Claim: CO2 can be stored underground for 10 times the length needed to avoid climatic impact

From the don’t store it in a fault zone department and the UNIVERSITY OF CAMBRIDGE

Image shows a cold water geyser driven by carbon dioxide erupting from an unplugged oil exploration well drilled in 1936 into a natural CO2 reservoir in Utah. CREDIT Professor Mike Bickle
Image shows a cold water geyser driven by carbon dioxide erupting from an unplugged oil exploration well drilled in 1936 into a natural CO2 reservoir in Utah. CREDIT Professor Mike Bickle

Study of natural-occurring 100,000 year-old CO2 reservoirs shows no significant corroding of ‘cap rock’, suggesting the greenhouse gas hasn’t leaked back out – one of the main concerns with greenhouse gas reduction proposal of carbon capture and storage.

New research shows that natural accumulations of carbon dioxide (CO2) that have been trapped underground for around 100,000 years have not significantly corroded the rocks above, suggesting that storing CO2 in reservoirs deep underground is much safer and more predictable over long periods of time than previously thought.

These findings, published today in the journal Nature Communications, demonstrate the viability of a process called carbon capture and storage (CCS) as a solution to reducing carbon emissions from coal and gas-fired power stations, say researchers.

CCS involves capturing the carbon dioxide produced at power stations, compressing it, and pumping it into reservoirs in the rock more than a kilometre underground.

The CO2 must remain buried for at least 10,000 years to avoid the impacts on climate. One concern is that the dilute acid, formed when the stored CO2 dissolves in water present in the reservoir rocks, might corrode the rocks above and let the CO2 escape upwards.

By studying a natural reservoir in Utah, USA, where CO2 released from deeper formations has been trapped for around 100,000 years, a Cambridge-led research team has now shown that CO2 can be securely stored underground for far longer than the 10,000 years needed to avoid climatic impacts.

Their new study shows that the critical component in geological carbon storage, the relatively impermeable layer of “cap rock” that retains the CO2, can resist corrosion from CO2-saturated water for at least 100,000 years.

“Carbon capture and storage is seen as essential technology if the UK is to meet its climate change targets,” says lead author Professor Mike Bickle, Director of the Cambridge Centre for Carbon Capture and Storage at the University of Cambridge.

“A major obstacle to the implementation of CCS is the uncertainty over the long-term fate of the CO2 which impacts regulation, insurance, and who assumes the responsibility for maintaining CO2 storage sites. Our study demonstrates that geological carbon storage can be safe and predictable over many hundreds of thousands of years.”

The key component in the safety of geological storage of CO2 is an impermeable cap rock over the porous reservoir in which the CO2 is stored. Although the CO2 will be injected as a dense fluid, it is still less dense than the brines originally filling the pores in the reservoir sandstones, and will rise until trapped by the relatively impermeable cap rocks.

“Some earlier studies, using computer simulations and laboratory experiments, have suggested that these cap rocks might be progressively corroded by the CO2-charged brines, formed as CO2 dissolves, creating weaker and more permeable layers of rock several metres thick and jeopardising the secure retention of the CO2,” explains Bickle.

“However, these studies were either carried out in the laboratory over short timescales or based on theoretical models. Predicting the behaviour of CO2 stored underground is best achieved by studying natural CO2 accumulations that have been retained for periods comparable to those needed for effective storage.”

To better understand these effects, this study, funded by the UK Natural Environment Research Council and the UK Department of Energy and Climate Change, examined a natural reservoir where large natural pockets of CO2 have been trapped in sedimentary rocks for hundreds of thousands of years. Sponsored by Shell, the team drilled deep down below the surface into one of these natural CO2 reservoirs to recover samples of the rock layers and the fluids confined in the rock pores.

The team studied the corrosion of the minerals comprising the rock by the acidic carbonated water, and how this has affected the ability of the cap rock to act as an effective trap over geological periods of time. Their analysis studied the mineralogy and geochemistry of cap rock and included bombarding samples of the rock with neutrons at a facility in Germany to better understand any changes that may have occurred in the pore structure and permeability of the cap rock.

They found that the CO2 had very little impact on corrosion of the minerals in the cap rock, with corrosion limited to a layer only 7cm thick. This is considerably less than the amount of corrosion predicted in some earlier studies, which suggested that this layer might be many metres thick.

The researchers also used computer simulations, calibrated with data collected from the rock samples, to show that this layer took at least 100,000 years to form, an age consistent with how long the site is known to have contained CO2.

The research demonstrates that the natural resistance of the cap rock minerals to the acidic carbonated waters makes burying CO2 underground a far more predictable and secure process than previously estimated.

“With careful evaluation, burying carbon dioxide underground will prove very much safer than emitting CO2 directly to the atmosphere,” says Bickle.


