Saturday, February 28, 2009


Interesting report about the impact of Hurricane Gustav on Fisheries Resources of Louisiana.



Since the southeastern part of the state was ground zero for hurricane Gustav, it will likely see the greatest fisheries impacts. Fortunately, storm surge was not as high as expected and fish kills from saltwater intrusion should be minor. Fisheries crews are currently on the water conduction an initial damage assessment. Extensive rainwater runoff containing large amounts of organic matter such as leaf litter from practically defoliated trees in the area will cause fish kills during the next several weeks as the organic material decomposes causing low oxygen conditions. As waters practically devoid of oxygen recede, fish will be trapped and unable to flee from the anoxic conditions and die. Fishery resource damage in this area is expected to be heavy and will extend for several weeks. At this time a few fish kills have been reported by the public.

09/08/2008 – Fish kills are being reported throughout the area. Many subdivision lakes are experiencing fish kills.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Lake Tai / Taihu - China - Algae eating fish.

Interesting news about use of Fish to consume Blue Green Algae in Lake Tai / Taihu near Shanghai in China.

Algae-Munching Fish Clean Up Chinese Lake
BY Ariel SchwartzFri Feb 20, 2009 at 4:03 PM

Algae is often hailed as the next great biofuel resource, but the pond scum can multiply enough to threaten water supplies when left to its own devices.

China's 900-square-mile Taihu Lake, in the east near Shanghai, is covered in polluting blue-green algae blooms, which are mainly caused by untreated sewage (which contains high concentrations of nitrogen). Combined with industrial waste, the blooms post a major threat to Taihu's status as a water source for the nearby city of Wuxi (population: 2.3 million). And despite a multi-million dollar investment in sewage pipes, Taihu's water remains a problem.

The solution? 10 million algae-eating fish. Chinese officials plan on releasing green and silver carp into the Taihu as part of a massive clean-up effort. Even though the 10 million fish will only clean up one-tenth of Taihu's massive area, it's a huge step for one of China's most scenic lakes.

The country has used algae-eating fish to clean Taihu and other lakes before. The fish, which include Black Molly, Plecos, and Siamese Algae Eaters, are also often used by fish enthusiasts to clean freshwater aquariums.

Via PhysOrg


nualgi can do the job better with Diatoms and any species of fish.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Who knows Algae can save the world.

Prof Avigad Vonshak from Israel inaugurates International Symposium on Phycology at BITS Pilani Rajasthan
Science & Education
Press release from: BITS Pilani

Phycology is the study of algae, a ubiquitous and extremely important range of species ecologically because of the dependence of other species on their primary production.

Algae is a plant that can range from a small single-celled form to more intricate multi-cellular forms. They are photosynthetic organisms and exist in a wide variety of habitats. While most people associate this organism with water, algae can also occupy desert sands. Fossil records have dated it back approximately 3 billion years. Algae have found applications in many areas including agriculture, aquaculture, environmental protection and management and as functional foods and pharmaceuticals.

Algae is capable of converting carbon dioxide, the main greenhouse gas blamed for global warming, into a vegetable oil which experts feel can be economically turned into biodiesel. Algae multiplies so quickly and produces so much oxygen that it could reverse the "Carbon Dioxide Problem.”

It is said that Algae can produce 378,540 litres of oil an acre (0.4ha) annually, compared with about 190 litres per 0.4ha for soybeans. Algae doesn't need prime farmland, vast quantities of fertilizer, or large harvest vehicles and the single-celled organisms, which are among the world's fastest growing plants, can prosper in small bags of water under the light of greenhouses.

A microscopic green algae -- known to scientists as Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, and to regular folk as pond scum is said to be capable of splitting water into hydrogen and oxygen under controlled conditions and thus hold the magic wand for power plants of the future.

The global political consensus on the importance and necessity of biodiversity research for environmental research and management has grown immensely during the last years. Keeping this in mind, an International Symposium on Applied Phycology and Environmental Biotechnology (ISAPEB-2007) has been organized during October 29 – 31, 2007 at Pilani by the Biological Sciences Group and Centre for Desert Development Technologies from Birla Institute of Technology & Science (BITS) Pilani-333 031, Rajasthan, India in Collaboration with The Jacob Blaustein Institutes for Desert Research (BIDR) Ben-Gurion University (BGU) of the Negev, Israel.

