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Articles by James Jackson

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Whenever Ram Amar explains his idea for mitigating climate change, people usually look at him strangely and ask if he’s crazy. It’s easy to see why. 

His startup, Rewind, wants to sequester a gigaton of carbon each year — about 10 percent of what climate scientists deem necessary each year to reach net zero by 2050 — in a remarkably simple way. The elevator pitch goes like this: Gather millions of tons of agricultural waste and send it to the bottom of the Black Sea, where it won’t decay. Wilder still, an ancient Greek ship that sank 2,400 years ago helped inspire the idea.

At first glance, the proposal might seem counterintuitive. The carbon that plants absorb from the atmosphere through photosynthesis is released when they decompose (or, alas, are compressed over eons to make fossil fuels). This is where the Black Sea comes in. Unlike most other large bodies of water, it is mostly anoxic, meaning there is precious little oxygen — and almost none at all at depths beyond 300 feet or so. It takes a long time for anything to biodegrade down there, which explain... Read more