Lecture explores CO2 storage as means of mitigating climate change

Michael Celia, chair of the civil and environmental engineering department at Princeton University, gives a talk at Bates College titled Geological Storage as a Carbon Mitigation Option at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, March 27, in Room 204, Carnegie Science Building, 44 Campus Ave.

Celia is giving this lecture at colleges and universities across the country thanks to the Henry Darcy Distinguished Lecture Series in Ground Water Science, sponsored by the Ohio-based National Ground Water Research and Educational Foundation. Presented at Bates by the environmental studies program, the lecture is open to the public at no cost. For more information, please call 207-786-6464.

According to the Darcy Lecture Web site, carbon emissions caused by human activity have increased the atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide by about 35 percent in the past 200 years, bringing CO2 levels to their highest point in 500,000 years and trapping heat in the Earth’s atmosphere.

If this relentless increase of atmospheric CO2 is to be reduced or reversed, technological solutions must be implemented on a massive scale. One attractive approach is to capture carbon dioxide before it is released into the atmosphere and inject it into deep geological formations.

Celia will discuss the promise of and potential impediments to this approach.

Celia researches ground-water hydrology, ecohydrology, numerical modeling, contaminant transport simulation and multiphase flow physics. His carbon work is part of a large multidisciplinary effort at Princeton known as the Carbon Mitigation Initiative.

He received a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from Lafayette College in 1978, and a master’s and a doctorate from Princeton. In 1985, he joined the faculty of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, returning to Princeton in 1989 to join the civil engineering faculty.

Celia served for 10 years as editor of the journal Advances in Water Resources. He is a fellow of the American Geophysical Union and recipient of the 2005 AGU Hydrologic Sciences Award.

To foster interest and excellence in ground-water science and technology, the Darcy Lecture Series was established in 1986. The series, which has reached more than 70,000 ground-water students, faculty and professionals, honors Henry Darcy of France for his scientific discoveries of 1856. Darcy’s investigations established the physical basis upon which ground-water hydrogeology has been studied ever since.

Annually, a panel of scientists and engineers invites an outstanding ground-water professional to share his or her work. Today, the National Ground Water Research and Educational Foundation sponsors the Henry Darcy Distinguished Lecture Series in Ground Water Science in response to invitations from universities throughout the world.

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