The oceans, forests and soil are natural carbon sinks. Carbon
sinks absorb carbon dioxide to thereby reduce the concentration
of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere and delay the sordid effects
of global warming.
Carbon sinks tend to absorb a substantial volume of carbon dioxide
while releasing a minimal amount. This is contrary to carbon
dioxide sources, such as industry, that absorb little of the
compound while releasing a huge volume. We are on the threshold
of tiptoeing on a very delicate balance. If we continue to emit
6 billion tons of carbon dioxide annually, climate change and
global warming is inevitable.
One sure solution to combat climatic change is by increasing our
forest cover. Plants and trees in the process of photosynthesis
absorb much carbon dioxide in the air and release oxygen and moisture
A single tree absorbs tons of carbon dioxide in its 30-year life
cycle. Pertinent studies indicate that positive plant growth can
be achieved if there is sufficient rainfall, because water speeds-up
photosynthesis. And, in areas experiencing heavy rainfall, massive
reforestation should be encouraged while banning deforestation.
The ocean is a natural carbon sink because it absorbs most of the
carbon dioxide in the air, but in the process also emits a minimal
amount of carbon dioxide. It was observed that only the upper part
of our oceans have high concentrations of carbon dioxide while the
depths have none, denying a living space for sea creatures. This
makes ocean depths an ideal storage for captured carbon dioxide
sequestered from power plants and other sources.
Since the beginning of time, soil has been the repository of carbon,
though massive concentration has been in depths below the surface.
Man has invested in oil wells to pump this reserve out to fuel our
industries and transport modes.
In the wake of this development, the incessant burn of fossil fuels
contributed much to the build up of massive gases into the atmosphere.
Before the advent of industrialization, carbon dioxide in the atmosphere
was a mere 280 PPM. Recent findings indicate a 30-percent rise in
Global effort was not only focused over the concept of reducing
carbon dioxide emission levels but also on the merits of carbon
sequestration, as manifested by the many research and development
programs to this effect.
As technology to capture carbon dioxide becomes efficient and cheaper,
the problem on storage of excess carbon dioxide comes into focus.
Not all sequestered carbon dioxide will be recycled and used by
industries. Much will be dumped probably in appropriate storage
Those akin to this type of puzzle have selected the ocean carbon
sink as a possible option, since only the upper surface has concentrations
of carbon dioxide. Excess carbon dioxide will then be injected into
the depths, because carbon dioxide liquefies when mixed with water.
Will this alternative pollute our oceans? Not at all. On the contrary,
scientists believe it will encourage growth of microorganisms to
benefit healthier oceans.
Another possible destination for excess carbon dioxide is the soil.
Carbon dioxide can be injected into the sand and dirt and be absorbed.
The only problem for this proposed disposal method is that carbon
tends to evaporate during hot and humid weather, thereby defeating
the purpose of a thorough storage system. Carbon dioxide pumped
into oil wells also make oil easier to extract and some believe
this is the perfect location for sequestering carbon dioxide.
Because of the industrialize activities of man, nature's own carbon
sinks aren't operating optimally. Man will need to help out nature
in this regard by either inventing new carbon sinks or else reducing
the amount of carbon so that the present sinks can handle the