Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 107. 47 (Nov 23, 2010)
Peter Köhler and Dieter A. Wolf-Gladrow from the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research and Jens Hartmann from the Institute for Biogeochemistry and Marine Chemistry conducted research on the effects of olivine (Mg2SiO4) on ocean acidity. It was already accepted that the addition of olivine to the ocean could reduce carbon dioxide concentration. The olivine reacts with carbon dioxide and water to form, among other products, bicarbonate ions, lowering the concentration of carbon dioxide. The ideal locations for olivine weathering are humid and tropic areas. This study, however, found that various factors in the oceans could lower the proposed efficiency of the reaction by 20%. Such factors include the preexisting concentrations of silicate and carbonates and the size of the olivine particles. Another newly-discovered potential deterrent of this tactic is the potential effect on ocean alkalinity. The tactic is still considered effective compared to alternatives, but further research is necessary.
Sounds like a very interesting study, and you did a good job making it clear of what the research found. One thing that might have helped readers understand better is a little better explanation of olivine, such as what it is, where it’s found, etc.
This seems similar to the idea of adding limestone in the ocean to decrease the CO2 level. I understand that sometimes simple ideas can be effective, but does it not seem counter-intuitive that we could fix a problem caused by having too much of a foreign substance in sea waters by adding more of another foreign substance?
I appreciate the way you summarized the study, giving enough detail to allow for understanding without overwhelming the reader. It’s hard to fit everything in 160 words but it would help to explain the deterrent if it’s important enough to be introduced.
Sounds like you have a good understanding of this study! Although I see ways to make your summary even more concise, it is well-written overall.