Mitigating Climate Change: Enhancing Carbon Sequestration In The Ocean

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8th October 2010, 05:51pm - Views: 1183

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AAS 28/10

8 October 2010

Mitigating climate change: Enhancing carbon sequestration in the ocean

Enhancing oceans’ ability to sequester carbon via geo-engineering has been suggested as a possible

means of mitigating the effects of climate change. 

Iron fertilisation has potential to stimulate artificial algal blooms, where the increase in plant growth may

act as a carbon collector. Another possible solution is to pump carbon dioxide from the atmosphere into

deep ocean ‘lakes’ and geological formations. 

The 2010 UK-Australia Frontiers of Science Marine Science Meeting being held in Perth from 10 to 12

October will provide the opportunity to discuss the possibility of both scenarios. The event is part of world

wide celebrations for the 350th

Anniversary of the UK Royal Society. The Australian Academy of Science

and the Royal Society are the major supporters of the meeting through the Theo Murphy Fund. 

Associate Professor Peter Strutton from the University of Tasmania’s Institute for Marine and Antarctic

Studies will introduce the climatology session and provide an overview of the sequestration possibilities

including iron fertilisation, carbon dioxide injection into deep ocean areas, and increased carbon storage

in coastal vegetation and ecosystems.

Professor Anya Waite from The University of Western Australia will discuss experiments over the past 20

years in iron fertilisation in our oceans, with particular reference to the Southern Ocean. Opportunities

and challenges have emerged in that time, as have questions surrounding long term impacts. Current

scientific and ethical controversies will also be discussed.

Dr Nem Vaughan from the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change at the University of East Anglia, UK, will

discuss the scale of geo-engineering ideas and their mitigation potential alongside the necessary

reductions in carbon dioxide emissions. The impact of geo-engineering on adaptation will also be


Media are welcome to attend and interview speakers on Sunday 10 October.

The Royal society released a major study on this topic last year entitled Geo-engineering the climate:

science governance and uncertainty which can be found at

Event:  2010 UK-Australia Frontiers of Science Marine Science Meeting

Date:  10 to 12 October 2010

Venue:  Rendezvous Observation City Hotel, 140 The Esplanade, Scarborough, Perth

Media Contact:  Sue McKenna on 0011 61 8 9254 4044 or 0424 196 771

or Kerry Hodson on 0011 61 8 9447 0756 or 0438 565 086

Sue or Kerry at the conference venue on 0011 61 8 9340 5628

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