Fathoming the Chemistry of the Deep Blue Sea

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Science  03 Aug 2001:
Vol. 293, Issue 5531, pp. 790-793
DOI: 10.1126/science.293.5531.790

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MOSS LANDING, CALIFORNIA-- In the distinguished career of ocean chemist Peter Brewer, his startling new research on carbon dioxide may make the most waves. Brewer's team has conducted the first controlled tests on COat the crushing pressures on the ocean floor, in which COcombines with seawater to form odd, semiliquid compounds called hydrates that should slowly dissolve into the abyss, segregating the gas from the atmospheric part of the global carbon cycle. The results, now being analyzed, should help shape the growing debate on whether society can handle its COproblem by shoving some of it out of sight.