gobblox38 t1_jde0oq9 wrote

The vast majority of energy produced in the US is from fossil fuel. After about a decade of heavy investment into renewables, they only make up about 20% of current production.

Granted, we can and should continue investing into renewables. If we want to get serious about getting off fossil fuels, we need to invest in nuclear power.


gobblox38 t1_jddqm67 wrote

I agree that we are facing the greatest crisis that humanity has ever faced, and we're sprinting towards that cliff.

I'm all for investing into large scale production of technology that pulls carbon gasses from the air. I just want to be sure this technology works as advertised and results in a net negative of atmospheric carbon. The last time we need to do is scale up something that doesn't work.

There's a lot we can do to mitigate the upcoming climate crisis, but most of the biggest impacts we can make (such as reducing carbon emissions) gas a lot of resistance. I'm not very optimistic that humanity as we know it will survive past this great filter.


gobblox38 t1_jddjfvk wrote

lol, I studied exactly that for my geologic thermodynamics class. I can tell you about injecting liquid CO2 into basalt and the chemical alterations that occur.

You're making quite a leap with the assumption that I claim there's zero scientific research on this topic. It's the scientific research I'm aware of that makes me skeptical of the direct air capture claims.


gobblox38 t1_jddgbul wrote

There's real scientific research going on with carbon sequestration. It's been a few years since I've studied the practice, but there's major thermodynamic hurdles to overcome. These methods can't be applied just anywhere, the underlying geologic is the primary factor. Carbon gasses can only be shipped so far before the net capture goes to zero.

I don't think direct capture from the air will ever be feasible. The energy requirements alone means that more carbon would be produced than collected. Thermodynamics is harsh.


gobblox38 t1_jddfiue wrote

Granted, in the five years since I've learned about carbon sequestration methods this might have changed. Yes, it is possible to put CO2 into a superstate and inject it into sandstone or put it in a liquid state and inject it into basalt. There's problems with both and the best possible scenarios have a 60% net carbon capture.

There's a problem with trees that most people don't consider. A tree is a carbon reservoir for less than a century. When the tree dies and decays, that trapped carbon goes right back into the atmosphere. The last time trees captured carbon on a geologic scale was the carboniferous. Fungus have been eating dead trees since then.

Another issue is that climate change is killing entire regions of trees. Even if we could plant trees fast enough and ensure each one lives, we'd never make a dent in atmospheric carbon.

The plant that stores carbon on a geologic scale is algae. The algae has to die, sink to the ocean floor, and be buried before it can be eaten/decay. The problem with this is that it's such a slow process that it only becomes noticeable on a geologic timescale.


gobblox38 t1_jdddk09 wrote

I remember hearing that a gas powerplant would have to consume a quarter of the power produced just to capture the carbon gasses. Then the gas would have to be transported to the injection site. I think the best possible scenario, that the injection site is right by the powerplant, the net capture would be about 60%.


gobblox38 t1_jddd1ck wrote

I wouldn't go that far. I'm sure the people trying this genuinely want to be the ones that contribute to solving the climate crisis. I just don't see how this method will actually work.

I've been watching a scientist work on a possible solution for over a decade now. It involves using sodium in a combustion engine. It sounds like it might help, but I'm not sure how we'd source the sodium without a lot of excess chlorine gas.


gobblox38 t1_jddbxx1 wrote

Trees are a temporary reservoir that'll hold the carbon for about 50 years +/- a few decades. There's entire regions where trees are dying because the climate has changed too quickly for them to adapt.

The true natural carbon sequester is algae in a high sediment deposition area. If the algae is buried before their bodies decay or are eaten, the carbon can be captured indefinitely. This is the first step in how oil is formed.


gobblox38 t1_jddb7ts wrote

It's been a few years since I've studied carbon sequestration as well. It was for my geologic thermodynamics class. And you're close, it's calcite (calcium carbonate, CaCO3), either that or you're correct, lol.

