Climate Experiment to Dump Minerals in Cornish Sea to Absorb Carbon


By Paul Homewood

h/t Graham Worthington

From The Times:

A Canadian company plans to dump hundreds of tonnes of a mineral off the Cornish coast to slow climate change, despite calls by environmentalists to halt the trial.

The pioneering scheme by Planetary Technologies is designed to remove CO2 from the atmosphere by increasing the alkalinity of the water. The UN climate science panel said last year that removing billions of tonnes of CO2 from the air would be vital for the world to meet the Paris agreement’s goals.

Planetary Technologies will release between 200 and 300 tonnes of magnesium hydroxide in its mineral form, brucite, in St Ives Bay over three months this spring.

Magnesium hydroxide is probably better known as the compound Milk of Magnesia, used as a laxative. Senior company figures are attending public meetings in Hayle and Truro to assuage concerns about the project.

The approach is called ocean alkalinity enhancement, and uses an alkaline mineral to shift the pH value of the sea. Making the water more alkaline speeds up the natural way oceans lock CO2 away by neutralising dissolved CO2 and turning it into a salt.

The method has the bonus of reversing ocean acidification, a threat to marine life that has been caused by cars, power stations and factories releasing CO2.

“We’re trying to restore the ocean and restore the climate for generations,” said Peter Chargin, vice president of commercialisation and community relations at Planetary Technologies. “We’re transforming CO2 in the air into salt in the ocean. We think this can be a big arrow in the quiver of solutions for climate change,” he added.

The Nova Scotia-headquartered firm studied locations around the world for the test. It chose Cornwall’s waters because they are shallow, which is important for CO2 removal because the alkalinity-enhanced water needs to be in contact with the air for a long time. The water is also very well-mixed, or turbulent, which should help the process.

The experiment, which will operate under a licence issued by the regulator for England, the Environment Agency, marks a significant scaling up of previous tests.

Planetary Technologies released about four tonnes in the area last year, at a rate that Chargin calls “hysterically small”. While the increase to 200-300 tonnes over 90 days marks a big increase, Chargin said it was still relatively small, a “drop in the bucket”.

Brucite is the mineral form of magnesium hydroxide

Sue Sayer, director of the Cornwall Seal Research Trust, said she welcomed companies exploring such approaches but felt the release should be blocked until further research had been conducted.

She said: “I am all for the project in that we need to find some innovative solutions to climate change, and find them quickly. It’s a very exciting project, potentially.

“My main thoughts are that we need to make sure there are no unintended effects. My feeling is there isn’t sufficient data on this introduction [of the mineral] and therefore no release should be done until the data is available. It’s not me trying to do the nimby thing, St Ives Bay is a really vital bay for the Cornish economy and the environment.”

Sayer said it was not obvious what the negative side effects might be, but that she was concerned about possible impacts on the marine food web affecting mammals such as grey seals.

Ruth Williams, marine conservation manager at the Cornwall Wildlife Trust, said the company’s approach was innovative and she welcomed its engagement with locals.

However, she said: “Whilst we support their ambition of trying to find a way to help tackle our current climate emergency, and agree that in principle the chemistry should work, we are very aware that there is potential for unintended consequences with new ideas such as this, and there has been very little environmental research done to mitigate concerns to date that we are aware of.”

Chargin said he hoped the public meetings would put people’s fears to rest. “We feel compelled to act, because the environment is at risk from ocean acidification and climate change. Cornwall is a great place to do it,” he said.

The company is also running trials in Canada and hopes to increase the concentration and duration of its brucite releases in future projects.

This is absolutely crazy. Maybe somebody would like to do the sums, but I would imagine the amount of CO2 sequestered in this way would be infinitesimal.

But as Sue Sayer points out, there could be unintended effects from messing around with the natural eco-systems.

One last question – who is paying for this nonsense?

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March 5, 2023 6:10 am

Aren’t our oceans polluted enough already without putting more gunk into them?

Bryan A
Reply to  atticman
March 5, 2023 8:07 am

“This is absolutely crazy. Maybe somebody would like to do the sums, but I would imagine the amount of CO2 sequestered in this way would be infinitesimal.”