The Cambridge research into the CO2 reservoirs in Utah was funded by the Natural Environment Research Council (CRIUS consortium of Cambridge, Manchester and Leeds universities and the British Geological Survey) and the Department of Energy and Climate Change.

The project involved an international consortium of researchers led by Cambridge, together with Aarchen University (Germany), Utrecht University (Netherlands), Utah State University (USA), the Julich Centre for Neutron Science, (Garching, Germany), Oak Ridge National Laboratory (USA), the British Geological Survey, and Shell Global Solutions International (Netherlands).

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July 28, 2016 7:52 am

Here’s a thought:
You want to sequester carbon in a nice, stable form, for thousands of years?
Stop recycling paper.
Instead, bury it in old open-pit mines and put a lot of dirt on top of it.
If we buried just half of our paper consumption per year, we’d sequester the equivalent of about 30,000,000 tons of carbon dioxide, and we wouldn’t have to worry about it leaking out and killing a lot of people.

Reply to  cirby
July 28, 2016 8:37 am

You’d use a serious amount of energy by doing that.

Reply to  Hugs
July 28, 2016 8:47 am

We’re already doing that. They are called dumps.

Reply to  Hugs
July 28, 2016 10:39 am

Seriously large portion of paper is not recycled, but burnt for energy. Some of it is just discarded, but because waste paper contains a lot of energy, putting it in a landfill is maybe a shortsighted thing to do. OTOH, collecting small amounts of paper around countryside is definitely wasting a lot. Dumping now efficiently recycled paper will not improve energy budgets.
Storing wood and its derivatives is not very efficient, because wood has lots of better uses.
Collecting sea weed or similar that has a small impact on land use and has small energy content per carbon mass might be better. None has come with a good plan yet, though. Maybe genetic engineering is needed to produce photosynthetic energy comparable to fossils in efficiency.

Reply to  cirby
July 28, 2016 9:01 am

Why sequester carbon?
Estimates show the world produces $10 Trillion in foodstuffs and when components are calculated, the additional CO2 we’ve seen in the past 50 years of so has contributed 15% of that total.
Consequently, the value in food due to additional CO2 is $1.5 Trillion dollars every year.
Why reduce that amount by sequestering carbon? Are all the world’s people fed properly? The answer is NO!
So stop this stupidity; stop sequestering carbon or even thinking about it. To sequester CO2 is stupid and 100% counterproductive.

Reply to  RockyRoad
July 28, 2016 10:47 am


Reply to  RockyRoad
July 28, 2016 7:41 pm

To be taken seriously one must know that Carbon (C) and Carbon Dioxide (CO2) are not the same thing!

Reply to  RockyRoad
July 28, 2016 10:00 pm

Sorry, Slywolfe–with a master’s in geology and another master’s in mining engineering, I’m well aware of the nuances involving carbon in its many forms–as solid, liquid or gaseous; in minerals or organic compound–as well as their various environmental impacts.
This whole charade about sequestering carbon has one goal–to reduce atmospheric CO2 under the false impression that it will somehow prevent catastrophic anthropogenic global warming, which can’t be found regardless of how hard they tease or torture the data. That’s why the CAGW crowd has resorted to models, which conform to their mystical predictions and nefarious schemes.
So please don’t lecture me on the difference between carbon and carbon dioxide; in the current battle with the CAGW idiots they are essentially equivalent components.

bill johnston
Reply to  RockyRoad
July 29, 2016 5:38 am

CCS is right up there with removing grain stover from the fields and turning it into ethanol. Pretty soon the ground will no longer produce as much crop. The law of unintended consequences.

Reply to  cirby
July 28, 2016 11:16 am

‘Leaking out’ is not the operative description. Try catastropic release due to a seismic or man made event (see Deepwater Horizon). We have already run the CO2 sequestration experiment. Its called Lake Nyos, Cameroon, 1986. Killed 1700.
For any organization thinking about carbon sequestration, forget the technology. Start first by finding liability insurance against the possibility your endeavor may instantly asphyxiate (i.e., kill) several hundred or a few thousand humans. Once you have committments for this, come back and we can talk about the efficacy of this nonsence. I’m with Patrick Moore here.
Go green! (Photosynthesis that is!)

Reply to  Robert
July 28, 2016 11:52 am

1700 is nothing compared to the amount of people killed because of the DDT ban. And nobody seems to be responsible for that.

July 28, 2016 7:58 am

Sounds like Harold found his purple crayon.

July 28, 2016 7:59 am

The ‘natural accumulation’ of CO2 underground is due to chemical weathering of limestone rocks underground by water made acidic by absorption of NOx and SOx. One by-product of this chemical weathering is limestone caverns.
The SOx, in particular, is scrubbed from the atmosphere where it was mostly injected by volcanoes.
Sedimentary rock is inevitably involved. Caprock in particular is often a sediimentary rock that has been transformed by pressure into an impermeable layer. Not all limestone (carbonate) rocks are overlain by an effective caprock, so in many places this CO2 escapes to the atmosphere, sometimes as carbonated mineral waters (Perrier).

