The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) 2007 report indicates that a significant warming of the planet over last 50 years, attributable to anthropogenic activities, which caused the increase of concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Carbon dioxide (CO2) is the most important anthropogenic greenhouse gas, and its global atmospheric concentration has increased from the pre-industrial level of 280 to 379 ppm, with growing annual rates of increase of CO2 in the atmosphere (IPCC, 2007), and predicted to reach between 750 and 1000ppm by the year 2100.
The Stern review 2007 on the economics of climate change invites countries to take action to avoid and reduce the negative impacts of climate change, since the benefits of early action to mitigate climate change far outweigh the economic costs.
Nowadays, the injection and storage of CO2 in marine geological stable formations is proposed as one of the potential strategies to decrease the atmospheric CO2 concentrations in order to avoid the abrupt and irreversible repercussions of climate change. Nevertheless, practical implementation of this technical option could produce significant impacts on marine ecosystems due to possible CO2 leakages that may occur during the injection and sequestration procedure. In this regard, different scenarios have been described (FRAM 2007, DelValls, 2007):

Large leakages in the short-term: expansion of the CO2 altering the non-consolidated sediment. At the same time, turbulences will be generated in the water column.
This type of leakage is potentially harmful to the marine environment and human health.

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Possible options for CO2 storage in geological formations. Source: IPCC, 2005.

 

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