We’re looking at about 3 tons per day over 90 days. My guess is to assess any potential environmental damages as the effect on CO2 concentrations would be immeasurable. You could, in all likelihood, drop 100 times that (300 tons daily) and not measure any change in atmospheric concentrations f the well mixed gas. Though the fish would likely $#it their brains out.

Reply to  Bryan A
March 7, 2023 9:43 pm

Wouldn’t it make more sense to spread some iron out in the water instead? It’s already been tried off the coast of BC and it lead to a huge increase in the amount of salmon caught – more iron -> more plankton -> more small creatues -> more big creatures like salmon and other harvestable species, which means more CO2 converted into fish.

Who knows if it will affect the temperature a century from now but it’ll sound good and plausible to the “watermelons” and go along way to restoring and enhancing the fisheries.

Tom Halla
March 5, 2023 6:14 am

It looks like someone actually believing the ocean acidification bushwa.

Reply to  Tom Halla
March 5, 2023 10:31 am

There are far more serious hazards for the Suffolk’s (UK) sea side properties
comment image
comment image

Reply to  vuk
March 5, 2023 10:54 am

That’s what happens when you ignore history and build in a place that has been eroding rapidly for thousands of years, nothing to do with recent alleged climate variations etc.
Happisburgh is the usual goto example.

Loren Wilson
Reply to  MrGrimNasty
March 5, 2023 3:58 pm

Don’t forget a lot of the southern California coastline (Ventura for example). Every big storm eats away some more unconsolidated material and houses hang over the edge.

Reply to  vuk
March 5, 2023 11:18 am
son of mulder
Reply to  MrGrimNasty
March 5, 2023 12:57 pm

Sometimes you win sometines you lose. The attached contains a graphic example of climate events in 1250 and 1287 that split the port town of Rye from the sea. yet they still alowed SUV’s back then.,_East_Sussex

Reply to  vuk
March 6, 2023 12:44 am

Theo ther side of the country to St Ives Bay, though.

Peter Barrett
March 5, 2023 6:18 am

One last question – who is paying for this nonsense?”
Need you really ask?
One way or another, it will be us.

Frank from NoVA
Reply to  Peter Barrett
March 5, 2023 7:50 am

‘…who is paying for this nonsense?’

They won an X Prize for carbon sequestration, sponsored by Elon Musk.

Bryan A
Reply to  Peter Barrett
March 5, 2023 8:00 am

Probably “Phillips” “Milk of Magnesia”

March 5, 2023 6:21 am

So, when the aluminium and nuclear industries started producing toxic fluoride compounds that corrode any container you can build, we suddenly learned how good fluoride is for your teeth (it isn’t).
When the libtards realised their lithium batteries are about to pollute the entire biosphere, they start calling us violent reprobates, and demand we add lithium to the drinking water (it numbs the senses).
What process is producing waste magnesium, why is this stuff inconvenient to process, and why are they hiding it in the ocean? How long before it ends up in the drinking water?
Or is it just another case of some entitled retard bribing the sanitation board so they turn a blind side to the illegal dump on the poor side of town?
Also, how long before this shlift gets into the drinking water?

Peta of Newark
Reply to  cilo
March 5, 2023 8:05 am

There’s no such thing as ‘waste Magnesium’ – that is the truly crazy thing here.

Depending who/where you read. you will be told that between 25% and 75% of the entire US population is deficient in Magnesium

The amount to be consuming was well established over 100 years ago –
esp: For every kilogram of bodyweight you are, consume 10milligrams of Magnesium daily. Magnesium Citrate is good, also obviously Epsom Salt
If you take a bit too much, it ‘pees’ right out of you. Same with anything tho, don’t go crazy.

This was the first place I found

Take no notice of when they talk about Osteoporosis.
There is no such thing – apart from it being an entirely contrived condition to frighten/scare womenfolk into taking unnecessary, very expensive and lifelong therapies – all of which do immense harms.
Describes nearly all of Modern Medicine and, obviously, Climate Science don’t it just.

(Add Magnesium to your garden – it will become greener than it was previously. Does CO2 still do that. Did it ever?)