Ben of Houston
Reply to  tadchem
July 28, 2016 10:39 am

Yes, this seems to be taking isolated geological formations as a proof of concept far beyond what is rational.

July 28, 2016 8:02 am

This is good news. When they finally realize that CO2 is good, they can just open a valve and let it out. No regrets.

Bruce Cobb
Reply to  commieBob
July 28, 2016 8:17 am

Too bad they can’t just open a valve and voila, there’s the $billions wasted on such a foolish venture.

Reply to  commieBob
July 28, 2016 8:19 am

Just the huge costs of compressing and pumping it under ground.

Reply to  MarkW
July 28, 2016 8:32 am

Well, industrial gas companies have been recovering, purifying, liquefying and storing CO2 for over a hundred years.

Reply to  MarkW
July 28, 2016 8:47 am

They do it so they can sell the stuff. At the end of the line there’s a revenue stream that pays for it all.
With this scheme, it’s all loss.

Reply to  MarkW
July 28, 2016 9:06 am

Yeah, I know. Used to work for Liquid Carbonic (and others) eons ago.

July 28, 2016 8:14 am

Hey, I don’t think CO2 has any real impact. I could write a computer model that shows that, but why bother?

Reply to  pochas94
July 28, 2016 8:24 am

Well go ahead, I’m pretty sure that’ll get you a Nobel prize if it actually proves it.

Reply to  Geo-D00d
July 28, 2016 10:50 am

Not enough is known about natural variability to prove anything. All we have is writing in the sand.

July 28, 2016 8:18 am

If the concern is leakage, the CO2 doesn’t have to corrode its way through the cap rock, it only has to rust the completion liner in the injection well and/or wait for the cement shoes or plugs to crumble. Expecting a well to retain integrity against a pressurized corrosive reservoir fluid for 10,000 years without paying for frequent intervention and work-over operations is pretty optimistic

Robert of Texas
July 28, 2016 8:18 am

The best place to store carbon is a tree. The tree dies, falls down, and makes carbon rich soil. Over time, you get many feet of carbon rich soil (assuming it doesn’t just wash away after a fire). So, you want to store carbon, plant more trees.
It might even help with the other so-called CO2 induced events like drought, flooding, and rising temperatures.

Paul Westhaver
Reply to  Robert of Texas
July 28, 2016 8:23 am

“The best place to store carbon is a tree.”
…my thoughts exactly…
Except increased anthropocentric CO2 is not impacting the climate at all. So…who cares?

Reply to  Paul Westhaver
July 28, 2016 8:46 am

And those trees snarf up all the CO2 that’s available to them, not 10,000 years from now, but right now!

Reply to  Paul Westhaver
July 28, 2016 8:48 am

The trees care.

Reply to  Paul Westhaver
July 28, 2016 9:04 am

The trees are here to survive and propagate their species, just like humans.

Reply to  Robert of Texas
July 28, 2016 9:12 am

Greenie logic: Planting trees is not green; but placing millions of acres of solar farms on the same land is green.

Reply to  alexwade
July 29, 2016 9:26 am

Cutting down millions of acres of trees in order to place millions of acres of solar farms.

ole jensen
Reply to  Robert of Texas
July 28, 2016 2:31 pm

All trees matters 🙂

Reply to  Robert of Texas
July 29, 2016 8:53 am

Actually you can just dump it in the ocean, at 257K, CO2 stays liquid at about 530m deep and it’s density is 1101 kg/m3 (liquid at saturation −37°C) so it should sink, in my back of napkin Calculations and estimates. Maybe an Engineer can chime in with better math and data, I didn’t consider liquid compression, thermal expansion and eye-balled a logarithmic chart.

July 28, 2016 8:18 am

After 10,000 years, CO2 looses it’s GHG properties????

Reply to  MarkW
July 28, 2016 11:58 am

head slap..
think Mark.

Reply to  Steven Mosher
July 28, 2016 9:41 pm

Study Stephen, CO2 has such exceptional absorption in its fundamental bending “Q channel” that it has long since extinguished OLR within a few meters at 280ppm. More gas does not mean more radiation. It just means the altitude of total OLR extinction is lowered, making your surface thermometers sing their siren song.

Reply to  Steven Mosher
July 29, 2016 9:28 am

I could say the same to you. Try it you might like it.
Why is it safe to release the CO2 after 10K years? If it’s bad now, it will be bad in 10K years.

July 28, 2016 8:25 am

Dr. Patrick Moore, co-founder Greenpeace on CO2

July 28, 2016 8:30 am

Sorry but trying to compare a naturally occurring accumulation that happened over a long period of time with injecting CO2 under pressure hardly seems scientifically valid.
Now maybe their study shows that some assumptions about how rock reacts to a corrosive CO2 solution were wrong. But that does not seem to me to immediately translate into long term underground CO2 storage is viable.

