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2013ag/forestryjudges 2013ag/forestryjudges

Jul 3, 2013
01:09

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(1) Good description of all aspects related to feasibility. (2) Nicely described proposal ideas and comparison with ongoing projects. (3) Shows huge carbon reduction between 20-40 billion tons/yr. How accurate is this estimate? (4) No charts or pictures. Please add to strengthen proposal.

2013ag/forestryjudges 2013ag/forestryjudges

Jul 3, 2013
01:09

Judge


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(1) Good description of all aspects related to feasibility. (2) Nively described proposal ideas and comparison with ongoing projects. (3) Shows huge carbon reduction between 20-40 buillion tons/yr. How accurate is this estimate? (4) No charts or pictures. Please add to strengthen proposal.

Mark Capron

Jul 11, 2013
09:13

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Thank you. 3) 20-40 Gt of CO2/yr is accurate with economics being the most important variable. That is the mass balance for nutrients (N, CO2, sunlight, etc), grown rates per area, etc all work out to supply 100% of EIA estimated fossil fuel demand in 2035 (600 quads) with Ocean Forests over 9% of world's ocean surface. 4) The system now allows charts and pictures? You can find charts and pictures in peer reviewed and published "Negative carbon via Ocean Afforestation" and the Supplemental data papers. 5) I don't recall a "You are a finalist. Revise prior to July 15" email for Agriculture and forestry. But it appears we can edit our entry. I will behave as if a finalist, unless you mention otherwise.

Rob Laubacher

Jul 11, 2013
10:26

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Mark, I want to confirm that this proposal is indeed a finalist in Ag/Forestry. RL For the Climate CoLab team

Pia Jensen

Jul 17, 2013
11:54

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Have you considered the impacts of nuclear radiation entering the Pacific Ocean since March 2011 and other radiation waste that has been dumped in oceans by other nations? How will your project ensure no seaweed is affected by nuclear radiation?

Pia Jensen

Jul 17, 2013
11:09

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This is just one reason why I ask the above questions: (snip) Fukushima Situation Normal, in The SNAFU Sense of “Normal” Bad as the situation is at Fukushima, it’s gotten worse. Perhaps you’ve heard that radiation levels of the water leaving the Fukushima, Japan, nuclear power plane and flowing into the Pacific Ocean have risen by roughly 9,000 per cent. Turns out, that’s probably putting a good face on it. By official measurement, the water coming out of Fukushima is currently 90,000 times more radioactive than officially “safe” drinking water. ... • 9,000 becquerels per liter -- On July 8, according to TEPCO, the company measured radioactive Cesium-134 at 9,000 becquerels per liter. Since TEPCO characterized this as 90 times higher than on July 5, the implication is that the earlier reading (about 100) was less than twice as toxic as the allowable limit and only 10 times more toxic than drinking water for civilians. • 11,000 becquerels per liter – TEPCO’s measurement of Cesium-134 on July 9. • 18,000 becquerels per liter -- TEPCO measurement of Cesium-137 on July 8. • 22,000 becquerels per liter – TEPCO’s measurement of Cesium-137 on July 9. • 900,000 becquerels per liter – TEPCO’s measurement of the total radioactivity in the water leaking from Reactor #1. This radiation load includes both Cesium isotopes, as well as Tritium, Strontium and other beta emitters. There are more that 60 radioactive substances that have been identified at the Fukushima site. (snip) read more at http://www.nationofchange.org/fukushima-spiking-1373728437

Pia Jensen

Jul 17, 2013
11:16

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please understand, I love your proposal. I am simply concerned about the radiation factor getting worse each day and spreading throughout the Pacific since 311.

Pia Jensen

Jul 17, 2013
11:13

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Here is a visual Radiation Of The Pacific Ocean In The Next 10 Years http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3l8TT1dv-PM&feature=youtu.be

2013ag/forestryjudges 2013ag/forestryjudges

Jul 29, 2013
12:43

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Technically, this project seems reasonable and more importantly, relatively straight-forward with minimal technical barriers. We would like to see a more complete discussion which quantifies potential emission reductions. Understand the premise surrounding self-sustaining operations generating net savings (negative costs), however there will still be infrastructure/other costs to incur which have not been included. Also, what are the CO2 savings assumptions based on? Are these extrapolations or has this been modeled?

