Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Earth Power Technology

China Plans To Mine the Yellow Sea Floor 223

Posted by timothy
from the explosive-extraction dept.
eldavojohn writes "Details are limited but state media is reporting on $75 million being put into a new research facility in Qingdao, Shandong Province that will conduct research into mining the sea floor. From the article: 'Scientists believe sea beds at a depth of 4,000 to 6,000 meters hold abundant deposits of rare metals and methane hydrate, a solidified form of natural gas bound into ice that can serve as a new energy source.' The research center's first goal is to do surveying and exploration with a new submersible named 'Jiaolong' (a mythical aquatic Chinese dragon). Hopefully these quests yield energy resources to meet growing demand for resources like liquefied coal in China."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

China Plans To Mine the Yellow Sea Floor

Comments Filter:
  • by kge (457708) on Sunday August 29, 2010 @09:42AM (#33408500)

    Releasing even more of one of the most effective greenhouse gasses (methane)..

    • by Doc Ruby (173196) on Sunday August 29, 2010 @09:47AM (#33408532) Homepage Journal

      If only the true costs of carbon pollution were built into the price of causing it, China's repressedly low labor costs couldn't govern the vast amount of pollution it generates.

      The Tragedy of the Commons [wikipedia.org] can be protected against by only government, not market, action.

      • by dbIII (701233)
        As you should have noticed with the Olympics, China is putting in more work to reduce pollution than anywhere else and luckily they didn't stop after the Olympics. There is a still a long way to go considering how polluted even fairly lightly settled areas are.
        • by jafiwam (310805)

          You mean, they are Photoshopping pollution out of the pictures like they did in the olympics?

          Or do you mean wiping out animals or moving 1 million people without concern for any ethics just for appearances?

          Or forcing people at gun point to stop their businesses so the electricity could be used to light a stadium?

          I noticed the chinese are up to their same old deceptive shit during the olympics.

          There is a lot of grass roots green energy usage, but that's due to the fact there's a lot of extra labor ar

        • by interkin3tic (1469267) on Sunday August 29, 2010 @11:22AM (#33408912)

          China is putting in more work to reduce pollution than anywhere else and luckily they didn't stop after the Olympics.

          I thought they stopped most sources of smog only temporarily before resuming them after the games. And did they clean up their act anywhere besides Beijing? Because it's fine if they're trying to lower pollution in Beijing, but it's a big country. For those of us who don't live there, a coal plant 100 miles from Beijing isn't that much different than one in the very center.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Anonymous Coward

          China is putting in more work to reduce pollution than anywhere else

          I hope this is a fucking sarcastic joke?? China doesn't give a shit about pollution.

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/China_water_crisis

          "China is facing a water crisis that includes water shortages, water pollution and a deterioration in water quality. 400 out of 600 cities in China are facing water shortages to varying degrees, including 30 out of the 32 largest cities.... the south has abundant water, there is a lack of clean water due to serious water pollution. Even water-abundant delta

        • As you should have noticed with the Olympics, China is putting in more work to reduce pollution than anywhere else and luckily they didn't stop after the Olympics.

          You were just impressed by the landscaping. [clearwisdom.net]

        • by WindBourne (631190) on Sunday August 29, 2010 @04:44PM (#33410578) Journal
          They really are not. I just had a friend who got back in June from spending a month there. She was part of NOAA's group to study the pollution that is being emitted around the world. Oddly enough 7-10% of the air pollution in LA, CA, is from China. What they found is that all of the coal plants had scrubbers on them, but the ALL OF THE 150 PLANTS THAT THEY MEASURED WERE TURNED OFF. ALL. In addition, she said that it appeared that a number of them had never been turned on. Now, China is required by treaty with Japan, to scrub the coal, but apparently, the real wording was in Chinese and basically said that all plants had to have scrubbers. It NEVER said that they were required to be on. And China is still on pace to keep opening 1-2 new coal plant EACH WEEK. The ONLY thing that is going to slow this down is if the west will get smart. We need to tax ALL GOODS BASED ON WHERE THEY, and their primary component, COME FROM AND AMOUNT OF CO2, and ideally mercury, that is EMITTED FROM THAT REGION. Now, the SMART THING is to base it on the amount of emissions PER SQ KM. Sadly, EU wants it based on per capita, which is absolutely the worst metric going. It is impossible to track ppl and they float around. It will also lead to lying, as well as simple encourage ridiculous stats. BUT, by doing a per km^2, then it provides set limits for a nation and then they can manage it regardless. It also makes it easy for ALL OTHER NATIONS TO VERIFY IT.
      • by sznupi (719324)

        "Vast"? Chinese are quite decent in emissions per capita; even despite large part of those beeing essentially an import from places buying stuff from them (so just don't...)

