Last updated: July 16, 2019
Topic: BusinessManufacturing
Sample donated:

The industrial revolution transformed the world bring large scale manufacturing,improved farming techniques and food production, advances in technology, health andtransportation. This modernization came with a trade-off; which the current world is nowexperiencing-global warming and climate change.It is no secret that modernization was birth through big engines powered by fossil fuelcombustion releasing greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. The major culprit of thegreenhouse gases is CO2 with 65% emission from fossil fuels and 11% from forestry (1).The level of atmospheric CO2 continues to rise and reports from national oceanic andAtmospheric Administration (NOAA) states that CO2 in atmosphere measures presentlyat 406.17ppm (2).Most research focus on novel strategies and technologies for the capture andsequestering of CO2 from the atmosphere. An interesting and maybe underestimatedapproach of atmospheric CO2 capture and sequestration would be the naturally occurringmarine carbon sequestration mechanism. Interestingly, the ocean accounts for 30% (3) ofcaptured anthropogenic CO2; eliminating this process will cause a 20% (additional200ppm) rise of current CO2 levels in the atmosphere (4). Currently, anthropogeniceffects are disrupting marine carbon sequestration, and while the scientific communityare seeking noval solutions, mother-natures CCS strategies need to be preserved.Marine carbon capture and sequestration pumpThe marine carbon pump is majorly regulated by the particulate organic carbon (POC)and recalcitrant dissolved organic carbon (RDOC). Dissolved organic carbon is 50% ofproduced photosynthetic organic carbon (POC).ADVANCED GRADUATE SEMINER: BIOL 600 3Two major pathways occur in the epipelagic euphotic layer of the ocean: DOC is mostlyre-mineralized and assimilated by marine microbes through the process ofphotosynthesis; while the remain 5-7% are resistant to re-mineralization and becomeRDOC. RDOC through microbial extrapolymerase substrate (EPS) attachment, formaggregates and are then exported deep down into the benthic ocean beds therebysequestrating and storing carbon. Marine research has identified average residence timeof RDOC between 16,000 -40,000 years (5). The ability of RDOC to resist remineralizationpromoting carbon sequestration is a major mediator of marine carbon pooland global carbon cycle.Strategies for enhancing carbon pumpShelf seas account for about 20% of the oceans ability to capture atmospheric CO2;though they cover only 8% surface area of the ocean. Current anthropogenic effects arethreatening the shelf seas through increased eutrophication and ocean acidification.Eutrophication caused by endogenous introduction of nutrients into the seas are causingalgae blooms and increased primary production. These occurrences subsequently lead tolight dependence productivity reduction, reduced BOD and increase hypoxia. Strategiesneed to be created to use fertilizers that resist run offs into rivers. Also, environmentalpolicies that prevent sewage discharge into the coastal waters reduce chances ofeutrophication and promote carbon storage and capture.Supplemental strategy of tackling global warming and ensuring mother- nature’smost efficient CCS strategies are optimally functioning. I believe what novel man-madeCCS technologies invented will instil greater impacts on controlling global warming ifADVANCED GRADUATE SEMINER: BIOL 600 4the original sequestration mechanisms are in place. Novel CCS technology will thereforecreate a complementary and synergetic effect on removing atmospheric CO2 andreducing global warming.