Folks are seriously deficient nowadays because of Nitrogen Fertiliser. The fert works to acidify farmland soils and with Mg being effectively an Alkali Metal, is very readily solubilised and washed away.
The deficiency is made worse in that Calcium is also mobilised but is always in vastly greater abundance than Mg.
So plants take up huuuuge amounts of Ca and not so much Mg.

When we eat the (vegetable) food, the Calcium antagonises the Mg and shoos it off the premises – so we finish up in epic deficiency.

If me, you, any warm blooded critter runs low on Mg the effects can be drastic and fatal – as any livestock farmer will tell you.
Find out about Grass Staggers.
Not a nice thing and indistinguishable from Mad Cow Disease

Brandon is low on Magnesium and also, believe it or not, also both of Lithium and Cobalt

People have been low on Magnesium since forever – hence the popularity for Health springs and spas and ‘taking the water’
Also baths salts – it is absorbed through the skin. (Most things are or can be)

trivia: Even if just 0.1% of the stuff coming out of the Yellow River was Magnesium – that river alone is dumping over 5,000 Tonnes of Magnesium into the water daily

Reply to  Peta of Newark
March 5, 2023 12:42 pm

As usual Peta entertains and informs! I”l take that 5kton with some salt…
I admit to missing the bit about milk of magnesia, but I fear antacids will help the oceans the way it has helped humans; temporary relief of symptoms, misleading the brain to override the body’s warnings and repeat the behaviour that caused the original injury.
I kid, of course, so we are stuck with the theory of mafia connections and venal sanitation department officials, conspiring to dump huge mounds of rubbish in our collective back yard.

Reply to  Peta of Newark
March 5, 2023 12:47 pm

So you have made a case for taking magnesium supplements, that is not what we are talking about here.

Reply to  Peta of Newark
March 5, 2023 12:55 pm

We have used magnesium as a “mood stabilizer”for horses. Small amounts, yes, but it does seem to help horses that get agitated and irritated for no apparent reason. I have no idea how much Mg is in formulated horse feed or in good hay.

Reply to  starzmom
March 6, 2023 2:32 am

suggest you read Pat Colebys book on natural horse care
coppers another mineral horses(and humans) are falling short of as well

Reply to  Peta of Newark
March 6, 2023 2:30 am

mag sulphates best dermal absorbed in a bath than orally
its not pee its explosive poop;-) but excellent for horses with colic oral and rear end applied.
go to hosp with heart attack etc first meds are IV with bicarb n mag some saline n sugars
I’m on 3kmg a day mixed mag and cramps stopped some joint pains eased a bit and less Afib events
huge swathes of aus are seriously mag n calcium deficient Dolomites the answer and in animals stock troughs
as well as salt blocks with minerals.
full agreement re fluoride being a handy way to dispose of otherwise toxic waste by selling it to idiots to poison our water, and yeah one of the usa pollies wanted to dope the pop with lithium not so many yrs ago

March 5, 2023 6:23 am

My first reaction was another bonkers geoengineering idea and then…

“The method has the bonus of reversing ocean acidification”

The method has the potential to make money in the wild and wacky world of climate sceance. A pH of ~8.1 is nowhere near acidifying. What do they think ocean pH should be; 10, 11?

Who’s paying? Where does the money usually come from? Well, here’s one source of dosh.

£500m Blue Planet Fund launched by the Prime Minister at the G7 summit.”

Reply to  strativarius
March 6, 2023 2:34 am

ah explains it all
DEFRA the most dangerous organization in the uk( or vying for it)

Ron Long
March 5, 2023 6:23 am

This is an act of Eco Terrorism, and calls for intervention by concerned citizens.

Reply to  Ron Long
March 5, 2023 7:48 am

I agree, when St Greta has finished protesting about Norwegian windmills, maybe she could pop across and lend a hand.

Reply to  Jackdaw
March 5, 2023 10:42 am

She is too busy giving God advice.

Bryan A
Reply to  Jackdaw
March 5, 2023 11:32 am

So as not to produce any CO2 in the process, St Greta is learning to Walk On Water

George B
March 5, 2023 6:35 am

I suspect that the brucite that would be used for this project are from mine tailings. It is known that one source of brucite tailings are associated with asbestos minerals. Ocean dumping of mine tailings are great way to reduce ones inventory that cannot be used for other purposes.