Mark Capron

Jul 30, 2013
04:03

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Dear Judges, Thank you for the opportunity to further clarify our proposal. 1. Quantify emission reductions - We cannot say this enough, because most of the thinking is about emission reductions. When fossil CO2 emissions are zero, our analysis is only half done, because we propose to keep co-producing bio-energy and storing bio-CO2. Your comment is more accurately stated: "We would like to see a more complete discussion which quantifies the rate of reduction of atmospheric and oceanic CO2 concentrations." Our plants harvest 100 units of C from the air and water. We recover 60 units of C as bio-CH4 and 40 units as bio-CO2. When combusted, the 60 units in bio-CH4 return to the air, unless captured from exhaust. The 40 units in bio-CO2 is permanently stored. Every unit of C from combusted bio-CH4 is one less emission of fossil CO2. (We only care about emissions which increase atmospheric CO2 concentrations: fossil fuels, deforestation, etc. Carbon that was captured from the air a few months prior to combustion is not an “emission.” That is why using bio-fuels instead of fossil fuels can reduce emissions.) We reduce fossil fuel emissions to zero at the point where our bio-CH4 and other renewable energies have eliminated the use of fossil fuels. We have some small tables summarizing and better explaining our progress from complete emissions reductions to reduced CO2 concentrations in http://podenergy.org/uploads/NegativeCarbonViaOceanAfforestation2012Authors.pdf. A larger spreadsheet laying out the relationships between the area of seaweed forests, bio-energy production, and the return of CO2 concentrations is laid out in http://podenergy.org/uploads/OMA-GlobalCalculations2012_Table2.pdf. Not all bio-energy is equal, some emit more anthropomorphic C during construction of the facilities or with the energy required to produce the bio-fuel. Our Live Cycle Assessment (LCA) is based on the process explained in http://podenergy.org/uploads/OMA-ProcessConcepts2012.pdf. The LCA is a calculation based on preliminary ecosystem design. 2. Other costs – The preliminary design employed in the LCA is based on one way to produce and deliver energy to end consumers and store the bio-CO2. It is one way laid out in detail in http://podenergy.org/uploads/OMA-ProcessConcepts2012.pdf. It should be conservative in that it includes some processes we may not need. It may be underestimating costs in that we may not have foreseen a necessary process. When we are completely replacing fossil fuels, there are likely to be dozens of other costs to go with our hundreds of paths to market and thousands of locations. Our potential for other costs is reduced because we are directly replacing fossil fuels and can use that same existing infrastructure. Plus the current U.S. “surplus” of natural gas is increasing CH4 infrastructure and driving demand for new CH4 conversion, transportation, and storage technologies. 3. Basis of CO2 savings and models – We have process and spreadsheet models which combine the information from our PDF sheets and much more to calculate the CO2 savings and other features: http://podenergy.org/uploads/CO2Emissions__global_projection_w-OMA.pdf http://podenergy.org/uploads/OMA-ProcessConcepts2012.pdf http://podenergy.org/uploads/OMA-GlobalCalculations2012_Table2.pdf http://podenergy.org/uploads/OMA-AlgalYieldsCalcs_Refs2012.pdf http://podenergy.org/uploads/OMA-MacroalgaeProduction_DensityCalcs2012.pdf

Mark Capron

Aug 4, 2013
10:23

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PJ, Sorry, took a while to think about the radiation issue. I also noticed the news that radioactive groundwater from beneath Fukushima is still leaking radiation into the ocean as of July 2013. 1) Feel free to comment (if you don't have a related PhD, work with a PhD to craft your comment) on our Paul G. Allen concept at http://www.pgafamilyfoundation.org/oceanchallenge/TemplateComments.aspx?suid=24. There is no voting. Comments are only visible to the Oceanography Society Judges. (I don't know if we will ever see the comments.) 2) I suspect bioaccumulation of radioactivity up the food chain could be an issue. Our primary product of bio-methane is very low on the food chain and not eaten by humans, if Cesium-134 even winds up in the bio-CH4. Radioactivity might mean that humans will need to eat lower on the ocean food chain (as we should for mercury from burning coal). We'll need to add radiation experts to our team to assess questions like - Will our increased primary productivity and biodiversity help counter the effects of radiation? Might we capture the Cesium-134 and store it (like we do with our bio-CO2 or could do with plastic debris)? 3) The video you posted indicates Cesium-134 concentrations at 10-5 throughout the Pacific, relative to ocean concentrations near Japan. Do you know what initial concentrations in ocean water are appropriate for the video?