        • by Doc Ruby (173196) on Sunday August 29, 2010 @11:12AM (#33408858) Homepage Journal

          Except pollution isn't created per capita. Most Chinese people don't produce more pollution than their ancestors did a century or a millennium ago, because they're not part of the global economy - they're stuck in the feudal economies of their areas, outside the cities, factories and mines that really pollute. Even without consuming much more than they did before indoor plumbing and the quality of life that they're stuck in. The US, meanwhile, counts nearly every resident in the global economy.

          The actual measure is pollution per output. China consumes more energy than the US now, produces much more Greenhouse pollution, and vastly more pollution that isn't Greenhouse emissions. Yet China produces only 1/3 the output of the US. China therefore pollutes a lot more than 6x the amount the US pollutes per output.

          Other countries also look better than they really are. China and the US together produce about 1/3 the total global output, much more than other countries do per capita. That output is consumed around the world. Those other people are outsourcing their pollution to the US and China, just as the US has outsourced much of its worst pollution to China.

          All of which shows that markets have done nothing but shuffle pollution around to the lowest bidder. Which is why the people create governments to protect ourselves from getting dumped on when it's free.

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by sznupi (719324)

            You have some extreme (in a bit literal sense of the word here) ideas about Chinese (and US, for that matter) societies...

            Picking few convenient numbers for easiest target doesn't tell much, too (why won't you go with Germany? And generally, look at this graph [wikipedia.org] - the source document for it / methodology includes to the fullest practical extent imports/exports of all types; this one shows the end ballance)

            Though ultimetely what you're doing is a good sign, I guess; such type of slight dismissal could relate t

            • Could you please point me to the documents used to create that graph? I checked wiki, and could not find it in the links.
            • by Doc Ruby (173196)

              What extreme ideas? Say something that could be compared to facts, please.

              Like comparing your graph to facts. It's not actually linked to a source document, and the pixellated names of two documents can't be at all easily used to examine the source documents it claims to be derived from. But let's take its word for it. Its "ecological footprint" (whatever that is exactly) is measured per capita, and I already debunked that basis, so your argument is either circular, or you're not even reading what I wrote t

            • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

              by instarx (615765)

              What a pretty graph - it must actually say something, right? Except as far as I can figure out it doesn't. "Human Development Index" plotted against "global hectares per capita"? WTF? Not only don't we know what a Human Development Index is, I challenge you to tell us what a "global hectare" is (and why it is different than a normal old area-of-measurement hectare), and why it is so significant when it is evaluated per capita per country.

              Balderdash.

          • by astar (203020)

            hmm, per cap or per output? fair question. Now how should we go about deciding which is the proper measure? It is more than academic. India made the per cap argument in telling the no development crowd at copenhagen to go to hell and with a few other countries who valued their sovereignty derailed the agenda.

            I consider this question illustrates part of the stupidity of statistical reasoning. Oh well.

            But I guess having raised the question, I should take a shot, Hmm, try this. Thinking about mastodons

            • by Doc Ruby (173196)

              I'll just pick the most obvious fallacy in your bag of bad logic:

              50 years of anti-tech green/ 25% unemployment rate.

              Even considering just the past 50 years shows us a global civilization that has lately, occasionally and superficially had any "green" component. It has been overwhelmingly industrialized, polluting, and unsustainable. All underwritten by a fraudulent global finance system. All of which has collapsed several times: environmentally only locally, though the global collapse is now on us as we cha

              • by astar (203020)

                amusing. as far as bad logic is concerned, do you not feel sort of silly when someone claims a correlation and you then attack a claim of causation. Sure, in fact I am fine with blaming anti-tech ideologies, but I am even happier to blame global financial system stuff.

                so I have to look around hard to find anything useful in your response. Here is what I come up with. Your response to the correlation claim is "not green", because "industrialized, polluting, and unsustainable". So one part of your claim