Last edited 22 days ago by George B
Reply to  George B
March 5, 2023 6:52 am

Hah! Knewwit!
See my comment on fluoride et cie above…

Reply to  cilo
March 5, 2023 9:37 pm

Who cares what the science shows, we have active paranoias to feed.

Reply to  MarkW
March 5, 2023 11:52 pm

It ain’t no paranoia, if the bastards really ARE after you.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  George B
March 6, 2023 8:58 am

I wonder how active filter feeders would react to asbestos being introduced into their environment? Or, whether fish gills would be clogged by it?

March 5, 2023 6:41 am

My guess is that someone bought a bankrupt warehouse that contained 200 and 300 tonnes of magnesium hydroxide.

Someone else suggested it could only be sold as a solution to “climate change”. And that scheme has worked.

Magnesium hydroxide, Mg(OH)2, is a white powder produced in large quantities from seawater by the addition of milk of lime (calcium hydroxide). It is the primary raw material in the production of magnesium metal and has been used as a fire-retardant additive.

The basic processes in the production of lime are: (1) quarrying raw limestone; (2) preparing limestone for the kilns by crushing and sizing; (3) calcining limestone; (4) processing the lime further by hydrating; and (5) miscellaneous transfer, storage, and handling operations

Honest Climate Science and Energy Blog

Last edited 22 days ago by Richard Greene
Reply to  Richard Greene
March 5, 2023 12:59 pm

So it comes from seawater, and now they propose processing it and putting it back??

Reply to  starzmom
March 6, 2023 1:33 am

Recycling !

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  starzmom
March 6, 2023 8:59 am

No, the brucite comes from asbestos mining waste rock.

Gary Pearse
Reply to  Clyde Spencer
March 7, 2023 12:38 pm
Reply to  Richard Greene
March 5, 2023 4:37 pm

My guess is that someone bought a bankrupt warehouse that contained 200 and 300 tonnes of magnesium hydroxide.“.


Load one small cargo boat, pop out to sea, just dump the lot. Heaps of expense saved, and brownie points earned instead of a pollution fine.

How much more insane can the western world get, before it collapses?

March 5, 2023 6:58 am

It will have as much effect as pissing in the ocean raises the sea level.

Reply to  Greytide
March 5, 2023 9:29 am

Don’t give the leftists any ideas.

Reply to  Greytide
March 5, 2023 9:37 am

While you are swimming in it…

John Hultquist
Reply to  Greytide
March 5, 2023 11:12 am

 The common value for urine pH is 6.0–7.5
Plan a visit to St Ives Bay and take a bottle of carbonated water – pH ~ 6.
Pour the bottled water in the Bay while contributing urine.
{pun alert} A steady stream of such visitations during the
dumping time should confound their experiment.

Dave Andrews
Reply to  Greytide
March 6, 2023 8:04 am

What if 8 billion people peed in the ocean at the same time?

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Dave Andrews
March 6, 2023 9:01 am

A tempest in a pee pot.

March 5, 2023 7:43 am

As the water companies pour so much crap in to the seas around our coast, we need something to bung the pipes up, not a laxative!

I suggest Chargin dumps his crap off the coast of Canada, The UK’s coast has plenty of sh!t bobbing up already and doesn’t need any more.

March 5, 2023 7:52 am

It works, but no need. For about 8 years now, I’ve been tossing an AlkaSeltzer tablet into the Pacific Ocean every morning. And it’s halted climate change — experts agree there has been absolutely no upward trend in global temperature since I started this daily AlkaSeltzer protocol.

Bruce Cobb
March 5, 2023 8:17 am

“We think this can be a big arrow in the quiver of solutions for climate change, he added.”
More like, it can be a big turd in the toilet of “solutions for climate change”.

Reply to  Bruce Cobb
March 6, 2023 9:57 am

If none of the bad stuff happens, someone must receive credit

March 5, 2023 8:24 am

Here’s an idea. Try living in North America.
Reply to  johnesm
March 6, 2023 9:59 am

My temptation to downvote is not your fault. Where’s the f^%##% warming I’ve been promised?!

