Feeds

Earthquakes will release captured carbon: Stanford study

Shake, rattle, roll, leak

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Business security measures using SSL

Carbon capture and storage (CCS) won’t work, according to a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, because underground earthquakes are certain to cause the carbon to be released too soon.

That’s the gloomy prediction of a group of Stanford University scientists, and a blow to those seeking engineered solutions to climate change.

The problem is twofold. CCS proposes injecting CO2 into brittle underground rocks, something that has geologists increasingly worried could trigger earthquakes (although last Friday, while admitting the risk exists, the US National Research Council noted that no data exists on the risk because there are no large-scale CCS projects in operation).

Second, whether the earthquakes are triggered by the CCS project or not, nearly every continental interior suffers quakes of some magnitude over time scales of decades. The huge volume of CO2 that would need to be stored – around 3.5 billion tons per year, if CCS is to be viable – means that repositories would be needed all over the world.

A quake at any repository would lead to a CO2 leak – but for CCS to work, leak rates need to be in the order of a percent every thousand years, the study states.

“In this context, large-scale CCS is a risky, and likely unsuccessful, strategy for significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions,” the authors, Mark Zoback and Steven Gorelick of Stanford’s departments of Geophysics and Earth System Science, write. ®

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
SCREW YOU, Russia! NASA lobs $6.8bn at Boeing AND SpaceX to run space station taxis
Musk charging nearly half as much as Boeing for crew trips
PORTAL TO ELSEWHERE scried in small galaxy far, far away
Supermassive black hole dominates titchy star formation
Boffins say they've got Lithium batteries the wrong way around
Surprises at the nano-scale mean our ideas about how they charge could be all wrong
Edge Research Lab to tackle chilly LOHAN's final test flight
Our US allies to probe potential Vulture 2 servo freeze
Europe prepares to INVADE comet: Rosetta landing site chosen
No word yet on whether backup site is labelled 'K'
Cracked it - Vulture 2 power podule fires servos for 4 HOURS
Pixhawk avionics juice issue sorted, onwards to Spaceport America
City hidden beneath England's Stonehenge had HUMAN ABATTOIR. And a pub
Boozed-up ancients drank beer before tearing corpses apart
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL
Discussing the vulnerabilities inherent in Wi-Fi networks, and how using TLS/SSL for your entire site will assure security.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.