      • by clarkkent09 (1104833) on Sunday August 29, 2010 @12:22PM (#33409204)
        If only people like you understood that free market != anarchy the amount of pointless nonsense written on slashdot would decrease. If you cause harm to others, including polluting their environment, you ARE supposed to pay for it. This is NOT inconsistent with the free market. If you don't believe me to accurately represent the position of free market libertarians, would you believe Milton Friedman? He supported tort in cases where it is practical (obviously measurable harm) and taxing where harm is hard to measure ( second half of the video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KH0O_JjH06k [youtube.com] )
        • The point is that in a purely free market as espoused by many libertarians, sans tax and regulation, they don't HAVE to pay for the external costs like pollution. They HAVE to pay for workers, resources, and energy, otherwise they won't be able to produce anything, but in the interests of lowering costs they certainly can ignore side effects that might not hurt the bottom line for decades if ever. This is where you need a government to step in and take the long view, and impose regulations to reduce or miti
          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by clarkkent09 (1104833)
            The point is that in a purely free market as espoused by many libertarians, sans tax and regulation, they don't HAVE to pay for the external costs like pollution.

            That is simply not true. Can you name some examples of those "many" libertarians who promote not having ANY taxes and regulation? Is Ayn Rand libertarian enough: http://aynrandlexicon.com/lexicon/government.html [aynrandlexicon.com] The mainstream view of libertarians (not anarchists) is that you cannot have liberty for all individuals without government providing l
        • by TubeSteak (669689)

          If only people like you understood that free market != anarchy the amount of pointless nonsense written on slashdot would decrease. If you cause harm to others, including polluting their environment, you ARE supposed to pay for it. This is NOT inconsistent with the free market.

          Dear Free Marketarian,

          All things being equal, your money is not a substitute for my unpolluted air, water, and land.
          Further, I'd like to point out that limiting pollution, while expensive for you, is cheaper
          overall than remediating (when possible) the results of your raw output.

          Also, could you clean up all your Superfund sites the government is now responsible for?

          Sincerely,
          Someone who has to live in the world.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Doc Ruby (173196)

          If only Teabaggers like you would stop with the strawman [wikipedia.org] fallacies, like where you accused me of saying "the free market = anarchy". You said that.

          Without government action, Chinese industry pollution causing climate change everywhere else isn't going to have any mechanism for compensation. You just cited Friedman in tort cases and taxation, which are government actions in response to complaints, not market actions.

          In other words, your actions agree with me, even while you attack me with fallacies. Teabagge

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by clarkkent09 (1104833)
            My point was that the existence of the rule of law provided by the government under objective laws is a necessary condition for a free market. I was correcting your apparent misunderstanding of that fact. It's not either the rule of law (i.e government action to provide mechanism for compensation when harm, in this case pollution, is done) OR the free market. Your initial post saying that the free market cannot correct pollution is equivalent to saying that the free market cannot punish people for murder. P
      • by Rayonic (462789)

        The Tragedy of the Commons [wikipedia.org] can be protected against by only government, not market, action.

        Except there are multiple governments in the world, so unless you can get them all to agree on the same regulations, then they're going to pretty much act like players in a large regulations market.

        • by Doc Ruby (173196)

          Correct. Which is why we have so many international organizations and alliances. The UN itself is the forum for getting governments to coordinate international law. These laws are typically enforced by individual countries on each other by enforcing import and export taxes penalizing noncompliance. The US imports and exports so much among so many countries that our taxing those imports/exports can be more expensive than complying with the law.

    • by geogob (569250) on Sunday August 29, 2010 @09:55AM (#33408562)

      In the series "what could possibly go wrong", long before greenhouse gases, I'll worry about the people behind these operations. China sending people into the deep of the ocean for mining operations; considering how "stable" and "safe" surface mining operations are in China, I can only ask myself this question: "what could possibly go wrong"? And the answers comes naturally: Possibly a lot...

      • by the eric conspiracy (20178) on Sunday August 29, 2010 @09:59AM (#33408580)

        Look at it this way - sending a lot of people into the ocean to recover resources will solve two problems - too many people and not enough resources.

      • by dbIII (701233)
        It depends how it is organised. I very much doubt it will be run like the thousands of unlicenced Chinese coal mines which have the result of a weekly death toll from mine accidents. In fact I don't think any comparison can be drawn at all.
        • by jafiwam (310805)

          The chinese have a consistent track record of cutting ethical and environmental corners, and doing business based on bribes.

          There's no reason to believe this particular project will be any different.

