Ocean fertilization as a climate mitigation strategy…is it worth the risks?

The Department of Earth and Ocean Sciences is hosting a sort of “open dialogue” with Adrian Machetti (UW) next Thursday, Nov 6.  This seminar format is a first for EOS, and I think it’s a great one – engage the local scientific community on a complex and globally relevant issue (i.e. climate change mitigation).

Venue: EOS Main 330a (map)

Time: 12:30pm

Ocean fertilization as a climate mitigation strategy…is it worth the risks?

Large-scale ocean fertilization has been proposed as a method to curtail increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations, which has been identified as a primary contributor to global climate change. It is hypothesized that the increased accumulation of organic matter that occurs as a result of the stimulated phytoplankton growth could remain sequestered in the deep ocean for hundreds to thousands of years. This enhanced efficiency of the ocean biological pump would then increase the oceans capacity to absorb atmospheric CO2. The concept of ocean fertilization has caused considerable debate and controversy within and between the scientific community and the private sector which is advocating for its commercial application as a potential climate mitigation tool. In this seminar I will briefly discuss ocean fertilization strategies, the proposed efficiencies and the associated potential risks. The majority of this seminar will serve as an open dialogue to discuss ocean fertilization.The links below provide useful background information for this seminar.WHOI Webpage:

Will iron fertilization work? (WHOI)

MEPS Theme Section: Implications of large-scale iron fertilization of the oceans (pdf)

I know Adrian personally (we overlapped at UBC briefly, and we went to sea last May), and his talk should be a good one.

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Dave Semeniuk spends hours locked up in his office, thinking about the role the oceans play in controlling global climate, and unique ways of studying it. He'd also like to shamelessly plug his art practice: davidsemeniuk.com