Joel O'Bryan
July 28, 2016 8:31 am

What a waste. There goes good plant food, trapped where the biosphere can’t use it. So much terrestrial carbon is permanently, naturally sequestered in benthic carbonate deposits, that this attempt at solving a non-problem is misguided. The recent decades of greening of the Earth due to anthro-emissions is real and hugely beneficial; correcting 10’s millions of years of natural carbon sequestration and carbon starvation that assists in sustaining the current 3 My Pleistocene Ice Age we are in.
And who wants to live in an Ice Age, where humanity gets to become climate refugees huddled below 40deg latitude because most land above 50N/S lat is uninhabitable tundra and ice fields? Talk about resource depletion and wars for territory and resources. Just take awa most of Siberia, Northern Europe, almost all of Canada and US NewEngland and Great Lakes resources and see what happens when 10 Gigapersons compete for the subtropics.

Bruce Cobb
July 28, 2016 8:37 am

“Here’s a “solution” to a non-problem. We think/hope it’ll work, but hey, you don’t know if you don’t try, right? And who cares if it’ll cost $billions? Think of the industry and jobs. You like jobs, right?”

July 28, 2016 8:41 am

Of all the eKoStatist schemes , injecting the source of carbon to the biosphere under ground is the most loony tunes .
You cannot drive from Colorado Springs to Denver without passing at least one mile long coal train rolling 24*7 .
The idea of adding 2 atoms of oxygen to each atom of carbon in those trains and then sticking it all in the ground is in itself a definition of insane .

Michael Oxenham
July 28, 2016 8:41 am

Nature did this 500,000 MYA by turning CO2 into chalk, limestone, marble, coal etc etc. Totally bonkers. I’ve another plan — send me $10m !

July 28, 2016 8:45 am

Even with subsidies, utility scale carbon capture and storage is not economical unless the capture CO2 can be sold to oil companies for use in enhanced oil recovery (EOR). Does anyone know whether the typical oil field “cap rock” qualifies as “impermeable”?

Reply to  marlolewisjr
July 28, 2016 8:50 am

If it’s not impermeable, the oil would have leaked out millions of years ago.

July 28, 2016 8:50 am

Sorry to say but the sheer quantity of CO2 that would need to be buried every year (gigatons as you generate almost 3x as much CO2 mass as the coal or natural gas weighed) guarantees that it will not be safe nor inexpensive. And since so far our CO2 emissions have been net positive for the environment, a complete waste of money.

July 28, 2016 8:52 am

No mention of the experimental CCS failure in Illinois. The injected CO2 reacted chemically withnthe briny groundwater to form minerals that plugged up the formation pores. Injection well stoped working after about a year. They drilled another some distance away. Same thing. Shut experiment down.
No reason to think that problem is not universal.
The parasitic load on the Canadian partial CCS pilot (CO2 used for tertiary heavy oil recovery as it reduces oil viscosity) is about 30%. Very poor economics absent tertiary oil recovery value.

Reply to  ristvan
July 28, 2016 11:24 am

Properly designed by reservoir engineers, CO2 injection as a miscible fluid for enhanced oil recovery is very viable. Many fields around the country with few problems. But you have to match a CO2 supply to a reservoir close enough to be economic…might be 20 miles or 500 miles or the pipeline costs make projects uneconomic.
Supply is usually a natural formation containing mostly CO2 or from an oil or gas field with high CO2 contamination in the gas phase. In the latter case, additional costs are incurred to separate the CO2 from the NG and perhaps H2S. Acid gas plants are used for separation…they are not cheap. Overall separation plant cost is usually controlled by the compression needed to transport and inject the CO2. That’s why oil field extraction can be economic, because gas plants run at 800 to 1000 psi which is usually provided by the source reservoir.
Conversely, when the CO2 source is flue gas from a coal or natural gas powered power plant, the compression cost can be exorbitant to raise the pressure from inches of water to 1000 psi. And that still requires the acid gas plant.
I’ve estimated costs to add carbon capture to power plants…one can expect to add 50% to 100% to the plant cost, at least.

Reply to  John MacDonald
July 29, 2016 9:31 am

Not to mention consuming a significant fraction of the power plants output.

Marlo Lewis, Jr.
Reply to  ristvan
July 30, 2016 7:13 am

Please provide links on Illinois project. Thanks.

July 28, 2016 9:05 am

For a fee of course, and a grant, and few hundred demonstration projects, and consultants, and connected insiders, and indifference in the end when all is largely forgotten

July 28, 2016 9:09 am

Greenie logic: Adding CO2 to the air causes ocean acidification; removing natural gas from the earth causes methane in the ground water; but adding CO2 to the ground does not cause ground water acidification.

