Atmospheric Methane Removal
EAMO has more than one effect (methane removal) on the atmosphere.
Beneficial side effects
1. EAMO contributes to marine cloud brightening
Marine cloud brightening is a method to increase the ‘albedo’ of clouds, which will cause more reflection of sunlight into orbit.
2. EAMO removes ozone from the troposphere.
Ozone is better known in the stratosphere, because that´s where the ozone layer was (and still is somewhat) affected in the beginning of the century. However ozone also exists in the troposphere, and here it has considerable warming power.
3. EAMO contributes to ocean or land fertilization.
Iron is a great fertilizer. It works on land as well as in the ocean. Fertilization means more plants, and hence more consumption of CO2.
All three effects are beneficial, in that they contribute to cooling down the planet.
Negative side effects
EAMO has one bad ‘side-effect’: For each molecule of methane destroyed by ISA, one additional molecule of CO2 is created. The bad news: One molecule of CO2 is 2.74 times heavier than one molecule of CH4. Removing one ton of methane leaves us with 2.74 tons of CO2. That’s more green house gas than before!
This is where the 120 times higher GWP, the global warming potential, of CH4 versus CO2 comes to our rescue. 2.740 kg / 120 = 23 kg. Ok. Not completely gone. 23 kg left out of 1000 kg. That’s a reduction by 97.7 %!
You will find lesser figures than 120 regarding the GWP of methane in literature. This is caused by the fact that the natural average life-time of methane is shorter than that of CO2, so in the long run, e.g. over 100 years, methane is not so bad in comparison to CO2. But even if we use the GWP of methane over 100 years, which is 28, we still get a GWP-reduction of 92.2%. No matter how you look at it: EAMO is beneficial for the atmosphere as well as the oceans.
This effect ist not really a side-effect but part of the main process. You may ask: Are there any other really bad side-effects? Science is not aware of any at this stage, but we do not know that for sure. Therefore we plan to measure the effects of ISA during a one-year testphase which we will conduct once the MRP is operational.
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