Carbon sequestration could get much faster

New research has demonstrated a way to increase the speed at which carbon from the atmosphere can be locked-up in water or rocks — called carbon sequestration —  500 times faster, and could massively speed-up how we address our warming planet. Researchers from the California Institute of Technology and the University of Southern California looked in to how the oceans naturally absorb carbon dioxide — currently there is about 50 times as much carbon dioxide in the oceans is in the atmosphere. Although carbon dioxide naturally passes between air and water, and vice versa, winds across the ocean surface and turbulence underwater help more of that carbon dioxide to get locked in the seas. The carbon eventually sinks to the bottom to be locked-up as calcium carbonate sediment. Meanwhile, increased carbon dioxide in the atmosphere makes the oceans more acidic — the mechanism that is killing coral reefs by dissolving their calcium carbonate shells. How quickly the coral dissolves, however, is currently not well understood because the chemistry is different in seawater than on dry land, so the researchers focussed on this chemical reaction in their study. To find out more go to Key to Speeding Up Carbon Sequestration Discovered