Bohdan Burban
July 28, 2016 9:14 am

What gasses drive the stupendous volcanic ash clouds that are hurtled into the stratosphere during eruptions such as at Mt St Helens, Mt Pinatubo, Eyjafjallajökull etc.? Carbon dioxide is one of many that include methane, water vapor, hydrochloric acid, hydrofluoric acid, sulfur dioxide, among others.

Reply to  Bohdan Burban
July 28, 2016 10:09 pm

Water is the primary culprit–just like lifting the lid off a pressure cooker, that hot water flashes and anything in the mix is carried with it. Here’s an example:

July 28, 2016 9:30 am

I spent a couple of weeks in Wyoming and Montana. Lots of sour gas there. The companies I visited processed the gas to remove the H2S and Co2 and re-injected into the formations for EOR. The wells I was at injected about 60%H2S and 40% Co2 at a couple of thousand psi. Dangerous as all get out. Other than enhancing recovery, doesn’t seem to affect the formations.

Steve Fraser
July 28, 2016 9:35 am

Here’s a thought: Think of a coal power plant as a ‘mine’ that produces CO2. Collect it, and sell it to companies that want to buy it.

Bruce Cobb
Reply to  Steve Fraser
July 28, 2016 9:45 am

Sure. As long as it’s the free market paying for it. But that isn’t what they are talking about, is it?

Steve Fraser
Reply to  Bruce Cobb
July 28, 2016 1:52 pm

I think you are right. I am proposing something different than they are.

July 28, 2016 9:37 am

From whence comes the magic 10,000 year number?

Neil Jordan
Reply to  arthur4563
July 28, 2016 3:02 pm

I checked other replies, but nothing, so let me be the first to try to answer. The radioactive waste thumb rule is to wait ten half-lives and it’s (mostly) gone. That works (sometimes) for short half lives where you don’t start out with too much. Now residence time for “carbon pollution” in the atmosphere is half-time (not radioactive half-life) x ln 2. One-tenth of 10,000 years is 1,000 years or the official adopted residence time. However, the actual residence time based on carbon-14 tracer studies is on the order of ten years, but that is another can of worms.

July 28, 2016 9:45 am

Has any study been done to determine if it isn’t simply cheaper to plant 500 acres of trees per megawatt of the local plant?

Bruce Cobb
Reply to  prjindigo
July 28, 2016 10:28 am

There is no comparison between the two enterprises. CCS is the equivalent of digging a giant hole, dumping in fertilizer, and filling it back in, while tree farming is a profitable business. My guess is you’d be hard-pressed to find 500 acres available and suitable for that, since it would have already been done.

July 28, 2016 10:02 am

Does the study look into the fact that the reason these deposits are more than 100,000 years old is only because the conditions were absolutely perfect for maintaining these conditions for 100,000 years? The other areas that had a CO2 bubble underground would have released all of their CO2 through natural actions and refilled with water or other compounds.

Reply to  usurbrain
July 28, 2016 11:08 am

They are going to discover that the only place suitable for such a storage facility is, oh, like Yucca Mountain. The cost of building massive pipelines and the energy consumed would dwarf the energy produced by the power plants, which would then only exist for the purpose of pumping CO2 into the ground.
The only purpose of these willfully idiotic proposals is to make using fossil fuels more expensive. If they were serious about solving the non-problem they would spend their money building modern nukes to replace the coal plants.

Reply to  markopanama
July 28, 2016 11:30 am

Yucca mtn would be a poor gas storage facility because it probably has poor permeability and little porosity.

Reply to  markopanama
July 29, 2016 4:52 pm

MacDonald Then why do gas companies around Lake Erie (and I am sure there are other areas) store NG in old Salt mines?

Reply to  markopanama
August 1, 2016 10:23 pm

There is a fundamental difference between storage in salt mines and storage in reservoir rock. Old salt mines would literally provide caverns and tunnels of empty volume. The surrounding salt rock in impermeable. Reservoir rock is solid rock but contains microscopic permeability and porosity. You can’t see it but it can be up to 50% of the structure. But a suitable cap rock is needed.
Yucca mountain is a welded tuff rock in an old caldera and as such probably has lots of porosity and permeability but not a suitable cap rock structure to prevent gas loss. So even gas storage in the 7 miles off tunnels would not work.

Reply to  usurbrain
July 28, 2016 11:33 am

Most gas fields have cap rock structures and they are millions to hundreds of millions of years old. The analogies are very close.

Dirk Pitt
July 28, 2016 10:22 am

CCS = Sentencing trees to death.

July 28, 2016 10:27 am

The totalitarians want to imprison a harmless and vital-to-life gas. I’m contacting Bernie supporters so we can mount a campaign, “Free the C02! Now!”

Thomas Homer
July 28, 2016 11:13 am

Sequestering the lifeblood of life?
This would surpass the brilliance of bloodletting. You know the exact wrong thing to do, that man foisted upon himself for thousands of years under the guise of settled science.