The main aim of this symposium is to bring together multidisciplinary researchers around the world in the area of algal biology/biotechnology and to disseminate information on latest technologies in mass cultivation and industrial applications of algae. This event sponsored by UGC, CSIR and DBT has over 70 participants from India, UAE, Israel, Italy and France.

On October 29th in a colorful function in the Lecture Theatre Complex of BITS Pilani, Chief Guest Prof Avigad Vonshak Director BIDR, Israel inaugurated the symposium. In his key note address, Prof Avigad spoke on various aspects of bench scale to commercial scale mass cultivation of Spirulina which contains billions of years of evolutionary wisdom in its DNA and is an offspring of earth’s first photosynthetic life forms.

Who knows Algae could be holding the key to save the world at large.

Dr BR Natarajan
Professor & Dean
Birla Institute of Technology and Science
Pilani (Rajasthan) 333031 India
Phone 91-1596-242210
Fax 91-1596-244183

Birla Institute of Technology and Science (BITS), Pilani Rajasthan which has set a bench mark in industry university collaboration is one among the top ranking universities in India today offering degrees in various disciplines presently at Pilani, Dubai, Goa campuses and in the near future at Hyderabad campus apart from an array of work integrated learning programmes for HRD of a vast spectrum of Indian corporates.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Where does Algae stand today?

“Where Does Algae Stand Today? Critical Industry Survey Reveals Startling Findings.”

In an exclusive survey conducted at Algae World 2008 in Singapore, we asked all 150 participants to answer 10 Questions on their understanding of the Algae Value Chain.

The Brains behind the Algae Industry Survey
— Algae Evangelist Dr. Mark Edwards

Get your FREE download!

To your Success with Algae,

Ummu Hani
General Manager - Promotions
Centre for Management Technology

Where is the missing carbon?

More fish can mean more carbon capture.
Please see the following article.

Where is the missing carbon?
Tim Varga | February 17, 2009
Research suggests that a lot of it may wind up inside fish

A giant hole in the global carbon budget may be plugged by an unlikely source: fish guts.

A large proportion of manmade CO2 emissions drain back out of the atmosphere into various carbon sinks. Scientists have long known that approximately half the CO2 flux from the atmosphere goes to land-based sinks and half to the ocean. The problem is that the math hasn’t quite added up.

Terrestrial sinks like forests and savannas, in addition to the long-term storage in soils, are relatively well quantified. Primary absorption in the oceans, too, has been fairly well described: satellite imagery of the open ocean has been used to map and calculate the amount of primary absorption across 70% of the earth’s surface.

Still, the numbers contain a substantial gap. Since the terrestrial sinks are comparatively better understood, and the CO2 in the atmosphere has to go somewhere, most scientists assumed that it was somehow ending up in the ocean. But where?

Almost twenty years ago, researchers at the University of Miami discovered that a species of toadfish carries tiny balls of calcite (CaCO3) in its gut. The authors suggested that this was likely a result of a filtration system in the fish’s stomach: water breathed in and out by the fish would need to be cleaned of various salts, including calcium and magnesium, to maintain proper salinity. These salts combine with carbon in seawater to form carbonates, which precipitate and collect in the fish’s gut.

It turns out that toadfish aren’t unique. All bony fishes have this feature. A new study calculates that these tiny calcite stones could be a missing sink that accounts for 3-15% of the oceanic carbon absorption. That’s a big hole to plug, and the study’s figures are conservative. The actual number could be significantly higher.

This provides another reason to be concerned with declining fish stocks worldwide. In addition to missing out on your favorite tuna sandwich, the global fisheries collapse could end a vital sink for atmospheric carbon.

* * * * * *

Use of Nualgi will result in more fish.
So it could contribute substantially to reducing global warming.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

OriginOil and DoE Cooperative Agreement

News release by Origin Oil

OriginOil Signs Cooperative Agreement With Department Of Energy

- Multi-Phase Program Will Focus on Validation and Commercial Scaling of OriginOil’s Algae-to-Oil Technology -

Los Angeles, CA February 17, 2009 – OriginOil, Inc. (OOIL), the developer of a breakthrough technology to transform algae, the most promising source of renewable oil, into a true competitor to petroleum, announced that it has signed a Cooperative Agreement with The United States Department of Energy's Idaho National Laboratory (INL).

