A new study by the Royal Society of Chemistry has found that a new generation of greenhouses built at sea will have a higher level of CO2 than previously thought, and it could lead to some worrying changes to the UK coastline.
The study, published in the journal Nature Climate Change, found that the new type of seawater-based greenhouse is more than twice as likely to have a CO2 content of more than 3,000 parts per million (ppm).
It also found that if the CO2 in seawater at the site of the new site was measured as CO2, then the seawater would be more than 2,400 ppm higher than the standard for the UK.
The research, conducted by scientists from the University of Exeter, the University’s Institute of Marine and Coastal Sciences, and the University College London, found there is an increased risk of the CO 2 reaching the UK from new installations.
The new seawater system was constructed using the technology of ‘biorefineries’ and it was the first seawater greenhouse to be built at the sea.
The new system is similar to those used in other countries such as the Netherlands and Denmark, but uses seawater instead of CO 2 and emits no greenhouse gases.
Researchers said that the system will have an impact on UK coastal life, and that they would be working with local communities to make the environment safer for local people.
The Royal Society’s Dr Paul Jones said: ‘These results show that seawater carbon dioxide concentrations will be substantially higher than previous assessments.’
Dr Jones added that the findings showed that the technology was being used to mitigate CO 2 emissions from the building of greenhouse systems.
He said:’We are hopeful that the results of this research will encourage greater research into the benefits of biorefinery-based greenhouses on coastal communities, and encourage the Government to adopt the best available technologies to achieve the UK coast’s climate goals.’
The potential benefits to the country’s health and the environment from using biorefuels are great and are likely to outweigh any negative environmental impacts.’
Dr Alastair Smith, from the Institute of Coastal and Environmental Sciences at the University, said:The research was published in Nature Climate Science.
He added:’The marine environment on the North Sea coast is a unique one, with some of the highest concentrations of COHG in the world, and this research shows that our ability to reduce the amount of CO emissions from our coastal waters will depend on how we build our seawater biorefillers.’
This research shows us how to build seawater biosolids that produce CO2 as the CO content is reduced, which is an important step towards reducing CO2 emissions from coastal environments.’
Dr Smith added: ‘While these findings have a direct impact on our coastal ecosystem, they are important to look beyond the UK for opportunities for the development of new CO2-free technologies in other coastal countries.’###