rates of deep sea and lake sediments, using this data to trace ocean circulation patterns over time. In the 1970s, Dr. Broecker was one of the leaders of the Geochemical Ocean Sections (GEOSECS) program, which used radiocarbon dating to gather a wealth of information from the world's oceans. In the 1980s, he used radioactive fallout from nuclear bomb tests conducted in the 1960s as chemical tracers to study the rate of uptake of fossil fuel carbon dioxide by the ocean. In addition, in the mid-1980s Dr. Broecker devised his theory of global ocean circulation, today often termed Broecker's Conveyor Belt. He pioneered the study of the circulation of chemical elements in the sea, the thorough mixing of surface water and deep water of the ocean that takes place every one to two thousand years, and the rate of gas exchange between the atmosphere and the ocean.

 

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