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Ocean de-oxygenation (updated submittal with video)

Posted by Philip Kithil | New Mexico, United States

The oceans provide half the oxygen we breathe but ocean oxygen content has been declining for decades due to warming caused by elevated atmospheric CO2 from fossil fuel emissions. A recent scientific study documenting this condition is "Declining oxygen in the global ocean and coastal waters", Denise Breitburg et. al., Science 05 Jan 2018: Vol. 359, Issue 6371, eaam7240 DOI: 10.1126/science.aam7240).

Further discussion is found at
“The oceans are losing oxygen. Numerous studies at local, regional and global level confirm this trend. For example, a comprehensive data analysis published by Kiel oceanographers at the beginning of 2017 has shown that the oceans have lost two percent of their oxygen content worldwide in the past 50 years. Computer models of the oceans and the Earth system also show this trend and predict an even faster decrease in the future. But the models have a problem. ‘They are not able to reproduce the recent oxygen decline exactly. Instead, they significantly underestimate the observed oxygen loss,’ says Prof. Dr. Andreas Oschlies from the GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel.”

Regretfully, fossil fuels remain the global economy's primary energy source and continue to increase despite the good intentions expressed in the Paris Accord. The recent IPCC report outlines the dire future we face in view of failure to rein in CO2 emissions.

A climate emergency exists. Therefore, new technologies which mimic natural processes are needed to help re-oxygenate the oceans and counteract the warming, without harming natural ocean processes.

Our Oxygenator*(tm) is a wave-driven upwelling/downwelling device which drifts in the mid-ocean gyres to help resuscitate the oceans. Extending from just below the surface to several hundred meters deep, the upwelling function powered entirely by ocean waves, delivers nutrients from below to above the thermocline to enable primary production (phytoplankton).

The downwelling function delivers near-surface water parcels below the thermocline to help redistribute heat, re-oxygenate the mid-ocean, and amplify net export (sequestration) of carbon.

We've been developing and conducting ocean tests of our upwelling and downwelling devices since 2005 - with over 100 days of ocean tests in Texas, Oregon, California, Bermuda, Hawaii, Oregon, Peru, and Newfoundland Canada; over six weeks of wave tank tests at Texas A&M and the Plymouth University (UK) COAST facility; and we've received eight modeling grants from Los Alamos and Sandia National Laboratories, as well as cash and inkind support from the Oregon Wave Energy Trust, and Technology Strategy Board (UK).

The Oxygenator will undergo its 3rd ocean test on December 1 off Morro Bay, CA, upwelling water from 100m and downwelling to 200m (these depths being representative of full-scale). Benioff and UCSB are cordially invited to participate in this test (BYO seasick pills)!

We invite the Benioff Ocean Initiative and UCSB to partner with our ocean team to characterize the Oxygenator favorable (numerous) and unfavorable (few, we think) impacts on the ocean ecosystem, by providing support for additional modeling as well as a suite of short, medium and long-term ocean tests.

The attached video describes fluid dynamics modeling studies we have sponsored which demonstrate the upwelled water remains above the thermocline, and the downwelled water diffuses into adjacent water below the thermocline. Biological production due to upwelling will vary by ocean conditions at each location, as seen in the many references listed in the video. Both the volume and duration of net C export require ocean test data and modeling, to support our business model “The Corporate Gigaton Challenge”, under which public multi-national corporations sponsor up to five gigatons removal within 15 years using the Oxygenator, or other CO2 removal technologies.

About us: we are an entrepreneur-led "C" corporation supported by angel investors. We do design engineering and production management, and conduct ocean testing, using both in-house resources and several nimble subcontractors.
* Patents pending.

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