    • Can't be any worse than the aftermath of a meal at Panda Express(yes I know thats not "real" Chinese food :P)
    • by tverbeek (457094)

      There are 33 men in Chile who might raise some questions about the wisdom of adding a mile of water to the situation.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 29, 2010 @09:46AM (#33408522)

    Anyone who is serious understands we can't keep gobbling up resources the way the West has been since WWII. Yet no one stops to think that moving to the suburbs and having kids is a huge contributor to the demand for resources.
    The only good thing is that things will start getting more and more expensive as oil gets harder and harder to get, and therefore anything that depends on cheap energy (everything) starts getting not so cheap.
    The next 50 years will be interesting, to say the least.

    • by khallow (566160) on Sunday August 29, 2010 @10:03AM (#33408598)

      Anyone who is serious understands we can't keep gobbling up resources the way the West has been since WWII. Yet no one stops to think that moving to the suburbs and having kids is a huge contributor to the demand for resources.

      You did think about this. But the vast majority of population growth is not in the developed world. Reality doesn't fit the narrative.

      The only good thing is that things will start getting more and more expensive as oil gets harder and harder to get, and therefore anything that depends on cheap energy (everything) starts getting not so cheap. The next 50 years will be interesting, to say the least.

      Eh, that's a really mean Calvinist strike you have there. I'm a bit more optimistic. Maybe things won't be quite as easy as they are with cheap fossil fuels, but we still do have a lot of free power hitting the Earth every day in the form of sunlight. I think we'll figure a workable substitute for fossil fuels in transportation and coal in electricity generation.

      • by Bayoudegradeable (1003768) on Sunday August 29, 2010 @11:14AM (#33408884)
        You, too, are capable of some thought... Try this on for size... Population in the "not developed world" - How many iPods are those kids getting at Christmas? Elmo dolls? How many toys? What about XBox, PSP, Nintendo? Are they eating tons of beef and drinking gallons of milk produced in the "developed world"? What about the average caloric intake in the "not developed world"? Does it approach what fat American/European and developed Asian kids and grownups eat? How much energy goes into the production of their food compared to modern food? I would love to know exactly the ratios of child:resources in the developed and non-developed world. I think it's a fair guess (yup, that's all this is) that developed lifestyles over the span of a lifetime so far over-consume resources compared to those in the non developed world as to be scary. If I am wrong I would love to hear about it. (I didn't even get to construction, transportation, medicine, space exploration and defense spending) The non-developed world will not lead the way in consumption of resources until they become... the developed world. And then they join the all-you-can eat buffet. Calvin be damned (which he may be), it is going to be far beyond "interesting" in the next 50 years.
        • by khallow (566160)

          You, too, are capable of some thought... Try this on for size... Population in the "not developed world" - How many iPods are those kids getting at Christmas? Elmo dolls? How many toys? What about XBox, PSP, Nintendo? Are they eating tons of beef and drinking gallons of milk produced in the "developed world"? What about the average caloric intake in the "not developed world"? Does it approach what fat American/European and developed Asian kids and grownups eat? How much energy goes into the production of their food compared to modern food? I would love to know exactly the ratios of child:resources in the developed and non-developed world. I think it's a fair guess (yup, that's all this is) that developed lifestyles over the span of a lifetime so far over-consume resources compared to those in the non developed world as to be scary. If I am wrong I would love to hear about it. (I didn't even get to construction, transportation, medicine, space exploration and defense spending) The non-developed world will not lead the way in consumption of resources until they become... the developed world. And then they join the all-you-can eat buffet. Calvin be damned (which he may be), it is going to be far beyond "interesting" in the next 50 years.

          Why don't you go looking for them then? My take here is that we also need to consider production as well. And the developed world generally wins on that as well as consumption.

      • by hitmark (640295)

        thing is that suburbia eats a whole lot more resources pr person then urban or rural (former from concentrated transport, latter for less transport needs overall).

    • by poetmatt (793785)

      the west? this is about china. you know, the east.

    • by Yvanhoe (564877) on Sunday August 29, 2010 @10:58AM (#33408806) Journal
      I guess we have to start do things like China does then :
      - Stop having more than one kid : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/One-child_policy [wikipedia.org]
      - Use high-speed rail for long distance : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High-speed_rail_in_China [wikipedia.org]
      - Switch unequivocally to nuclear power : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuclear_power_in_China [wikipedia.org]
      - Build cheap electrical cars : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BYD_Auto [wikipedia.org]

      Funny. "Western elites" seem to know what is needed to be done but it looks like in Asia, they prefer to do than to talk.
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        I guess we have to start do things like China does then

        - Exempt ourselves from the Kyoto accords
        - Beat union organizers to death for organizing and striking
        - Increase coal consumption rapidly
        - Institutionalize dissidents and kill protesters
        - Create a permanent traffic jam of coal trucks
        - Build hundreds of light water reactors
        - Recreate the 1930's North American dust bowl
        - Use growth hormones to give female infants big breasts

        "Western elites" don't prefer to "do" these things. They grew out of it.