Thomas Homer
Reply to  Thomas Homer
July 28, 2016 1:05 pm

Blue whales consume krill
krill consume phytoplankton
phytoplankton consume CO2
Some say we should restrict the blue whales’ food source in the name of “environmentalism”

Dirk Pitt
July 28, 2016 11:43 am

I think I’ve read somewhere that 20-25% of the power generated from a coal firing plant is required to capture, compress, and pump CO2 into the ground (of course, with dubious results). Guess, who is going to pay for that. One thing that blows my mind is, at the same time, CAGW proponents are telling us we should all stop burning fossil fuels and replace them with electricity (i.e. switching to electric cars). How is making electricity way more expensive going to achieve that goal? The next time I see a hefty price hike on my utilities bill, I’m going off the grid. Going to get myself a bad @ss diesel gen-set. There you go!

July 28, 2016 11:45 am

markopanama’s Yucca Mountain reference is apt. Decades and billions of dollars later the bureaucrats, politicians, environuts, etc. are no closer to meeting the legal commitment by the U.S. Government to receive waste materials from nuclear power plants.
Thus, the study author’s comment concerning “… regulation, insurance, and who assumes responsibility for maintaining CO2 storage sites.” is a hoot. Maybe this time will be different and the professional obstructionists will fail. CCS will succeed because proponents’ are sincere and their hearts are pure!

July 28, 2016 12:00 pm

Why not just bottle it on a larger scale?comment image

Dirk Pitt
Reply to  ossqss
July 28, 2016 12:06 pm

You would need Nero to find use for all of it.

Reply to  ossqss
July 28, 2016 4:31 pm

Just pump it into space

Reply to  Matthew W
July 28, 2016 9:00 pm

Just leave it in the atmosphere….

Billy Liar
July 28, 2016 1:05 pm

By studying a natural reservoir in Utah, USA, where CO2 released from deeper formations has been trapped for around 100,000 years, a Cambridge-led research team has now shown that CO2 can be securely stored underground for far longer than the 10,000 years needed to avoid climatic impacts.
Aaaaah, one – the smallest statistical sample in the world.
They certainly pull in the geniuses at the University of Cambridge these days.

Neil Jordan
Reply to  Billy Liar
July 28, 2016 2:40 pm

Sorry. In Climate Science(tm) the minimum sample size is zero. WUWT carried an article, which I couldn’t find after a brief search, about work by Lewandowsky(?) or one of his cohorts. On close examination, their statistical work had a zero sample size.
But you bring up a fascinating point. For sample size of one, you have zero degrees of freedom. For regression analysis, there would be minus one degrees of freedom. For a Lewandowsky zero-content analysis, the degrees of freedom would be minus one and minus two respectively. My statistical reference tables don’t go that low, but they are printed on paper and dated. Perhaps climate statistics tables are not bounded at the lower end.
(Some \sarc here, but the Statistician to the Stars will have to pry it out of my fingers.)

Billy Liar
Reply to  Neil Jordan
July 29, 2016 4:09 pm

My mistake, I never considered a zero sample size! 🙂

July 28, 2016 1:18 pm

Did I read that right? This study rejects the output of computer models?

July 28, 2016 1:32 pm

10,000 years? Unfortunately, all the climate software will have to be updated to handle the Y10K problem. Fortunately, I am a Y10K consultant…

JJM Gommers
July 28, 2016 1:43 pm

Think about what the IPCC has in mind. Underground sequestration of CO2 has a triple advantage : less CO2 means less water vapor in the atmosphere too, subsequently a slight lower density of the atmosphere .
all these effects cause a lower atmospheric temperature. When it becomes too cold CO2 will be vented to the atmosphere and vice versa. The only problem left is the setting of the control valves.

July 28, 2016 1:55 pm

CO 2 Sequestration is stupid, costly, wastes a lot of energy, and for every 12 pounds of carbon one sequesters, they are also sequestering 32 lbs of Oxygen if I remember my Chemistry correctly.
It should be called Oxygen sequestering instead.

Steve Fraser
Reply to  Catcracking
July 28, 2016 2:09 pm

Good point.

Steve Fraser
July 28, 2016 2:04 pm

Here is another idea… Sequester the carbon in structurally- stable compounds from which things can be made, or which can be stored short-or-long term without degradation. How about large-scale reefs, dam substructures, artificial ski mountains, lakebed liners for otherwise caustic locations, raising the elevation of low lying flood plains…
If you really gotta spend money, make something out of it.

Robert from oz
July 28, 2016 3:28 pm

Stop starving the trees .

July 28, 2016 4:30 pm

Actually, co2 can be stored for over 87 trillion years longer than needed to avoid a disaster cuz it simply means nothing either way

Patrick MJD
July 28, 2016 5:00 pm

Actually, the best solution was documented in a film called “Silent Running”. Store the carbon in trees, send them in to space and then blow them up with nuclear weapons.

