Confronting Climate Change

Taking the ocean into account is critical for successfully addressing climate change, and addressing climate change is critical for the future of the ocean.

Ocean Carbon Dioxide Removal Methods

All future climate scenarios that hold planetary warming close to 1.5 °C by 2050 will require massive cuts in greenhouse gas emissions, supplemented by the use of carbon dioxide removal (CDR) methods to clean up leftover heat-trapping carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere. The ocean has already naturally absorbed almost 30 percent of all CO2 emissions caused by humans between 1800 and 1994, and many people are interested in deliberately increasing this uptake using ocean CDR techniques. These techniques seek to protect or enhance natural biological and geochemical processes in order to manipulate the Earth’s carbon cycle and counteract this primary driver of climate change.

Read Ocean Carbon Dioxide Removal Methods here. 

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© Ocean Conservancy

Approaches include conservation or restoration measures to increase natural stores within blue carbon ecosystems—for example, by restoring coastal wetlands—as well as technological approaches that increase the ocean’s carbon storage capacity. However, with the exception of the blue carbon methods described in the booklet linked here, most ocean CDR techniques have not been tested at scale, and a few are essentially still on the drawing board.

Read Ocean Carbon Dioxide Removal Methods here. 

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