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Old 05-02-2011, 01:02 PM
Taronyu
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Default Wind-driven pump can save the Baltic Sea

The Baltic sea is seriously affected by algal bloomings, deaths of life on the sea floor and depletion of oxygen. Perhaps modern technology can help in restoring it:

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Wind-driven pump can save the Baltic Sea

Dead sea floors can be brought back to life by adding oxygen. Researchers at the University of Gothenburg are now testing a large wind-powered pump in the fight against algal blooming in the nutrient rich waters of the Baltic Sea.

The idea is to pump oxygen rich surface water down to the dead sea floors of the Baltic Sea, thus bringing them back to life. A pilot study in Byfjorden outside Lysekil has shown that this can reduce phosphorous levels, which reduces the growth of algae.

- Today all the focus is on reducing the supply of fertilizer to the sea to reduce eutrophication in the Baltic Sea. But by helping nature take care of the phosphorus that has been discharged, we can create a turbo effect in the fight against eutrophication, says Professor Anders Stigebrandt from the Department of Geosciences, University of Gothenburg in a statement.

The pump being tested is 15 times larger than the one used in the pilot study. It can pump 30 cubic meters of water per second. Should the testing go according to plan, pumps five times its size are needed to effectively oxygenate the deep water of the Baltic Sea, according to Anders Stigebrandt.
Wind-driven pump can save the Baltic Sea - Göteborg Daily
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Old 05-03-2011, 01:19 AM
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Toruk Makto, Admin
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An excellent example of how ingenuity can address huge problems
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Old 05-03-2011, 10:50 PM
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all the focus is on reducing the supply of fertilizer to the sea to reduce eutrophication in the Baltic Sea
And rightfully so. It is always better to go up against the cause of the problem than to patch it up. Maybe that geoengineering approach can help in some way, I just hope it does not lead to people neglecting the problem of overfertilization once the immediate negative effects are covered by this machines. I'd also like to see what this really does to the sea. But that has to be found out in the pilot study. In groundwater at least it is usually not such a good idea to try and boost bioactivity with oxygen, but rather let nature repair itself - after the cause of the pollution is gone of course.

I'd like to know a bit about where they think the phosphorous is going. For nitrogen in nitrate, the processes are rather clear - it is returning to the air if it is used by bacteria in conditions that have no oxygen, but phosphorous cannot go away, just be returned to the water where it causes algal blooms again. And as I said to remove nitrate, the conditions actually have to be anoxic, so I definitely think, well made studies are required to ensure that the two main problematic elements - nitrogen and phosphorous do not actually stay in the sea even longer...

By the way - the natural cycle to get phosphorous out of the sea goes in two ways - either it goes into migrating fish that go up streams and then get eaten upstream, fertilizing the forests - that way phosphorous gets back to the land. Or it goes into sea life that forms skeletons from apatite which get buried. That burial is happening under certain conditions which I cannot recall right now, so I guess it would be important to know if aerated water is favourable or not.
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