Reef Climate Adaptation Research and Technology

By William Hollier, Greg H. Rau, Andrew Dicks and Scott Bainbridge.

Published by The International Journal of Climate Change: Impacts and Responses

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

The authors describe research into technological means for addressing two consequences of climate change for coral ocean acidity and increasing sea surface temperatures leading to coral bleaching. Technology for a multi- integrated response is proposed.
Sea surface temperatures can be monitored via satellite and on-line telemetry. Technology for moderating sea surface temperature spikes is based on pumping deeper cool seawater over coral reefs. The technology proposed includes plastic collapsible pipelines that can be deployed like oil spill booms with flat disc pumps and renewable energy devices (tidal turbines) to power the pumps.
The technology for counteracting increasing ocean acidity on coral reefs is based on the Accelerated Weathering of Limestone (AWL). It is proposed that an acceleration of the natural process that restores the carbon balance, can be realized using a modified electrolyzer powered by renewable energy. The AWL process sequesters CO₂ and produces H₂ while generating a buffer solution that increases reef pH and also provides alkalinity to feed reef and shellfish calcification.
The AWL buffer solution will be distributed where required using the same renewable energy powered pumps and pipelines as used to mitigate sea surface temperature spikes. The AWL process will operate continuously but can be interrupted whenever the pumps and collapsible pipes are required to avoid potential coral thermal bleaching events. Dual use improves affordability.

Keywords: Climate Change, Climate Change Adaptation, Climate Change Counter-measures, Sea Surface Temperature, Ocean Acidity

International Journal of Climate Change: Impacts and Responses, Volume 2, Issue 4, pp.127-142. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.966MB).

William Hollier

Director, EnGen Institute, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

William Hollier is a physicist and systems scientist developing closed cycle life-support and environmental systems. Having worked in the Royal Australian Navy Research Laboratories, CSIRO, and Melbourne and RMIT Universities he specialized in complex systems analysis, systems design and design generation. He is now the director of EnGen Institute, a not-for-profit research and education body established in 1992 and oversees the three principal areas of research – engineering, environment and energy. The engineering program applies generative systems for design automation. The environment program researches the development of life support environments and systems, and the energy program researches renewable energy systems, in particular, ocean current and hydrogen energy systems. EnGen Institute commenced tidal energy research in 1996 and is collaborating with the Australian Maritime College, The University of Queensland and The University of Melbourne to develop tidal power systems.

Dr. Greg H. Rau

Research Marine Scientist, Institute of Marine Sciences, University of California, Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, California, USA

Dr. Greg Rau is a senior researcher with the Institute of Marine Sciences, University of California, Santa Cruz, and also is affiliated with the Carbon Management Program at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in Livermore, Calif. A native of Washington state, he is a graduate of Western Washington University, and received his Master of Science and doctorate degrees from the University of Washington. Postdoctoral work was conducted at the University of California, Los Angeles, and at NASA-Ames Research Center. His subsequent 25-year research career has focused on carbon cycling and biogeochemistry at cellular to global scales, including the development and evaluation CO₂ mitigation technologies. Dr. Rau is a member of the American Geophysical Union and the American Society of Limnology and Oceanography, and is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Dr. Andrew Dicks

Senior Research Fellow, The School of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

Andrew Dicks holds the honorary position of President of the Australian Association for Hydrogen Energy. He is an energy consultant with LC in Brisbane, and also a senior research fellow at The University of Queensland. Formerly Principal Scientist with BG plc and Advantica Technologies in the UK, Andrew Dicks headed up one of Europe’s leading fuel cell research teams during the 1990s, collaborating with many technology developers in Europe and North America. He moved to Australia in 2001, pursuing his interest in fuel cell systems, working with Ceramic Fuel cells Ltd. and others. From 2006-2009 he was Director of the CSIRO National Hydrogen Materials Alliance, a network of Australian university and publicly-funded research groups working on hydrogen production, storage and utilisation. His interests now cover the development of fuel processing systems and sustainable power systems for stationary and cogeneration applications. Andrew is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry and the Australian Institute of Energy.

Scott Bainbridge

Program Manager, Great Barrier Reef Ocean Observing System, Information Technology Service Group, Australian Institute of Marine Science, Townsville, Queensland, Australia

Scott is currently the project manager of the Great Barrier Reef Ocean Observing System (GBROOS) project which is a geographic node of the Australian Integrated Marine Observing System (IMOS) project. This role includes project management of the overall project, leading the Sensor Network component of GBROOS and taking overall responsibility for the data management for the project. Scott’s focus is the development and deployment of sensor networks on a number of reefs and the management, access and use of the real time data these systems generate. Part of this is the development of sensor network technologies for generalised coastal zone monitoring.

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