The multi-phase research program will focus on validation and commercial scaling of the company’s technology in the production of algae-based fuels by utilizing the state-of-the-art equipment, capabilities, scientists and engineers of the INL. The initial phase, which starts immediately, will focus on the collaborative development of an energy balance model for photobioreactor-based algae systems. OriginOil expects to use this model in the optimization of its algae-to-oil technology as early as the 1st Quarter of 2009. Subsequent phases will center on validation of the OriginOil processes and piloting specific commercial applications.

Thomas H. Ulrich, PhD, Advisory Scientist for INL’s Biofuels and Renewable Energy department, said: “INL has been tasked with the key National Security mandate of developing advanced renewable energy technology. Our primary challenge is cost-effective and scalable industrial processes and our partnership with OriginOil will help us find solutions to this challenge in the promising area of algae-to-oil technology. Partnerships with innovators like OriginOil will accelerate our pursuit of national energy independence initiatives.”

Vikram M. Pattarkine, PhD, OriginOil’s chief technology officer, said, “Because algae represents such promise, we have been presented with numerous opportunities for partnerships in the public and private sector in the US and abroad. We decided to begin with INL because it would be very productive across all of our initiatives.”

In operation since 1949, the Idaho National Laboratory ( is a science-based, applied engineering national laboratory dedicated to supporting the Department of Energy (DOE) on energy research and national defense. Its mission is to ensure the nation's energy security with safe, competitive and sustainable energy systems and unique national and homeland security capabilities.

About Idaho National Laboratory

With more than 300 scientists and engineers, INL's Energy, Environment Science & Technology Directorate integrates nuclear energy research and its unconventional application with other bio and fossil energy systems, advances renewable energy technologies and develops alternative energy sources and transportation fuels. With science and engineering capabilities in key areas, the Directorate provides talent to support research efforts in all energy systems and the support research and development needed for national and homeland security technologies. More information is available at

About OriginOil, Inc.

OriginOil, Inc. is developing a breakthrough technology that will transform algae, the most promising source of renewable oil, into a true competitor to petroleum. Much of the world's oil and gas is made up of ancient algae deposits. Today, our technology will produce "new oil" from algae, through a cost-effective, high-speed manufacturing process. This endless supply of new oil can be used for many products such as diesel, gasoline, jet fuel, plastics and solvents without the global warming effects of petroleum. Other oil producing feedstock such as corn and sugarcane often destroy vital farmlands and rainforests, disrupt global food supplies and create new environmental problems. Our unique technology, based on algae, is targeted at fundamentally changing our source of oil without disrupting the environment or food supplies. To learn more about OriginOil™, please visit our website at

Safe Harbor Statement:

Matters discussed in this press release contain statements that look forward within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. When used in this press release, the words "anticipate," "believe," "estimate," "may," "intend," "expect" and similar expressions identify such statements that look forward. Actual results, performance or achievements could differ materially from those contemplated, expressed or implied by the statements that look forward contained herein, and while expected, there is no guarantee that we will attain the aforementioned anticipated developmental milestones. These statements that look forward are based largely on the expectations of the Company and are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties. These include, but are not limited to, risks and uncertainties associated with: the impact of economic, competitive and other factors affecting the Company and its operations, markets, product, and distributor performance, the impact on the national and local economies resulting from terrorist actions, and U.S. actions subsequently; and other factors detailed in reports filed by the Company.

# # #

We have sent a small sample of Nualgi to OriginOil a few days ago and are awaiting their test results.

Monday, February 16, 2009

IPCC - Biological Uptake in Oceans and Freshwater Reservoirs, and Geo-engineering

4.7 Biological Uptake in Oceans and Freshwater Reservoirs, and Geo-engineering
The net primary production of marine ecosystems is roughly the same as for terrestrial ecosystems (50GtC/yr for marine ecosystems and 60GtC/yr for terrestrial ecosystems), and there are opportunities to increase the net carbon flow into the marine biosphere. There are fundamental differences between the two systems, however, as the marine biosphere does not include large stores of carbon in the living and dead biomass. There are some 3 GtC in marine biota versus nearly 2500GtC in terrestrial vegetation and soils (Table 4.1). The key to increasing the carbon stocks in ocean ecosystems is thus to move carbon through the small reservoir of the marine biota to the larger reservoirs of dissolved inorganic carbon (the “biological pump”) in ways that will isolate the carbon and prevent its prompt return to the atmosphere. The biological pump serves to move carbon from the atmosphere to the deep oceans, as organisms take up CO2 by photosynthesis in the surface ocean, and release the carbon when the organic material sinks and is oxidized at depth.