      • by c6gunner (950153)

        - Stop having more than one kid

        Most of the developed world has a negative population growth. Even the US - with one of the highest birth rates amongst the industrialized nations - has a birth rate just below the replacement rate.

        - Use high-speed rail for long distance ... Switch unequivocally to nuclear power

        Sounds good to me.

        Build cheap electrical cars

        $40,000+ USD isn't cheap, by any means. Even Tesla motors was planning on putting out a similarly priced vehicle, and I'd put good money on their vehicles being much safer than anything coming out of China. Or you can buy the Chevy Volt - a more practical vehicle - for almost $10,000 less.

        Funny. "Western elites" seem to know what is needed to be done but it looks like in Asia, they prefer to do than to talk.

        Yep

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by d1r3lnd (1743112)

      Anyone who is serious? What, the rest of us are light-hearted jokesters?

      Hey guys, we're innovating our way out of resource scarcity! What crazy shenanigans will we think up next?

      If you'd like to claim that I'm being overly optimistic, I remind you that I have the entire history of the human race supporting my theory, and you've got a long line of doomsday-prophesying crackpots backing up yours.

      By all means, try to convince me that subsistence farming the Olduvai Gorge with a few thousand other folks is the

    • Yet no one stops to think that moving to the suburbs and having kids is a huge contributor to the demand for resources.

      If I don't have kids, how would that reduction of carbon / energy consumption / etc compare to, say, having kids and advocating restrictions on coal-fired power plants? Are we talking comparable amounts or are we talking my sacrificing my kids would be like one less hour of a coal plant running? I'm really more in favor of having the government clamp down on abusive corporations than not having kids, even moreso if reproducing would be small potatoes compared to your average corporate ubercitizen.

    • by Dunbal (464142) *

      Anyone who is serious understands we can't keep gobbling up resources the way the West has been since WWII. Y

      What ever happened to conservation of matter? No resources are really "gobbled up". They are distributed among the population and/or eventually find their way into landfills and other waste products. Our technology is advanced enough to recover all of these materials, be it CO2 from the atmosphere or copper from landfills. The problem is an economic one - at the moment it's stil

    • by rickb928 (945187)

      "moving to the suburbs and having kids is a huge contributor to the demand for resources."

      Moving to the suburbs is different from settling new spaces (something not unique to the U.S.) how? Choices then may have been driven by opportunity, lack of resources where they came from, growing families, etc. So moving to the suburbs gets you opportunity (more space, bigger residence) resources (space, again?) and of course gets you out of your parents' house...

      Having kids, of course, continues our species. If t

    • by cdrguru (88047)

      If we want to treat the Earth as a closed system, we need to step up to the plate about population problems. The first step is probably to get the population down below 500 million, probably more like 200 million people in as short a time as possible. This could be done with some untreated and fatal disease, war or just encouraging people to volunteer. The best course of action is probably to actively make things as awful as possible to life on the planet until people decide to (a) not have children and

    • by us7892 (655683)
      My father was just telling me what my grandfather had said about running out of oil and other natural resources, and how my generation was going to suffer. That was over 50 years ago. Maybe it will happen yet...or maybe not...
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 29, 2010 @09:50AM (#33408536)

    The way I see it, as long as we dig up the bottom of the ocean fast enough, we can counteract the rising water levels due to global warming! The more we dig, the more we burn, the more it rises, the more we dig; nature back in balance~!
    Horray!

    • Hmm. Quick napkin math.

      3.61*10^14 m2 (ocean surface area) x 1 cm = 361,000,000,000,000 cubic cm

      3.61*10^14 cm^3 = 361 million m^3 = 0.361 km^3

      So to lower the level of the ocean by 1 cm, you need to store a bit over a third of a cubic km on land.

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by lemmywrap (1605025)

        When i try that, i get a larger number...

