Sequestering atmospheric carbon dioxide by increasing ocean alkalinity
We present a preliminary analysis of a geoengineering option based on the intentional increase of ocean alkalinity to enhance marine storage of atmospheric CO2. Like all geoengineering techniques to limit climate change, with today's limited understandig of the climate system, this approach must be regarded as a potential strategic option that requires ongoing assessment to establish its potential benefits and side effecs. CO2 would be absorbed from the atmosphere by the oceans at an increased rate if ocean alkalinity were raised. Ocean alkalinity might be raised by introducing the dissolution products of alkaline minerals into the oceans. The limited deposits of naturally occurring soda ash (Na2CO3) are readily soluble and easily mined. Limestone (CaCO3) is abundant in the Earth's crust but is not readily soluble. This analysis explores the potential feasibility and limits of such approaches.