UKERC – Carbon Capture & Storage: Sustainability in the UK energy mix

I attended this one day meeting which focused, from the UK perspective, on the possibiltiies of geological storage of carbon di-oxide (CO2). It was sponsored by the UKERC Meeting Place, held at the University of Edinburgh, and broughtt together people from industry, finance, legal, and academic worlds.

The consensus of the meething was overwhelming–that being that is possible, practical, and economic to use geological carbon storage to mitigate the risk of relesing CO2 to the atmosphere. CO2 is a greenhouse gas which could lead to global warming.

While storing CO2 surely *can* be done, what’s not clear to me is if it *should* be done compared to alternatives. It seems a short term prophylactic solution. I also wonder about the unintended consequences and as yet unknown risks.

The presentation by Dr. Carol Turlye, Plymouth Marine Laboratory, was downright scary. She spoke on the observed effects on CO2 increases in the world’s oceans. The oceans’ acid content is measurably changes, and it’s cause is reliably thought to be increased CO2 in the atmosphere. See the paper published at the above link (along with all the other papers).

Update: Just noticed this article on Scientific American’s web site which clearly explains the affect of CO2 on global warming. See Scientific American: If carbon dioxide makes up only a minute portion of the atmosphere, how can global warming be traced to it? And how can such a tiny amount of change produce such large effects?

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