        3.61*10^14 m2 (ocean surface area) x 0.01 m = 3.61*10^12 m^3

        3.61*10^12 m^3 = 3.61*10^3 km^3 = 3160 km^3

        You'd need just a wee bit more..

        • Oh, hell. I was multiplying m2 with cm2 or possibly cm3. I went the wrong way, turning it into cubic cm then cubic meters (might have went with a million cm in a meter. sshh, I know. That's some baaaaaad math skills) then making the same mistake thrice figuring out how many cubic meters are in a cubic km.

          It's not public schooling's fault. It's that I haven't tried calculating volume and surface area in years. Last time I did math even close to this was to figure out the RPM of tires on the vehicles in X

        • Ok, double reply.

          Cubic meter is 100*100*100 cm, right? And a cubic km would be 1000*1000*1000 meters, right? So that means there's 1*10^15 cm^3 in a km^3, right?

          So then, 3.61*10^14 / 1*10^15 = 0.361

          Nope, never mind. I didn't convert the square meters into square centimeters (100*100) which is why I was off by a factor of 10000.

    • Problem Solved! [smbc-theater.com]
  • There's also a bunch dissolved in the water. Distillation can serve a dual purpose. I still don't know why we dig salt mines with the great abundance right there in the oceans. Yeah yeah yeah... "It's the economy, stupid" Same reason we'd rather fight wars over water itself.

  • by hsmith (818216) on Sunday August 29, 2010 @09:58AM (#33408568)
    The river just carries away everything you dig up, no need for expensive hauling equipment!
  • by Omnifarious (11933) * <eric-slash&omnifarious,org> on Sunday August 29, 2010 @10:03AM (#33408594) Homepage Journal

    Some people are worried that global warming will trigger a methyl hydrate apocalypse in which the vast stores of methyl hydrate locked into ice at the bottom of many bodies of water begins to boil and release all the methane into the atmosphere causing a greenhouse effect that's much, much worse than the CO2 one we're causing for ourselves now.

    I suppose that having the methyl hydrate mined and turned into CO2 is better than having it released as methane. But that is somehow little comfort.

    • by tecker (793737)
      Thats why we must strike first. If we extract all the Methyl Hydrate first then the earth wont have a chance to release it on us. Better yet we will set it on fire and burn it in its face. If we burn it all then there wont be any green house gasses to be released. Best way to prevent the apocalypse.


      Um. Wait a minute.....


      /sarcasm
    • Re: (Score:2, Redundant)

      by SteveFoerster (136027)

      Wait, doesn't atmospheric methane naturally break down after a few years in a way that carbon dioxide doesn't? So it potentially has a warming effect, but only temporarily?

    • Methylhydrate Geyser (Score:4, Interesting)

      by SgtChaireBourne (457691) on Sunday August 29, 2010 @11:12AM (#33408860) Homepage

      The pressure is keeping it from changing to gas. If you lift it, the pressure drops and it goes to gaseous state. If enough water above it is displaced by anything including bubbles, then the pressure drops and it goes to gas.

      There is also the matter of the amount of sediment that the mining, if done on the surface of the ocean floor will stir up and how many years it will take to settle. Fish and other sea life do it in minutes. Sea life does not like changes in turbidity and there is the potential for very far reaching problems lasting a very long time. Water takes about 400 years to go full cycle from surface to bottom to surface again.

  • Ahhh. This is mining in the sense of going after energy and ore. When I read that title I thought "WOW. Who uses depth charge exploding sea mines any more? Um, are they preparing for war?"

    Thankfully this is just peaceful science. Right? RIGHT?
  • Ftfy. Studying sea floor mining is not new.

  • False alarm.

    Well, in a manner of speaking. We'd still be fucked ecologically.

  • Glomar Explorer (Score:2, Insightful)

    by drainbramage (588291)

    Pretty much the same cover story.
    They were going to collect metal right off the top of the ocean floor.
    In a way, they did.

  • Too bad none of them are involved in this project.

  • Jiaolong (Score:2, Interesting)

    What the media is not reporting is that "Jiaolong" is a 5,000 meter long tube that ferries disenfranchised peoples from the surface to the ocean floor. Unemployed manufacturing sector workers are put into protective suits and then get injected into the Jiaolong tube. They are whooshed to the bottom of the ocean floor, where they are instructed on pain of torture to their family to claw at the ocean floor. If they find hydrate or interesting metals, they are instructed to push a little orange button on th
  • As China Advances.. (Score:3, Informative)

    by nurb432 (527695) on Sunday August 29, 2010 @12:15PM (#33409172) Homepage Journal

    We Americans keep tying our own hands behind our backs. Energy and resources = Power.

