Ocean Visions has released the latest in a series of digital road maps designed to accelerate responsible research and development for ocean-based solutions to the climate crisis. Representing the sixth in a growing series, the newest piece on microalgae cultivation is intended to catalyze solutions for advancing the field.
Since 2020, Ocean Visions has been working with experts from multiple disciplines, sectors, and geographies to build ocean-based carbon dioxide removal (CDR) strategies. Numerous workshops helped to identify technology readiness, scaling potential, uncertainties, obstacles, opportunities, and first-order priorities. The road maps are designed to be updated and refined regularly as advances emerge in science, technology, governance, and policy.
Microalgae may be able to play an important role in cleaning up carbon dioxide pollution, but much more research — along with associated funding and equitable governance policies — is necessary to better understand its potential and risks.
“Microalgae have been the engine behind ocean carbon cycling for over a billion years,” said Ocean Visions’ Chief Scientist David Koweek, PhD. “This road map brings together all the ideas people have for how to accelerate this process. By bringing everything together, we can see commonalities, opportunities for innovation, and unique challenges behind microalgae-based technologies.”
The microalgae road map provides a focused agenda to advance research and development, allowing scientists, engineers, cultivators, entrepreneurs, investors, philanthropists, and more across the globe to maximize their contributions.
The latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) makes clear that, even if global emissions are reduced dramatically, the world will still need to find ways to remove existing carbon pollution to avoid the more catastrophic effects of climate change — including existential threats to ocean health.
“Removing legacy carbon pollution is critical to a healthy ocean,” Dr. Koweek says. “These road maps will help us better understand how we might be able to enhance some of the ocean’s natural carbon-absorbing superpowers in a way that may help us safely restore both the climate and the ocean.”
Support for this work comes from Wells Fargo Foundation, ClimateWorks Foundation, Schmidt Marine Technology Partners, Jeremy and Hannelore Grantham Environmental Trust, and Builders Initiative.
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