Shawon Rahman

Aug 18, 2013
09:16

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This would be a very useful and feasible Project in Bay-of-Bengal, Bangladesh. I would like to highlight a few benefits here (but not limited to). 1. If necessity is the mother of invention, than Bangladeshi will be great innovators for large scale energy and food producing ecosystems, like the four proposed by the Ocean Foresters. Bangladesh is caught between rivers and ocean. Higher sea level means our rivers with not drain, they will flood. Rising sea level is already forcing farmers to switch from rice to shrimp. Floods from the mountains will smash into rising seas with us caught in the middle. Many cities near the Bay of Bengal will be under the ocean. The climate disaster makes much of Bangladesh completely unsuitable for land farming. 2. After the Himalayan glaciers melt, our rivers will run dry part of the year. We are like a canary in a Chinese coal mine, dying to warn the world. 3. Fish and rice are the main food in Bangladesh. The Ocean Foresters’ seaweed will yield so many fish and sea vegetables that Bengalis could export fish and seaweed for food. In fact, under this project, the food would be one of the first products of developing seaweed forests in the Bay of Bengal. 4. Shouldn’t “renewables” include food and fresh water? Humanity is and will be expending more energy for both as world population climbs to near 9 billion near 2050. When implementing Ocean Foresters food and energy proposals (without fresh water) in the Bay of Bengal, Bengalis either become a major emerging economy or help India scale up renewables or both. 5. When considering projects to address excessive greenhouse gas emissions, consider how changing conditions over the next century or so may alter the feasibility of a project. How a project might work in Bangladesh is a good example. Many places are like Bangladesh, India, and the U.S. mid-west have decreasing confidence of consistent timing for evaporation rates or fresh water supply (floods, droughts, disappearing glaciers, dropping groundwater tables). Bangladesh’s land area is decreasing with rising sea level. Wind patterns may change. Thank you very much for this wonderful project. Hope Bangladesh would get benefits from this project and make huge contribution to its 160 million people.

Mark Capron

Aug 31, 2013
09:24

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Dear Judges, It is difficult to grasp the magnitude of humanity’s existing and future fossil fuel industry in any dimension: global extent, multi-disciplinary, number of jobs, benefits, and impacts. Given the magnitude of fossil fuel, should it be any surprise that an ecosystem that seeks to sustainably replace fossil fuel would span several categories of Climate CoLab? The multi-disciplinary and multi-product nature of managed seaweed forests is both a blessing and a curse. It is a blessing because ocean forests can be sustainably scaled to address many human issues directly or indirectly: climate change, ocean acidification, fresh water scarcity, all the impacts of fossil fuels, as well as food security. We, the Ocean Foresters, know this from six years of research, calculations, recruiting ever more knowledgeable researchers, our mass-balances, life cycle assessment, and continual review of emerging solutions and issues. The more we examine managed seaweed forests, the more researchers discover about our world’s interconnectedness and new issues from greenhouse gases, the more reasons for investing in the “jack of all trades” ocean forest ecosystem. The multi-disciplinary and multi-product nature of managed seaweed forests is a curse because they do not appear to be the “master of one trade.” Worse, we have some hard work, risks, and years to make the forests economically competitive in any and all products in all locations, especially the countries that happen to have access to inexpensive natural gas. We hope Climate CoLab will look beyond what most potential investors want: “the best way to produce one product” with an exit strategy in one business cycle (about 3 years), to an ecosystem that can feed humanity while saving it from the ravages of climate change by reversing global warming We need to start developing the technology in a small country dependent on expensive diesel fuel for its electricity, such as the amazing opportunity in Fiji, then we can move into other countries. Thanks, The Ocean Foresters

Jim Stewart

Aug 31, 2013
11:57

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The importance of this project and the others related to it is that they use photosynthesis to capture CO2 and in doing so produce biomass of commercial value. Therefore the energy that drives them is sunlight and the costs involved will be covered by sales. Unless CO2 mitigation can be done with minimal use of manufactured energy and be self-financing, it is hard to see how society will ever muster the will to tax itself enough to pay for it. In the early stages of development and in areas where nutrients are abundant, as assumed in this proposal, seaweed can be harvested and sold as 'sea vegetables' for human food, instead of for bioenergy production; or it can be biorefined into food and feed ingredients to be used in processed foods, including animal feeds. In this way, as well as remediating ocean dead zones and creating local pH havens, seaweed forests can ease pressure on agriculture and spare freshwater, and avoid the “land use” contribution to higher atmospheric CO2. Also, being less vulnerable to extremes of air temperature and unaffected by drought, ocean forests would provide a hedge against agricultural shortfalls, which threaten as the world's human population demands more food and climate change increases risks of crop failure. However, research on production of seaweed must also be accompanied by development of better methods for biorefining the harvested biomass. Seaweeds are known to contain a wide range of valuable macro and micronutrients, but they are not always made available through digestion in human or animal digestive tracts, or through basic processing techniques. Chemical, thermal, enzyme and other methods of bioconversion may all have a role to play in such value extraction. In parallel, the best seaweed species and strains of species must be selected, together with synergistic bacteria, such as nitrogen fixing cyanobacteria that can improve their performance. A multidisciplinary effort is required and the participants in this proposal are well matched to the task. In 1973, Jacques Cousteau said, “With Earth's burgeoning populations to feed we must turn to the sea with new understanding and new technology. We must farm it as we farm the land.” 99% of the food we farm on land is vegetable matter. By farming the sea in the same way not only can we provide for our food security but we can address ocean acidification. Comment prepared by John Forster, Ph.D., Marine Aquaculture consultant to governments and fisheries industries