Several researchers have suggested that ocean productivity in major geographical regions is limited by the availability of primary or micronutrients, and that productivity could be increased substantially by artificially providing the limiting nutrients. This might involve providing nitrogen or phosphorus in large quantities, but the quantities to be supplied would be much smaller if growth were limited by a micronutrient. In particular, there is evidence that in large areas of the Southern Ocean productivity is limited by availability of the micronutrient iron. Martin (1990, 1991) suggested that the ocean could be stimulated to take up additional CO2 from the atmosphere by providing additional iron, and that 300,000 tonnes of iron could result in the removal of 0.8GtC from the atmosphere. Other analyses have suggested that the effect may be more limited. Peng and Broecker (1991) examined the dynamic aspects of this proposal and concluded that, even if the iron hypothesis was completely correct, the dynamic issues of mixing the excess carbon into the deep ocean would limit the magnitude of the impact on the atmosphere. Joos et al. (1991) reported on a similar model experiment and found the ocean dynamics to be less important, the time path of anthropogenic CO2 emissions to be very important, and the maximum potential effect of iron fertilization to be somewhat greater than reported by Peng and Broecker (1991).

Some of the concepts of iron fertilization have now been tested with 2 small-scale experiments in the equatorial Pacific Ocean. In experiment IronEX 1 (November, 1993) 480 kg of iron were added over 24 hours to a 64 km2 area of the equatorial Pacific. In IronEX 2 (May/June, 1995) a similar 450 kg of iron (as acidic iron sulphate) were added over a 72 km2 area, but the addition occurred in 3 doses over a period of one week.

The IronEx 1 experiment showed unequivocally that there was a biological response to the addition of iron. However, although plant biomass doubled and phytoplankton production increased fourfold, the decrease in CO2 fugacity (in effect the partial pressure of CO2 decreased by 10 micro atm) was only about a tenth of that expected (Martin et al., 1994; Watson et al., 1994; Wells, 1994). In the IronEX 2 experiment the abundance and growth rate of phytoplankton increased dramatically (by greater than 20 and twice, respectively), nitrate decreased by half, and CO2 concentrations were significantly reduced (the fugacity of CO2 was down 90matm on day 9). Within a week of the last fertilization, however, the phytoplankton bloom had waned, the iron concentration had decreased below ambient, and there was no sign that the iron was retained and recycled in the surface waters (Monastersky, 1995; Coale et al., 1996; Cooper et al., 1996; Frost, 1996).

These two experiments have demonstrated that week-long, sustained additions of iron to nutrient-rich, but iron-poor, regions of the ocean can produce massive phytoplankton blooms and large drawdowns of CO2 and nutrients. While the results of these two experiments cannot be uncritically extrapolated, they suggest a very important role for iron in the cycling of carbon (Cooper et al., 1996). The consequences of larger, longer-term introductions of iron remain uncertain. Concerns that have been expressed relate to the differential impact on different algal species, the impact on concentrations of dimethyl sulphide in surface waters, and the potential for creating anoxic regions at depth (Coale et al., 1996; Frost, 1996; Turner et al., 1996). There is much to be learned of the ecological consequences of large-scale fertilization of the ocean.

Jones and Young (1998) suggest that the addition of reactive nitrogen in appropriate areas, perhaps in conjunction with trace nutrients, would increase production of phytoplankton and could both increase CO2 uptake and provide a sustainable fishery with greater yield than at present.

Chemical buffering of the oceans to decreases in pH associated with uptake of CO2 leads to an increase in dissolved inorganic carbon that does not rely on alteration of the biological pump. Buffering of the oceans is enhanced by dissolution of alkaline minerals. Dissolution of alkaline materials in ocean sediments with rising pH occurs in nature, but does so on a time-scale of thousands of years or more (Archer et al., 1997). Intentional dissolution of mined minerals has been considered, but the quantity (in moles) of dissolved minerals would be comparable to the quantity of additional carbon taken up by the oceans (Kheshgi, 1995).