March 5, 2023 8:27 am

These people are insane.

More Soylent Green!
March 5, 2023 8:50 am

The people who are forcing Net Zero on us don’t want “carbon” removed from the atmosphere. They want to end the use of fossil fuels. This proposal enables the continued use of fossil fuels. Look for pushback should this scheme go forward.

Gary Pearse
March 5, 2023 9:31 am

1) Bulk magnesium hydroxide is ~$2000/mt, so for the ‘tiny’ amount of 300t plus shipping, handling, application is about a million bucks.
2) ⅔ of the world’s production of is extracted from seawater!!!!
3) The reaction with CO2 produces magnesium bicarbonate precipitate. However, this will compete with lime in the seawater through the ‘common ion’ effect (both Ca-hydroxide and Mg-hydroxide contribute hydroxide ions to the total). The net change in CO2 will be greatly reduced (see Le Chatelier Principle).

Nick Stokes
Reply to  Gary Pearse
March 5, 2023 2:28 pm

magnesium bicarbonate precipitate”

Magnesium bicarbonate does not exist as a solid. If it precipitated, it would be as carbonate. But there is plenty of Mg⁺⁺ and CO₃⁻⁻ in solution in the ocean.

Reply to  Nick Stokes
March 5, 2023 11:33 pm

Sea water already has .13% Magnesium. So their 300 tonnes wont make much difference in the 1.34 x 10^18 tonnes of ocean water….

Reply to  DMacKenzie
March 6, 2023 2:55 am

So now they will be funded to get it out of the ocean and funded to throw it back in. This is even a better business plan than wind and solar.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  DMacKenzie
March 6, 2023 9:04 am

They are intending to spread it in a small area, not over all the oceans.

Gary Pearse
Reply to  Clyde Spencer
March 7, 2023 12:31 pm

Most Mg used in chemicals and metals is extracted from seawater!! We have taken out100s of millions of tonnes. Also Ca already reacts with CO2. Adding Mg in competition will thereby reduce the take by Ca (common in effect and Le Chatelier Principle) Possibly in the extreme could hamper formation of CaCO³ by shell fish. Maybe not, but it would be nice to know that it has been investigated.

March 5, 2023 9:32 am

More UK fishery depletion, just the thing!

March 5, 2023 9:53 am

Musk had awarded $1M plus the governments of Canada and the UK awarded a combined $3.6M. I would just blame Trudeau for everything though.

March 5, 2023 9:57 am

My background is that I spent many years in the chemical and waste industries.

The process industries have a serious problem in that the disposal of their unwanted byproducts/process wastes have been getting more and more expensive because of the various waste regulations that have been enacted since 1990.

Typically, we would have to assume that byproducts like would have to be sent for disposal unless we could generate a cast-iron form of words to convince the regulators that they actually have a beneficial use somewhere. In the absence of such a ruling from the regulators, the cost of such waste disposal could potentially prevent a process from being commercially viable.

In this particular case, the producers have a modest quantity of contaminated Brucite after removing the more valuable components from the incoming material, and he would normally expect this to be a classified as a waste. However, they have clearly approached the Environment Agency with a fanciful suggestion that its alkalinity could potentially remove an equivalent quantity of CO2 from sea water, knowing that the EA will welcome any initiative that helps delay the supposed “Climate Catastrophe”, and some idiot has nodded it off on this basis.It’s quite ridiculous, of course, but someone stands to make a lot of money out of the EA’s gullibility.

Meanwhile, the low solubility of Magnesium Hydroxide means that the dumped Brucite waste will probably sit on the ocean floor for months, if not years, playing havoc to the existing ecosystems.

March 5, 2023 10:06 am

It is amazing at these people’s twisted thinking. These people are saying humans are messing up the ecosystem, so they propose to fix it by messing up the ecosystem.

I really wish these people would spend one year living in abject poverty just as the many other people who live in abject poverty. Those people are mostly concerned with surviving until tomorrow. They don’t have time to sit around to find a reason for being. The only people who think CO2 is a problem are the people which have time to think about that thanks to capitalism and oil. If such people actually had to live to many people in Africa do, they would beg for oil and capitalism.