  • How better to begin learning what it will take for Lunar expansion? With raw materials literally laying on the surface of either environment?

    Personally, my mind ponders the wording used in Psalms, 107:23 KJV. Maybe a minor modification to include women, and a minor edit for altitudes greater than 60 miles.
  • by Greyfox (87712) on Sunday August 29, 2010 @01:41PM (#33409584) Homepage Journal
    Hey, we're looking for 10,000 volunteers to MINE THE SEA FLOOR! Low wages, sleep in the sea, and we're ALMOST COMPLETELY POSITIVE that there won't be a news story in 6 months that 34 sea floor miners have been trapped in a cave-in for 4 months! Who's up for it?!
  • by wdebruij (239038) * on Sunday August 29, 2010 @01:41PM (#33409588) Homepage

    While this research takes place in largely uncontested [wikipedia.org] Yellow sea, any success could very well bolster the Chinese government's hawkish stand on naval borders.

    The disputes with Japan and Taiwan are well known [wikipedia.org]. It recently claimed sovereignty of regions of the South China Sea that are well beyond common UN agreements on sovereignty [bbc.co.uk] and openly challenged by ASEAN neighbors [economist.com].

    Even the Yellow Sea is not without conflict, in which even the US is directly involved [economist.com]. At the heart of the matter is what the article calls ``one element in what appears to be an attempt to turn the seas near it into a Chinese lake''.

  • by jon787 (512497)

    Old news! [wikipedia.org]

  • Glomar Explorer? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by HonTakuan (1743436)
    a cover for a deep-sea cable tapping sub?
  • Since the oceanic crust is composed of mafic material with higher levels of metals, wouldn't this be a good place to look for metals. The continental crust is much more metal poor and not as good a place to mine it seems. In many ways it seems the continents are not good places to mine. AS well, eventually the oceanic crust will be recycled so any mining of the ocean floor would cause only temporary damage to the terrain. So the effects of mining the ocean floor are relatively short lived. The oceanic crust

    • An interesting side note, the continents being so poor in metal makes them lighter and unable to subduct and also to float higher, which leads to the appearance of land. Continental rock is the result of volcanic arc subduction fractional melting which results in a lower metal felsic rock that becomes the continental crust. It is due to plate tectonics and arc subduction magmatism that we see the continent/oceanic crust duality that has led to land on otherwise what would have been an ocean planet. SInce th

  • Mining the seafloor would be a local ecological disaster. A great deal of thought needs to be put in to how disrupting the sea floor would affect the entire food chain. Unfortunately the Chinese record on such things is not very good - witness the devastation caused by deforestation and flooding in areas affected by the Three Gorges Dam project.
  • Inaccurate title (Score:4, Interesting)

    by drmofe (523606) on Sunday August 29, 2010 @04:33PM (#33410504)

    Should read: "China plans to tap fibre-optic cables on the sea floor".

    Remember the "manganese nodules" cover story for Glomar Challenger from the 1970s?

  • by Dr. Spork (142693) on Sunday August 29, 2010 @04:36PM (#33410520)

    Most people posting don't seem to acknowledge that there wouldn't be any people doing mining with five miles of water above them. This would all be done by autonomous robots. Quite honestly, I like the idea, as long as it doesn't pollute the water (I don't see why it should, if it's just the mechanical removal of stuff).

    One reason why I love the idea of autonomous mining is because I want this sort of thing to happen on the moon. That ore, processed on the lunar surface, can be shot into orbit with a simple railgun and get used for whatever we want, like a permanent space station at a liberation point.

    Debugging the technique in a hostile place on Earth sounds like a good idea to me.

  • by Bruha (412869) on Monday August 30, 2010 @12:09AM (#33412356) Homepage Journal

    In addition to Coal, Tar Sands, and Oil Shale, if we burn these up, we will put the earth well on it's way to the "Venus Syndrome".

    People in their 30's, their kids kids will surely suffer from this. It's time something was done about it. Getting a gas saving car does nothing but make it cheaper to buy carbon based fuels somewhere else, cap and trade is a complete hoax, it's time to start making renew-ables cheaper and tax usage of carbon based fuels across the board world wide. If we do nothing we may be responsible for killing everything on the planet.

ASCII a stupid question, you get an EBCDIC answer.

Working...