科學也可以如此靠近

向海洋施加鐵肥可阻止氣候變暖?劍橋專家海洋施肥計劃引爭議

7月
05
2019

2019年7月05日15時 世界播

世界播

Tackle climate change by fertilising ocean with iron, expert says專家表示,可以通過向海洋中添加鐵元素來應對氣候變化

來源:獨立報 翻譯:世界播

​Daring geoengineering schemes to suck carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere are increasingly being explored as part of emergency backup plans to save the planet from climate breakdown.

為從大氣中吸出二氧化碳,大膽的地球工程計劃正越來越多地得到探索,作為拯救地球免受氣候破壞的應急後備計劃。

One idea is to fertilise the ocean with iron in order to stimulate algae blooms that absorb carbon dioxide from the sea and also the atmosphere.

有一種想法是向海洋中注入鐵元素,以刺激藻類大量繁殖,從而吸收海洋和大氣中的二氧化碳。

This form of geoengineering was first explored back in the 1990s, but now Sir David King, the former chief scientific adviser to the government, is encouraging experts to seriously look at it

again.

這種形式的地球工程早在上世紀90年代就開始探索了,但現在,英國政府的前首席科學顧問大衛·金爵士鼓勵專家們再次認真研究它。

The Cambridge University professor believes iron aerosols could be dropped into the ocean causing great forests to develop 「within weeks」.

這位劍橋大學教授認為,可以將鐵氣溶膠拋入海洋,致使在「幾周內」形成大片藻類。

He told The Times: 「If we look at the shallow oceans, in coastal regions, many used to be very rich in seaweed and kelp Regreening those areas to encourage seaweed and kelp back is a relatively

simple matter, and technically feasible at low cost」.

他告訴《泰晤士報》:「看看沿海地區的淺海,有很多地方曾經盛產海藻和巨藻……對這些地區進行重新綠化,以鼓勵海藻和巨藻回歸是一件相對簡單的事情,而且在技術上是可行的,成本也很低。」

More controversially, Sir David believes iron could also be used in the deep ocean to stimulate phytoplankton. This could be a way of boosting a natural carbon 「sink」 because algal blooms convert

sunlight into chemical energy using carbon dioxide dissolved in seawater.

更有爭議的是,大衛爵士認為鐵也可以用來在深海中刺激浮游植物。這可能是促進天然碳「匯」的一種方式,因為藻類大量繁殖會利用溶解在海水中的二氧化碳,將陽光轉化為化學能。

According to research by the National Oceanography Centre in Southampton, iron-rich regions have between two and three times as much carbon sequestered in seafloor sediments. These sediments would

have built up over thousands of years as algal blooms die and sink to the ocean floor, taking their carbon with them.

根據南安普敦國家海洋學中心的研究,富含鐵的地區在海底沉積物中封存的碳量是其他地區的兩到三倍。這些沉積物可能是在數千年的時間裡隨著藻華的死亡和沉入海底,連同它們的碳一起形成的。

Sir David, who is set to discuss the idea at the Royal Institution on Thursday evening, believes algal blooms could also increase fish stocks.

將於周四晚在英國皇家學院討論這一想法的大衛爵士認為,藻華還可能增加魚類資源。

「Within a relatively short time we can be confident billions of fish will be feeding off this, and repopulating of the oceans occurs,」 he said.

他說:「在相對較短的時間內,我們有信心,數十億的魚類將以此為食,海洋將開始再填充。」

However, other scientists believe the ambitious plan has serious shortcomings.

然而,其他科學家認為這個雄心勃勃的計劃有嚴重的缺陷。

Professor Andrew Watson from the University of Exeter worked on the original studies on this topic back in the 1990s. He told The Independent there were still 「poorly known downside risks」 to

fertilising the oceans.

早在上世紀90年代,埃克塞特大學的安德魯·沃森就致力於這方面的原創研究。他對《獨立報》表示,為海洋施肥仍存在「鮮為人知的下行風險」。

「While it is true that carbon dioxide could be removed from the atmosphere by iron fertilization of some regions of the ocean – the Southern Ocean for instance - to do this at a scale that would

really make a contribution to slowing global warming would entail changing the ecology of large ocean regions,」 he said.

他說:「雖然確實可以通過海洋某些區域——例如南大洋——的鐵肥從大氣中去除二氧化碳,但要做到其規模真正有助於減緩全球變暖,就需要改變大型海洋區域的生態。」。

Professor Watson believes that one potential downside is reducing oxygen in the subsurface of the ocean, which could lead to the production of other greenhouse gases.

沃森教授認為,一個潛在的不利因素是海洋地下氧氣的減少,這可能導致其他溫室氣體的產生。

「Much more research is needed therefore, before any attempt to try iron fertilisation at such a scale. There is no way that iron fertilisation can substitute for the first line of action against

climate change, which is to reduce our emissions,」 he said.

「因此,在進行如此大規模的鐵肥試驗之前,還需要進行更多的研究。鐵肥無法替代應對氣候變化的首要行動——那就是減少我們的排放。」他說。

Dr Christian Maerz, associate professor in Biogeochemistry at the University of Leeds said the main problem with iron fertilisation is that not much of the dead algal biomass makes it down to the

seafloor.

利茲大學生物地球化學副教授克里斯蒂安·梅爾茲博士表示,鐵肥的主要問題在於,沒有多少死去的藻類生物量能夠沉入海底。

Dr Maerz told The Independent: "Most of them get degraded within the top 100 metres of the ocean, eaten up by microbes, and most of the sequestered carbon dioxide gets returned to the atmosphere.

And even at the seafloor, degradation processes continue.

梅爾茲博士告訴《獨立報》:「它們中的大多數在海洋100米深處就被降解,被微生物吞噬,大部分被隔絕掉的二氧化碳又會回到大氣中。甚至就算在海底,降解過程也仍在繼續。」

"So the main issue with iron fertilisation seems to be – leaving aside the potentially fundamental impacts that this activity has on the ecosystem – that not much of the sequestered carbon dioxide

actually makes it into the seafloor."

「所以,鐵肥的主要問題似乎是——撇開對生態系統可能產生的根本影響不談——實際上,被隔絕掉的二氧化碳並沒有多少進入海底。」


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