John Hultquist
March 5, 2023 11:10 am

 The common value for urine pH is 6.0–7.5
Plan a visit to St Ives Bay and take a bottle of carbonated water – pH ~ 6.
Pour the bottled water in the Bay while contributing urine.
{pun alert} A steady stream of such visitations during the
dumping time should confound their experiment.

John Hultquist
Reply to  John Hultquist
March 5, 2023 11:14 am

Sorry, repeat. 😒

March 5, 2023 11:34 am

Sue Sayer doesn’t have to be a Sooth Sayer to predict that something *might* go wrong.

Jake Cold
March 5, 2023 11:45 am

Back in the 80’s I believe, they dumped something, lime maybe, to kill spinet urchins eating the roots of the kelp forest. Point Loma, San Diego. For years, beautiful baby abalone shells were washing up in the tide pools.

March 5, 2023 12:01 pm

My chemistry knowledge is very rusty could this overwhelm the buffering effect of carbonic acid?
Also could there be a disastrous change from a relatively mild alkaline solution to a very alkaline solution?

From Wikipedia
“Treating the solution of different soluble magnesium salts with alkaline water induces the precipitation of the solid hydroxide Mg(OH)2:
Mg2+ + 2OH− → Mg(OH)2
As Mg2+
 is the second most abundant cation present in seawater after Na+, it can be economically extracted directly from seawater by alkalisation as described here above. On an industrial scale, Mg(OH)2 is produced by treating seawater with lime (Ca(OH)2). A volume of 600 m3 (or 160,000 US gallons) of seawater gives about one ton of Mg(OH)2. Ca(OH)2 is far more soluble than Mg(OH)2 and drastically increases the pH value of seawater from 8.2 to 12.5. The less soluble Mg(OH)2 precipitates because of the common ion effect due to the OH−
 added by the dissolution of Ca(OH)2
Mg2+ + Ca(OH)2 → Mg(OH)2 + Ca2+”

Reply to  JohnC
March 5, 2023 1:04 pm

The ocean is a very big place.

Reply to  starzmom
March 6, 2023 1:14 am

But this is a bay where there could be a significant local effect depending on the tides.

Reply to  JohnC
March 6, 2023 7:17 am

Maybe. It is right on the English Channel, so I would expect the currents are pretty strong–i.e., lots of dilution fast.

Nick Stokes
Reply to  JohnC
March 5, 2023 1:38 pm

This scheme is an absolute nonsense. 300 tons of magnesium hydroxide would have negligible effect, good or bad. But yes, the hydroxide is a strong enough base to shift the buffer equilibrium, first converting bicarbonate to carbonate, and ultimately converting carbon dioxide to a carbonate.

I suspect, as was suggested upthread, that someone has 300 tons of magnesium hydroxide that they want to dispose of, and dumping in the sea would not normally be allowed.

March 5, 2023 1:56 pm

Just crazy. The end justifies the means?
Wow. No limits to hubris these days.

March 5, 2023 1:56 pm

Dumping a bunch of crap into the ocean with likely unforeseen consequences. What could possibly go wrong?

March 5, 2023 4:23 pm

And AGAIN the “precautionary principle” is nowhere to be seen…

March 5, 2023 5:07 pm

In a few generations, our descendants will look upon this generation and regard us how we regard the doctors who used bleeding to treat fevers.

Reply to  stevethatdoesntalreadyexist
March 6, 2023 10:09 am

Someone’s wife was selling leeches to their friend’s wives?

March 5, 2023 7:51 pm


Supporters have to talk out of both sides of their mouth in order to say:

‘the amount is very small, so it won’t have a bad impact environmentally’

‘this is great, it will make a significant impact on climate change’

and one could add”

this is a great idea, especially for the government to rob taxpayers in order to pay this company a load of cash to do this…… I hope my stock in their company goes up a lot too

Reply to  JBP
March 6, 2023 10:10 am

someone has 300 tons of magnesium hydroxide that they want to dispose of

March 5, 2023 9:32 pm

“We’re trying to restore the ocean and restore the climate for generations,” said Peter Chargin, vice president of commercialisation and community relations at Planetary Technologies. “We’re transforming CO2 in the air into salt in the ocean

What? How?

