One of the biggest issues we’re currently facing is climate change our planet today. The largest factor causing climate change is the high levels of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere. While reducing CO2 emissions is essential, more is necessary to lessen the impact of climate change. That’s where marine carbon dioxide removal (MCDR) comes in.
MCDR is a process that involves removing CO2 from the air and storing it in the ocean. There are several ways to do this, but marine algae are the most common method. Marine algae, also known as phytoplankton, are tiny plants that live in the ocean. They are incredibly efficient at absorbing CO2 and converting it into oxygen.
One way is artificial upwelling, which is the engineered transport of deep ocean water to the surface. The deep ocean contains high amounts of nutrients such as phosphate, nitrate, silicate, and trace minerals like iron. When the deep ocean water arrives in the sunlit zone, it immediately triggers phytoplankton’s growth, which converts CO2 to ocean fish food, boosting fish populations and sequestering CO2 to the seafloor. Ocean-based Climate Solutions, Inc is aggressively pursuing this technology as it is the most scalable, and they use only wave and solar energy to perform artificial upwelling.
Alternatively, a way to increase the ocean’s marine algae population is through ocean fertilization. This process involves adding nutrients, such as iron, to the sea to promote the growth of marine algae. The algae absorb CO2 as they grow and sink to the ocean floor when they die, taking the CO2 with them. This process can sequester large amounts of CO2, making it an effective MCDR method.
Another way to remove CO2 from the air is through the use of ocean alkalinity enhancement (OAE). This method involves adding substances like lime to the ocean to increase its alkalinity. This causes the ocean to absorb more CO2, which can then be stored in carbonates.
MCDR has the potential to be a powerful tool in the fight against climate change. However, more research is needed to understand the potential impacts of Marine Carbon Dioxide Removal methods on the ocean ecosystem. Additionally, the cost of MCDR is still relatively high, and more work needs to be done to make it a more economically viable option.
In conclusion, MCDR is a promising method for removing CO2 from the atmosphere and mitigating the effects of climate change. However, further research is needed to understand the potential impacts fully and to make the method more economically viable. It’s essential to continue investing in MCDR research to find the most effective and sustainable strategies for removing CO2 from the air and storing it in the ocean.