I talked about this earlier but this is just very disturbing none the less. 400 dead zones have been identified around the world so far which is double what was recognized two years ago. The trouble still seems to be this whole attitude from before the 1900s that ‘man can improve on nature’when in fact we haven’t got a bloody clue. But we seem to be hip deep in it at this point and if we are intent to not drown ourselves in our own cluelessness then we should probably start doing something about it.
The question however is what. Fish in a fish tank get the benefits of bubblers that circulate outside air through the water in order to oxygenate it. Would this work for some dead zone areas? I it would be a neat idea but without some type of limitation on nitrogen output I think all this would do is provide oxygen for the alge that are causing the problem in the first place.
I think one of the new terms people are going to start seeing soon is nitrogen capture. Similar to carbon capture it will also probably become a dirty word although with out carbon dioxide and without nitrogen there would be no food production.
So, here is the thing – what if we could creating floating islands of living bio-matter in order to grow crops. The water is saturated with carbon dioxide and nitrogen from water run offs. Farmers can’t seem to keep their chemicals on dry land and the success of their enrichment of algae populations, albeit unintentional, has been so successful that it is likely in part responsible for fish stock depletion. So if all the nutrients that are needed are out at sea then why shouldn’t farming move that direction as well?
Take a 10 acre section of ocean using hexagonal sections of alternating biomass and open water space complete with solar collectors for power, stability and water desalinization (if in fact it is required at all) and bingo – instant carbon-nitrogen filter for dead zones. Now if we could just figure out how to prevent those 100ft rogue waves from mucking up the works. Mind you – with enough of these things it may decrease the formation of those types of waves to begin with – possible? who knows.