There’s enough shit off the coast of Cornwall without giving the fish a laxative.

March 6, 2023 2:18 am

couldnt find a place much further from home to screw round with could they?
what cost n whos paying for this one wonders?

Clyde Spencer
March 6, 2023 8:51 am

Generally speaking, organisms can adapt better to slow changes in their environment than to sudden changes. If the oceans were to become more alkaline over a century, it would probably be less disruptive than over hours. Although, many surface dwelling organisms already have evolved the ability to tolerate substantial diurnal and seasonal changes in temperature, salinity and pH.

As I recollect, the historical data on ocean pH was dismissed as being unusable and a model was used to determine what it probably was a hundred years ago. In other words, the claimed 0.1 decrease in average open-ocean pH is based on a questionable model, rather than empirical measurements. Where have we seen that before?

Reply to  Clyde Spencer
March 6, 2023 10:11 am

Worthy of a full post

March 6, 2023 9:13 am

These people are beyond dangerous. Maybe the scale isn’t big enough with this one, but this sort of meddling could result in catastrophic consequences. “Unintended consequences”? IMO we don’t know enough about the earth’s ecosystem to even know all the possible consequences. What happens if there are unknown unknowns?

March 6, 2023 12:31 pm

If magnesium hydroxide Mg(OH)2 dumped in seawater was to react with CO2, a mass balance shows that 58.33 tons of Mg(OH)2 would react with 44.01 tons CO2, so that 1.325 tons of Mg(OH)2 would be needed to sequester 1 ton of CO2. If the goal is to sequester the 30+ billion tons per year of anthropogenic CO2, who will produce 40 billion tons a year of Milk of Magnesia just to dump it into the ocean?

The mass balance above is idealized, assuming that every molecule of Mg(OH)2 will meet up with and react with a molecule of CO2. The problem is that there are many inorganic ions dissolved in seawater, particularly Na+ and Ca++ cations, and HCO3-, CO3= and Cl- anions. These other anions would compete with CO2 to react with Mg(OH)2, and magnesium bicarbonate, magnesium carbonate, and magnesium chloride are all very soluble in water.

Natural seawater contains relatively high concentrations of Ca++ ions, which (if they react with CO2) can form insoluble CaCO3, which is used by shellfish to form their shells. Dumping lots of Mg(OH)2 into seawater could react with CO2 to form soluble magnesium carbonate or bicarbonate, depriving the shellfish of needed CaCO3.

The “Cornish Sea” is not a great place for such experiments, located near the west end of the English Channel. It is true that the water is very turbulent, due to the persistent westerly winds in the area, which would tend to push the water eastward into the relatively narrow and shallow English Channel, where any effects on marine life would be amplified relative to dumping the magnesium hydroxide into the deep open ocean.

If this experiment is allowed to continue, beware of the Law of Unintended Consequences!

March 6, 2023 7:33 pm

But there is no real evidence that CO2 has any effect on global climate. There is plenty of scientific rationale to support the conclusion that the climate sensitivity of CO2 is zero. Hence all efforts to reduce CO2 emissions will have no effect on global climate. Polluting the oceans is not good for ocean wildlife and is not a good idea.

Andy Pattullo
March 7, 2023 11:06 am

Foresters can’t cut trees and clear forest floor fuel to abate forest fires because of the spotted owl, but friends of the government can decimate endangered raptors and whales with windmills. The US is appropriately awash with guilt over racism and slavery in the past but the same people who use the guilt for political advantage are OK with buying batteries, electric cars and solar panels made with slave and child labour in far off places.

We can’t mine or explore responsibly for necessary minerals and fuels that make society thrive, but idiots with no forethought can irresponsibly dump chemicals in the ocean as an experiment condoned by the English environmental agency whose job, it appears, is to poison fisheries. The US EPA is continuing on a mission to invoke unsupported environmental regulations that will make many pristine national parks and landscapes out of compliance with EPA standards even in the absence of human impacts.

The common thread is the election of far left “progressive” imbeciles and charlatans whose goal is the decline of human society. We still have the vote. We MUST use it to save ourselves and future generations from annihilation.

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