July 28, 2016 6:07 pm

You sequester carbon by the only method shown viable so far–growing trees. But while California has AB32 to lower carbon dioxide emissions based on carbon exchanges, the governor demanded we let all of our plants die in all urban cites to save water this year. Quick calculations on my typical clippings trash for my lawn before it died, extrapolated to all the major CA cities acreage, estimates we just lost 20% of CO2 sequestration for the state by this policy. So as usual, Democratic Party leaders talk out of both sides of their mouths at once, demanding lower CO2 emission while destroying CO2 sequestration, the flip side of this equation. Lawns everywhere are dead to preserve a Sacramento delta bait fish while agriculture in the Central Valley goes unused to sequester carbon and our lawns and plants all die in Los Angeles and other major urban centers throughout the state. For example, my demand letter to cut back was just a mere 90%. Oh right, they advertised 30% in the press. Well that was for public consumption. Why must I cut back? Because we have less Colorado water and less Owens aqueduct water. Oh gee, we use 75% groundwater here in Lancaster, CA and zero Colorado and Owens water. No mind, must cut back anyway because of drought in Uzbekhistan and we must stand with them, or similar political logic. So this is how a Democratic state works. No carbon ground sequestration system has worked so far. You pump it underground, you have to frack first to fracture the rock. Then if it reacts with host rock, it plugs your wells. All this crap because we cannot grow trees.

July 28, 2016 7:30 pm

The CO2 spent nuclear waste must remain buried for at least 10,000 years to avoid the impacts on climate radiation poisoning.

There, fixed it. Almost identical to the same nonsensical worries about vitrified nuclear waste buried 10,000 feet under Yucca Mountain in Nevada. Except there’s no risk with that technology, and no cost relative to what CCS is going to incur.

July 28, 2016 8:25 pm

Naturally, I don’t believe in the fear that the “green” CO2-hypochondriacs have that increased levels CO2 is going to destroy the climate thru global warming. But, lets for a moment assume that more CO2 in the atmosphere is bad. It is estimated that the amount of dissolved CO2 in the form of carbonic acid in the oceans is at least 50 times that of what exist in the atmosphere. Isn’t the cheapest and easiest way to dispose CO2 to pump CO2 deep into the oceans at the depth of 1000 or 2000. Not much of that is going to reach the atmosphere for a very long time.

July 28, 2016 8:39 pm

“The CO2 must remain buried for at least 10,000 years to avoid the impacts on climate.”
That threw me. What’s magical about 10,000 years? Is that how long it takes for bad CO2 to evolve into good CO2 that won’t impact the climate? Or are they assuming there will be no humans, or that we will have moved away from fossil fuels by then? Or is that how long they think it will take for the world to come to its senses and realize that CO2 isn’t a significant threat to the climate?

July 28, 2016 8:59 pm

There is no real evidence that CO2 has any effect on climate so all of this does not really matter. There is reason to believe that the climate sensitivity of CO2 is 0.0. The safest way to store the Carbon would be as diamonds. Diamonds can be stored above ground in fire proof buildings. Turning all the CO2 on our atmosphere into diamonds and left over O2 will have one little adverse effect. It would cause life, as we know it, to end on this planet.

Reply to  willhaas
July 28, 2016 10:22 pm

Diamond has a density of 3.5 tonnes per cubic meter. So, if you wanted to store 3.5 gigatonnes of carbon, the diamond would have a volume of 1E9 cubic meters. That’s a cube with dimensions of 1000 x 1000 x 1000 meters. For comparison, the great pyramid of Giza when built had a height of 146 meters.
You would need about 385 pyramids to match the volume of the 1000 meter cube
Other carbon materials are less dense, graphite is 2.25 tonnes per cubic meter, or cellulose at 1.5 tonnes per cubic meter. Dense woods are only as dense as water, at 1 tonne per cubic meter.
For wood you’d have to worry about long term storage due to termites.
How about a twinkie?? That might last 10000 years. But wheat is less dense than wood. Even if you could make a twinkie as carbon dense as wood, you would need 1E9 cubic meters to store only 1 gigatonne of carbon. So, our one gigatonne twinkie on the scale of the pyramids would be, for example, 150 meters high, 150 meters wide and be 44400 meters long.
That’s a twinkie over 27 miles long, that’s a big twinkie.

July 28, 2016 9:43 pm

There is something seriously wrong with the summary of this study. 100,000 years ago we were in an ice age, and that is still very very recent geologically speaking. No CO2 traps of any size and significance were formed a mere 100,000 years ago. No gas or oil traps either. Many traps, filled with Oil, CO2, Methane, Nitrogen and even Helium have been formed in the past, over many many millions of years, and are still effective traps today. I have not read the original article/study, but nobody would be so ignorant to push a 100,000 year old trap that probably does not exist, when many million year old traps are readily available to study.
I suspect somebody missed a few zeros, or completely misrepresented the study.

