The Carbon Ballpark
- Christoph Geiss (email@example.com), Tim Kroeger
(firstname.lastname@example.org), Colleen Livingston
Some marine organisms use calcium carbonate (CaCO3) to make their
shells. The deposition of these shells and other organic and
inorganic sources of calcium carbonate (limestone) result in
carbonate platforms such as that found in the Great Bahama Bank.
These platforms provide long term storage of carbon dioxide and
thereby form some natural protection from global warming. How
significant is this protection? How does the amount of carbon held in
the Great Bahama Bank compare to the amount of carbon humans are
currently producing each year?
- Block diagram of the
Great Bahama Bank carbonate platform.
- Simple map of the
Great Bahama Bank.
- Bathymetric map.
- Borehole data for the Great
- Approximate the volume of the Great Bahama Bank.
- Calcium carbonate is deposited at a rate of approximately 50
millimeters per 1000 years for the last 25 million years (Miocene
and younger). Calculate the amount of carbon held in the Great
Bahama Bank. Link to Chemical
- Currently there is 750 gigatons (Gt) of carbon in the air.
Compare this to that held in the Great Bahama Bank. Using the
carbon dioxide emissions information, determine how many years it
would take to contribute the amount of carbon held in the Great
Bahama Bank. Links to anthropogenic carbon dioxide emissions
graph / data.