Sunday, April 19, 2009
Scientists Map Out "Dream Reservoir" for CO2 Storage
Scientists may have discovered the closet where we can hide the mess that burning fossil fuels creates.
Many have viewed "carbon sequestration" -- taking the CO2 produced by burning coal and burying it underground -- as a major component of combating climate change. However, there are many questions about the plan -- most notably, just where a major emitter like the US could find a safe place to stash gigatons of carbon dioxide safely over hundreds of years.
The answer, say Columbia researchers, lies in huge reservoirs of basalt off the coast of the Pacific northwest. That basalt is buried underneath hundreds of feet of sediment, and that in turn lies thousands of feet below the ocean's surface.
The basalt, located on the San Juan de Fuca tectonic plate, could store about 150 years' worth of the United States' yearly load of 1.7 gigatons of emissions.
The Painting is by Henri Rousseau