July 28, 2016 10:33 pm

The real problem on this Carbon Starved Planet is that there has already been far too much natural sequestration, to the detriment of the biosphere. Even if you happen to believe the human interglacial we live somewhere near the apex of is such a perfect Garden of Eden that it should be cryogenically preserved, there is no evidence sequestering CO2 will have any effect.
There is definitely a risk that we may be cryogenically preserved in the wrong kind of way. Something is cooling the stratosphere twice as fast as even the most adjusted data would have the surface warm.

Not Oscar, just a grouch
Reply to  gymnosperm
July 29, 2016 1:32 am

gymnosperm, I think you are onto something. Maybe you have answered Fermi’s Paradox. We don’t see any aliens because carbon dioxide levels on all life-bearing planets eventually fall to levels too low to sustain life.
This would shorten the time available for intelligence to develop. Sol will brighten over time and drive the Goldilocks Zone beyond Earth’s orbital radius. The depletion of carbon dioxide to levels too low to support life should occur well before that time. So, intelligence has less time to develop and build a technical civilization with the ability to replenish the carbon dioxide and keep their planet alive. They would also have to be of a type TO develop a technical civilization AND of a type to keep it. As of now, I’m not sure we meet that second requiremtent.
So, intelligence has less time to develop. It must achieve high-tech civilization. It must develop an ability to deal with carbon dioxide depletion of the biosphere or die with the rest of their planet. Time becomes shorter. Other civilizations less likely.
I have often seen the opinion that any alien civilizations collapsed by failing to meet their Energy Crisis. Perhaps they did meet them and doomed themselves in the process.
Just thinking. I’m not claiming any truth. Just a bit of thought.
One last thing:
Just think of the irony. In the rush to “save Gaia” the CAGW alarmists may well wind up killing the thing they are trying to save. Talk about unintended consequences! Not that many of that crowd have much ability to think past immediate consequences.

Thomas Homer
Reply to  Not Oscar, just a grouch
July 29, 2016 6:26 am

“… carbon dioxide levels on all life-bearing planets eventually fall to levels too low to sustain life.”
Three sister planets:
Venus –> 95% atmospheric CO2
Earth –> 0.04% atmospheric CO2
Mars –> 95% atmospheric CO2
Which one currently supports Carbon based life forms that consume CO2 when considered as a whole? How much longer?

Reply to  Not Oscar, just a grouch
July 29, 2016 8:10 am

Fun to think about. The chemical properties of Carbon make it ideal for life and also prone to sequestration. Our Pleistocene cold ocean is thought to be sequestering 37k gigatons, over twice the amount in sediments and on land and about 37 times the current total in the atmosphere.

July 29, 2016 12:45 am

Here in British Columbia farm and ranch land is being bought up to plant trees for carbon credits. We therefore have to import more and more food. Now the funny part there is a huge logging industry here cutting down trees. It is like watching a logging truck from north of town taking logs to a sawmill south of town passing a truck from south of town taking logs to a mill north of town. Happens all the time.

Bruce Cobb
Reply to  nc
July 29, 2016 3:29 am

Ah yes, the law of unintended consequences. Add that to all the other stupidities of CCS, and all other Greenie schemes.

July 29, 2016 1:25 am

Didnt naturally occuring co2 storage Lead to the deaths of a thousand people in cameroon ?

Bruce Cobb
July 29, 2016 8:21 am

Sequester the carbon-haters underground.
Problem solved.

July 29, 2016 10:51 am

Carbon has to be sequestered so that we can continue with coal fired power plants and stop erecting windmills. It may also be possible to capture flue gas CO2 using carbonate fuel cell technology which has the added advantage of generating electricity whilst doing so, thereby boosting the overall power output of the plant. This would be a win win situation and could lead to a truce uniting sceptics with fanatical half crazed warmists alike.

Øyvind Davidsen
August 1, 2016 2:55 pm

Solutions like this has no impact to the climate politics. No one will approve such solutions. The agenda with the climate issue is to set back capitalism and break ground for a global socialistic government.

Warren Latham
August 4, 2016 11:22 pm

How about we … BURY this lot instead …
The Natural Environment Research Council (CRIUS consortium of Cambridge, Manchester and Leeds universities and the British Geological Survey) and the Department of Energy and Climate Change and also the international consortium of researchers led by Cambridge, together with Aarchen University (Germany), Utrecht University (Netherlands), Utah State University (USA), the Julich Centre for Neutron Science, (Garching, Germany), Oak Ridge National Laboratory (USA), the British Geological Survey, and Shell Global Solutions International (Netherlands).
Any “grave digging” volunteers out there ?

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