These people are not good with numbers.
In a paper published in Nature Climate Change today, Ove Hoegh-Guldberg, director of the Global Change Institute at the University of Queensland, together with Greg Rau of the Institute of Marine Sciences at the University of California, and Elizabeth McLeod of The Nature Conservancy, say new tactics are needed to save oceans from CO2 emissions.
“It’s unwise to assume we will be able to stabilise atmospheric CO2 at levels necessary to prevent ongoing damage to marine ecosystems,” Professor Hoegh-Guldberg said.
“In lieu of dealing with the core problem – increasing emissions of greenhouse gases – these techniques and approaches could ultimately represent the last resort.”
In addition to using shade cloth over coral reefs, the paper suggests novel marine conservation options, including applying low-voltage electrical current to stimulate coral growth and mitigate mass bleaching; adding base minerals such as carbonates and silicates to the ocean to neutralize acidity; and converting CO2 from land-based waste into dissolved bicarbonates that could be added to the ocean to provide carbon sequestration.
Alistair Hobday Research Scientist – Marine and Atmospheric Research at CSIRO saidnovel solutions are required. “We need to be mature enough to listen to all sorts of arguments.”
To which Jo Nova, unfunded non government critic said: We need scientists who are mature enough to spot a plan that is bonkers.
The Great Barrier Reef has an area of 348,000 square kilometers. It’s bigger than the UK, Holland and Switzerland combined. So perhaps we could just cover 1%, that’s only three and a half thousand square kilometers and then ask the water to stay in one spot?
The idea apparently is not to drive thousands of pylons into the reef (phew), just to cover “hundreds of square meters” with floating shade material. One wonders how predatory sea-birds will feel about this, not to mention photosynthetic marine life. Air breathing mammals might not “feel right at home” under the shades. (But its not like anyone cares about whales and dolphins right?) Tidal and wave action, with floating material near lots of spiky coral and rocks suggests maintenance could be “expensive”.