Undercurrents: October 2023

Seaweed Generation's roundup of company news and perspective on all things climate.

Sargassum from under the surface

Blythe Taylor, Chief of Staff

There’s a sense of unease and trepidation as I sit in my sunny back garden basking in the unseasonably high October temperatures. This can’t be normal can it? The UK has just experienced the hottest October day in 5 years, and this follows the hottest September on record. The Copernicus Climate Change Service has stated that globally, last month was the warmest September since records began; 0.93°C above the 1991-2020 average and 1.75°C above the estimated average September temperature for 1850-1900 (the pre-industrial reference period). October looks set to continue this trend as calendar day temperature records tumble across Europe. It’s the rate of temperature change that really is terrifying.

It’s easy to feel powerless when faced with these kinds of statistics, but it’s important to acknowledge the important work and potential opportunities that are out there. SeaGen’s CEO Paddy and I recently spent some time at Carbon Unbound, Europe’s leading carbon removal summit. Paddy was part of a panel discussion focused on innovations to safely unlock ocean based carbon removals. Those of you familiar with our work, will know how passionately we at SeaGen feel about the potential of seaweed and the ocean in our global battle against the changing climate.

Our oceans represent a huge opportunity for gigatonne scale removals, but as discussed on the panel, it’s going to take a collective effort and collaborative approach to address the uncertainties around ocean based CDR. A significant work stream for SeaGen is our measurement, reporting and verification plans. We’re building out autonomous robotic technologies that allow access to the inhospitable marine environment in order to gather the data needed to prove, not only the durability of our removals, but also the ecological impacts. It’s important to us that we face into the challenges and uncertainties that surround ocean CDR, and help the industry come up with a set of robust parameters which can ensure confidence.

But as I enjoy the worryingly warm October sunshine I’m reminded of the urgency of this work. These latest stats highlight the very real need for climate action. At SeaGen innovation and speed of learning is at our core. It’s how we operate. And let’s face it, given the rate of change it needs to be.


Progress and Press

Duncan Smallman holding a piece of seaweed

Robert Ormerod for NPR

Seaweed is mucking up beaches. This robot could stop it — and fight climate change

By Emily Olson, Aaron Scott, Berly McCoy, Rebecca Ramirez, Grace Widyatmadja, Andrea Kissack, Arielle Retting on October 02

Thank you to all those who’ve reached out to say how much they enjoyed the NPR piece. We’re incredibly proud to have the AlgaRay featured as part of NPR’s climate week.


SeaGen head to Loch Ness... Yes, we're on the hunt for Nessie!

Cartoon of the Loch Ness monster

The engineering team are flat out working on our buoyancy technologies and sensor platform. We’re due to test our latest systems in the deep dark waters of Loch Ness later this month. Look out for progress updates (and any sightings of Nessie!) in the next edition of Undercurrents.