In the article, they discussed capturing exhaust, but they also talked about pulling the carbon gasses directly from the atmosphere. That's the part I'm most skeptical about.


gobblox38 t1_jd9jgbn wrote

The plant already exists. In the article, they say that a portion of the plant is being retrofitted.

The biggest red flag for me is the claim that they'll pull co2 out of the air. That'll require a lot of energy just to pull that off. It would be better to get the co2 from a concentrated source such as a smokestack or exhaust pipe. I don't see how their proposed process will result in a net carbon sequestration unless the energy comes from nuclear power or carbonless renewable energy.


gobblox38 t1_jb466yt wrote

The benefits would come from more efficient travel. If mass transit is free, then fewer people will be driving on the highways. Fewer people driving on the highways results in reduced maintenance costs.


gobblox38 t1_jal95lh wrote

>>We (humans) weren't around for those 5 mass extinctions.

>So what.

You really don't understand the significance here.

>>The 6th mass extinction will very likely take us with it.

>Doubt it. Humans will be the cause of human extinction. At that rate it's not an extinction it's darwinism. Spending money on diverting astroids is proof of what I'm saying.

We're the apex predator on this planet. If the ecosystem collapses, it'll take us with it. And yes, humans are the main cause of the current mass extinction event.

And no, spending money on research to deflect asteroids does not prove what you're saying.

>Perhaps you've heard of every kind of government funding into research ever is for weaponizing the stated goal.

Yeah, like how the smallpox vaccine program was really about weaponization. /s

>We wouldn't have nuclear bombs if it wasn't for the benevolent purpose of finding clean energy.

You are completely wrong. Nuclear programs came out of advancements in physics. Quantum mechanics showed that there was enormous energy potential locked away in atoms. Splitting these atoms in a controlled reaction would release energy. It was WW2 and the possibility of other belligerent nations building the atomic bomb that spurred American research. It had nothing to do with finding clean energy.

>This goes for any significant government funding into research. Its true purpose is war, under the lie of something more benign.

Sure, a lot space technologies can have military applications. So what? The ability to image the surface of a planet can have military applications, should we have never invested into that even though the same technology is used to find tumors in a living person?

I'm not really seeing the point of your position.


gobblox38 t1_jal5eri wrote

>Based on the change in the binary orbit period^2 , we find an instantaneous reduction in Dimorphos’s along-track orbital velocity component of 2.70 ± 0.10 mm s^–1

I should have read the article more closely. I thought they meant the angle changed when what really happened is the speed reduction increased the orbital period by 33 minutes.

After giving some consideration as to why they'd write it like that, it makes sense. Changing the orbital period by an amount of time may be enough for another orbiting body to get out of the way.

My bias got in the way of this one, thanks for the correction.


gobblox38 t1_jal1u0n wrote

If you want to split hairs, it's impossible to prove a theory. But this mission did verify the theory. Another test can further verify the theory or break it. We won't know for sure until we do another test.

In other words, yes, more tests are needed to get a better idea.


gobblox38 t1_jal0lpq wrote

These are arc minutes. There are 360° in a circle, 60 minutes in a degree, and 60 seconds in a minute.

On earth, an arc minute along a great circle is equal to a nautical mile. The conversion to any unit of length depends on the radius of the rotation. If the orbit is elliptical, the equation gets more complicated.

EDIT: I was totally incorrect about what they were talking about. See daughter post for details.


gobblox38 t1_jakzpx1 wrote

>So you say we survived 5, but a sixth is just crazy?

We (humans) weren't around for those 5 mass extinctions. The 6th mass extinction will very likely take us with it. The entire planetary ecosystem changes during/ after a mass extinction event.

>That being said, how is allowing people to die today of today's problems with these misspent funds going to save those same people in the future...

You've never heard of spinoff technology? People have said the exact same thing you have about space exploration since the start. The technologies developed for the space industry has been applied to other industries which includes the medical field. Tomorrow's medical problems are solved with today's space challenges.