Oceanography The Official Magazine of
The Oceanography Society
Volume 27 Issue 03

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Volume 27, No. 3
Pages 17 - 23


COMMENTARY • Augmenting the Biological Pump: The Shortcomings of Geoengineered Upwelling

By Susie J. Bauman, Matthew T. Costa, Michael B. Fong, Brian M. House, Elena M. Perez, Maxine H. Tan, Alexander E. Thornton, and Peter J.S. Franks  
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The ocean is the largest reservoir of mobile carbon over decadal to centennial time scales, absorbing approximately 41% of cumulative anthropogenic CO2 emissions (Sabine and Tanhua, 2010). Various geoengineering solutions seek to exploit this uptake capacity (see Vaughan and Lenton, 2011, for a review), including CO2 injection (Marchetti, 1977), iron fertilization (Martin et al., 1994), and artificial upwelling (Lovelock and Rapley, 2007). The ubiquity of social media—allowing anyone to “self-publish”—and funding from crowd-sources and private foundations have allowed some proposals to gain traction outside of the peer-reviewed scientific literature. A recent example is the proposal by theoretical neurobiologist W.H. Calvin (2013) to construct a massive array of push-pull pump systems to enhance the ocean’s natural biological pump to sequester atmospheric CO2.


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