Report: Ocean Burial of Crop Waste Only Practical Method Now

Scientists in Washington and California have concluded that Crop Residue Oceanic Permanent Sequestration (CROPS) is the only practical method now available for isolating the enormous quantities of CO2 necessary to have a real impact on global warming.

In a report scheduled for the Feb. 15 issue of the American Chemical Society's Environmental Science & Technology, Stuart Strand and Gregory Benford conclude that CROPS could reduce global carbon dioxide accumulation by up to 15 percent per year. Plants remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere during photosynthesis and release it when they decay. Ocean burial would prevent that carbon dioxide from re-entering the atmosphere.

After comparing known methods for carbon dioxide sequestration on the basis of efficiency, long-term effectiveness, practicality, and cost, the researchers concluded that CROPS is the only method feasible with existing technology. CROPS would be 92 percent efficient in sequestering crop residue carbon. They recommend that crop residue sequestration and its effects on the ocean should be investigated further and its implementation encouraged.

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