Buying time for the Great Barrier Reef: Researchers propose to use alkalizers in seawater
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It is reported that seawater with a lower pH value is more acidic. While reducing the concentration of carbonate ions in seawater, it also poses a threat to the survival of coral reefs.
Calcium carbonate is an important material for coral reefs to build their bones, but seawater acidification and temperature rise have also severely destroyed the self-repair ability of coral reefs after bleaching events.
The good news is that adding artificial alkalizing agents to seawater may be a potentially effective solution to bring the pH of seawater back to ecological balance.
Although wanting to have a positive impact on coral reefs, it is still quite a daunting challenge. However, scientists from the Commonwealth Science and Industry Organization of Australia (CSIRO) have already begun the exploration of large-scale implementation.
The research team wrote in a paper published in “Environmental Research Letters”: “So far, most artificial ocean alkalization models have focused on their technical potential as carbon dioxide removers. , And there are few in-depth discussions on its alkalization-especially whether it can offset the effects related to ocean acidification in a certain area.”
For this, the CSIRO research team used the so-called The “hydrodynamic-biogeochemical coupling model” was recently verified in the Great Barrier Reef area.
During the experiment, it simulated the effect of a ship traveling along the route after 30,000 tons of alkalizing agent was cast on the road. They believe that this may help provide ocean alkalization for almost the entire coral reef area (extending more than 2,000 kilometers).
The author of the study said that this strategy may offset the impact of ocean acidification in the area over the past 10 years, while also implementing “isolation” of 35,000 tons of carbon dioxide per year. Because as the alkalinity in the ocean increases, the ability of the air to absorb carbon dioxide will also increase.