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Saturday, April 28, 2007


Another Jerry Pournelle link. This is about enthusiasm he had expressed in the late 70s & early 80s for an ocean thermal power system. This uses the heat differential between surface waters & deep ocean. Since deep ocean water is at about 4C everwhere in the world it is really only suitable for equatorial areas. Even there the heat differential means it doesn't give much power per gallon but the ocean is a big place. One side effect is that because nutrients tend to sink to the bottom of the sea deep ocean water is fertile & when brought into sunlight blooms plankton.

On Global Warming and CO2

I reread part of your Step Farher Out from mummbelty mumble years ago & saw your support of ocean thermal power generators which, by using water from the sea bottoms bring nutrients to the surface & stimulates plankton growth. I was struck by the similarity to the geritol solution of cutting CO2 by using iron solution to stimulate plankton growth.

Does this mean that we have a method of making power which is CO2 negative? Has there been either progress or serious glitches since then?

Neil Craig

There were tests near Hawaii. The system works, and ought to be tried; one problem is transport of the resulting energy. It's idea for islands, of course.

I really need to get A Step Farther Out back in print. There's a rough version of Two Steps Farther out as well. What I don't have is time.

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