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Viability of greenhouse gas removal via artificial addition of volcanic ash to the ocean

Viability of greenhouse gas removal via artificial addition of volcanic ash to the ocean
Viability of greenhouse gas removal via artificial addition of volcanic ash to the ocean

Mitigating human contributions to climate change is a highly debated topic, as it becomes evident that many nations do not adhere to optional reductions in global emission. Substantial research is taking place into negative carbon technologies that actively reduce the amount of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO 2) via greenhouse gas removal (GGR). Various GGR methods have been proposed, from reforestation to ocean fertilisation. This article discusses advantages of an approach based on enhanced input of tephra to the ocean, to increase the drawdown of atmospheric CO 2. Natural addition of tephra to the ocean results in preservation of enhanced organic matter in sediment. Hence, augmenting its delivery should raise the level of sequestration. Calculations indicate that offshore tephra addition could sequester 2750 tonnes of CO 2 per 50,000 tonnes of ash delivered (a typical bulk carrier's capacity). The cost is estimated as ∼$55 per tonne of CO 2 sequestered and is an order of magnitude cheaper than many proposed GGR technologies. Further advantages include: tephra addition is simply an augmentation of a natural Earth process, it is a low technology approach that requires few developments, and it may sequester carbon for thousands of years. Hence, offshore tephra addition warrants further investigation to assess its viability.

Climate change, Diagenesis, Geoengineering, Greenhouse gas removal, Offshore tephra addition, Volcanic ash
2213-3054
Longman, Jack
26a3c4e3-79d6-4102-9708-a5b02b97121d
Palmer, Martin R.
d2e60e81-5d6e-4ddb-a243-602537286080
Gernon, Thomas M.
658041a0-fdd1-4516-85f4-98895a39235e
Longman, Jack
26a3c4e3-79d6-4102-9708-a5b02b97121d
Palmer, Martin R.
d2e60e81-5d6e-4ddb-a243-602537286080
Gernon, Thomas M.
658041a0-fdd1-4516-85f4-98895a39235e

Longman, Jack, Palmer, Martin R. and Gernon, Thomas M. (2020) Viability of greenhouse gas removal via artificial addition of volcanic ash to the ocean. Anthropocene, 32, [100264]. (doi:10.1016/j.ancene.2020.100264).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Mitigating human contributions to climate change is a highly debated topic, as it becomes evident that many nations do not adhere to optional reductions in global emission. Substantial research is taking place into negative carbon technologies that actively reduce the amount of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO 2) via greenhouse gas removal (GGR). Various GGR methods have been proposed, from reforestation to ocean fertilisation. This article discusses advantages of an approach based on enhanced input of tephra to the ocean, to increase the drawdown of atmospheric CO 2. Natural addition of tephra to the ocean results in preservation of enhanced organic matter in sediment. Hence, augmenting its delivery should raise the level of sequestration. Calculations indicate that offshore tephra addition could sequester 2750 tonnes of CO 2 per 50,000 tonnes of ash delivered (a typical bulk carrier's capacity). The cost is estimated as ∼$55 per tonne of CO 2 sequestered and is an order of magnitude cheaper than many proposed GGR technologies. Further advantages include: tephra addition is simply an augmentation of a natural Earth process, it is a low technology approach that requires few developments, and it may sequester carbon for thousands of years. Hence, offshore tephra addition warrants further investigation to assess its viability.

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Ctephra_Anthropocene_Viewpoint_Revised2 - Accepted Manuscript
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More information

Accepted/In Press date: 10 September 2020
e-pub ahead of print date: 12 September 2020
Published date: December 2020
Keywords: Climate change, Diagenesis, Geoengineering, Greenhouse gas removal, Offshore tephra addition, Volcanic ash

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 444404
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/444404
ISSN: 2213-3054
PURE UUID: f080040d-ca7c-49d7-8ce1-44458b8fe446
ORCID for Thomas M. Gernon: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-7717-2092

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 16 Oct 2020 16:32
Last modified: 26 Nov 2021 06:57

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Author: Jack Longman

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