Stallard (1998) has shown that human modifications of the earth’s surface may be leading to increased carbon stocks in lakes, water reservoirs, paddy fields, and flood plains as deposited sediments. Burial of 0.6 to 1.5GtC/yr may be possible theoretically. Although Stallard (1998) does not suggest intentional manipulation for the purpose of increasing carbon stocks, it is clear that human activities are likely leading to carbon sequestration in these environments already, that there are opportunities to manage carbon via these processes, and that the rate of carbon sequestration could be either increased or decreased as a consequence of human decisions on how to manage the hydrological cycle and sedimentation processes.

The term “geo-engineering” has been used to characterize large-scale, deliberate manipulations of earth environments (NAS, 1992; Marland, 1996; Flannery et al., 1997). Keith (2001) emphasizes that it is the deliberateness that distinguishes geo-engineering from other large-scale, human impacts on the global environment; impacts such as those that result from large-scale agriculture, global forestry activities, or fossil fuel combustion. Management of the biosphere, as discussed in this chapter, has sometimes been included under the heading of geo-engineering (e.g., NAS, 1992) although the original usage of the term geo-engineering was in reference to a proposal to collect CO2 at power plants and inject it into deep ocean waters (Marchetti, 1976). The concept of geo-engineering also includes the possibility of engineering the earth’s climate system by large-scale manipulation of the global energy balance. It has been estimated, for example, that the mean effect on the earth surface energy balance from a doubling of CO2 could be offset by an increase of 1.5% to 2% in the earth’s albedo, i.e. by reflecting additional incoming solar radiation back into space. Because these later concepts offer a potential approach for mitigating changes in the global climate, and because they are treated nowhere else in this volume, these additional geo-engineering concepts are introduced briefly here.

Summaries by Early (1989), NAS (1992), and Flannery et al. (1997) consider a variety of ways by which the albedo of the earth might be increased to try to compensate for an increase in the concentration of infrared absorbing gases in the atmosphere (see also Dickinson, 1996). The possibilities include atmospheric aerosols, reflective balloons, and space mirrors. Most recently, work by Teller et al. (1997) has re-examined the possibility of optical scattering, either in space or in the stratosphere, to alter the earth’s albedo and thus to modulate climate. The latter work captures the essence of the concept and is summarized briefly here to provide an example of what is envisioned. In agreement with the 1992 NAS study, Teller et al. (1997) found that ~107t of dielectric aerosols of ~100 nm diameter would be sufficient to increase the albedo of the earth by ~1%. They showed that the required mass of a system based on alumina particles would be similar to that of a system based on sulphuric acid aerosol, but the alumina particles offer different environmental impact. In addition, Teller et al. (1997) demonstrate that use of metallic or optically resonant scatterers can, in principle, greatly reduce the required total mass of scattering particles required. Two configurations of metal scatterers that were analyzed in detail are mesh microstructures and micro-balloons. Conductive metal mesh is the most mass-efficient configuration. The thickness of the mesh wires is determined by the skin-depth of optical radiation in the metal, about 20 nm, and the spacing of wires is determined by the wavelength of scattered light, about 300nm. In principle, only ~105t of such mesh structures are required to achieve the benchmark 1% increase in albedo. The proposed metal balloons have diameters of ~4 mm and a skin thickness of ~20nm. They are hydrogen filled and are designed to float at altitudes of ~25km. The total mass of the balloon system would be ~106t. Because of the much longer stratospheric residence time of the balloon system, the required mass flux (e.g., tonnes replaced per year) to sustain the two systems would be comparable. Finally, Teller et al. (1997) show that either system, if fabricated in aluminium, can be designed to have long stratospheric lifetimes yet oxidize rapidly in the troposphere, ensuring that few particles are deposited on the surface.

