How will you monitor the impacts and benefits of sequestering carbon to the deep sea?
We fundamentally believe that leveraging the biological carbon pump is going to be an essential part of carbon dioxide removal and reversing the climate crisis. The oceans represent the largest carbon sink on earth, and macroalgae represents one of the fastest ways to absorb large amounts of carbon.
Seaweed Generation is focused on intercepting and sinking Sargassum to >2000m in the Caribbean, before it can reach coastal areas.
The current Sargassum inundations are a symptom of human caused climate change and changes in farming land use in the Amazon, Orinoco, Mississippi and Congo River basins. It is essentially a human-created habitat that acts as a trap habitat, shown to have a lower biodiversity compared to “traditional” Sargassum in the Sargasso Sea, and is already harming recognised blue carbon habitats of seagrass meadows and mangroves as well as coral reefs.
Removal therefore acts as a way of capturing carbon dioxide and protecting existing coastal blue carbon habitats.
As part of this project, we aim to answer many of the unanswered questions surrounding carbon removal using macroalgae. We are collaborating as an ocean based macroalgal scientific community to complete this research.
The following proposal is intended to form the basis of a deep sea monitoring project that aims to establish if there are any measurable impacts on the deep ocean from the addition of additional naturally occurring biomass.
We welcome feedback and thoughts from the scientific community on this monitoring process. Our findings and data will be shared, and used to establish guidance parameters by which ocean based carbon removal can operate.
By sharing this plan, and its subsequent findings, our goal is to make headway towards a future where climate change can be slowed and eventually reversed. We fully recognise the urgency and gravity of this emergency, and understand that to do nothing is an option that will have unimaginably violent consequences.
- To monitor deep ocean biomass sinking for the purposes of CDR
- To monitor evidence of seabed embedding
- To monitor rate of decomposition
- To monitor impacts on deep sea ecology
Our baseline protocol will be to implement ecological monitoring with photos to observe the seabed, status (physical integrity, colonisation) of dropped material, and local species. We will take dCO2, dO2, salinity, temperature, and pH readings. We will also take seabed samples with a sediment trap and water samples.
Our full protocol will be updated and published when the Ocean Visions macroalgal research recommendations are published.