One of the perennial concerns about possibilities for modifying the earth’s radiation balance has been that even if these methods could compensate for increased GHGs in the global and annual mean, they might have very different spatial and temporal effects and impact the regional and seasonal climates in a very different way than GHGs. Recent analyses using the CCM3 climate model (Govindasamy and Caldeira, 2000) suggest, however, that a 1.7% decrease in solar luminosity would closely counterbalance a doubling of CO2 at the regional and seasonal scale (in addition to that at the global and annual scale) despite differences in radiative forcing patterns.

It is unclear whether the cost of these novel scattering systems would be less than that of the older proposals, as is claimed by Teller et al. (1997), because although the system mass would be less, the scatterers may be much more costly to fabricate. However, it is unlikely that cost would play an important role in the decision to deploy such a system. Even if we accept the higher cost estimates of the NAS (1992) study, the cost may be very small compared to the cost of other mitigation options (Schelling, 1996). It is likely that issues of risk, politics (Bodansky, 1996), and environmental ethics (Jamieson, 1996) will prove to be the decisive factors in real choices about implementation. The importance of the novel scattering systems is not in minimizing cost, but in their potential to minimize risk. Two of the key problems with earlier proposals were the potential impact on atmospheric chemistry, and the change in the ratio of direct to diffuse solar radiation, and the associated whitening of the visual appearance of the sky. The proposals of Teller el al. (1997) suggest that the location, scattering properties, and chemical reactivity of the scatterers could, in principle, be tuned to minimize both of these impacts. Nonetheless, most papers on geo-engineering contain expressions of concern about unexpected environmental impacts, our lack of complete understanding of the systems involved, and concerns with the legal and ethical implications (NAS, 1992; Flannery et al., 1997; Keith, 2000). Unlike other strategies, geo-engineering addresses the symptoms rather than the causes of climate change.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Ocean Acidification

Acid oceans 'need urgent action'

The oceans are thought to have absorbed about half of the extra CO2 put into the atmosphere in the industrial age
This has lowered its pH by 0.1 pH is the measure of acidity and alkalinity
The vast majority of liquids lie between pH 0 (very acidic) and pH 14 (very alkaline); 7 is neutral
Seawater is mildly alkaline with a "natural" pH of about 8.2

The IPCC forecasts that ocean pH will fall by "between 0.14 and 0.35 units over the 21st Century, adding to the present decrease of 0.1 units since pre-industrial times"

Natural lab shows sea's acid path
The world's marine ecosystems risk being severely damaged by ocean acidification unless there are dramatic cuts in CO2 emissions, warn scientists.

More than 150 top marine researchers have voiced their concerns through the "Monaco Declaration", which warns that changes in acidity are accelerating.

The declaration, supported by Prince Albert II of Monaco, builds on findings from an earlier international summit.

It says pH levels are changing 100 times faster than natural variability.

Based on the research priorities identified at The Ocean in a High CO2 World symposium, held in October 2008, the declaration states:

"We scientists who met in Monaco to review what is known about ocean acidification declare that we are deeply concerned by recent, rapid changes in ocean chemistry and their potential, within decades, to severely affect marine organisms, food webs, biodiversity and fisheries."

'The other CO2 problem'

It calls on policymakers to stabilise CO2 emissions "at a safe level to avoid not only dangerous climate change but also dangerous ocean acidification".

Recipe for rescuing our reefs

The researchers warn that ocean acidification, which they refer to as "the other CO2 problem", could make most regions of the ocean inhospitable to coral reefs by 2050, if atmospheric CO2 levels continue to increase.

The also say that it could lead to substantial changes in commercial fish stocks, threatening food security for millions of people.

"The chemistry is so fundamental and changes so rapid and severe that impacts on organisms appear unavoidable," said Dr James Orr, chairman of the symposium.

"The questions are now how bad will it be and how soon will it happen."

Another signatory, Patricio Bernal, executive secretary of the UN Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission, outlined how the marine research community intended to respond to the challenge.

"We need to bring together the best scientists to share their latest research results and to set priorities for research to improve our knowledge of the processes and of the impacts of acidification on marine ecosystems."

Prince Albert II used the declaration to voice his concerns, adding that he hoped the world's leaders would take the "necessary action" at a key UN climate summit later this year.

"I strongly support this declaration. I hope that it will be heard by all the political leaders meeting in Copenhagen in December 2009."

NUALGI can prevent ocean acidification since the bloom of Diatoms it produces would result in absorbtion of large amounts of CO2.