First-Order Priorities

Develop New Modeling Tools to Support Design and Evaluation

Version published: 

High-resolution data-assimilative models are needed support real-world testing of OAE. These modeling tools must:

  • Account for complex interactions in the immediate vicinity of the alkalinity release and downstream impacts
  • Provide four-dimensional (space and time) estimates of biogeochemistry in zone of influence both in the presence and absence of OAE. The difference between these two simulations can be used to inform CDR estimates that account for background variability in the ocean. 
    • CDR estimates from OAE must include estimates of the “opportunity cost” of OAE - how did OAE shift phytoplankton community composition, production, and export? 

To support the design of proof-of-concept field trials, these models should also: 

  • Provide estimates of the size and scale of biogeochemical modification to the ecosystem from OAE, allowing for informed placement of sensors to monitor the field trials
  • Be capable of simulating passive tracers (e.g. SF6) to inform whether and how these passive tracers may be useful in field trials (e.g., estimating rates of atmospheric CO2 uptake)
  • Inform a prioritized set of predictions to be tested during field trials

High-resolution data-assimilative models are needed support real-world testing of OAE. These modeling tools must:

  • Account for complex interactions in the immediate vicinity of the alkalinity release and downstream impacts
  • Provide four-dimensional (space and time) estimates of biogeochemistry in zone of influence both in the presence and absence of OAE. The difference between these two simulations can be used to inform CDR estimates that account for background variability in the ocean. 
    • CDR estimates from OAE must include estimates of the “opportunity cost” of OAE - how did OAE shift phytoplankton community composition, production, and export? 

To support the design of proof-of-concept field trials, these models should also: 

  • Provide estimates of the size and scale of biogeochemical modification to the ecosystem from OAE, allowing for informed placement of sensors to monitor the field trials
  • Be capable of simulating passive tracers (e.g. SF6) to inform whether and how these passive tracers may be useful in field trials (e.g., estimating rates of atmospheric CO2 uptake)
  • Inform a prioritized set of predictions to be tested during field trials

Accelerate Design and Permitting of Controlled Field Trials

Field trials for the various OAE technologies are urgently needed to test both carbon sequestration potential and environmental impacts (both positive and negative). A series of activities and products are needed to get to a series of controlled field trials. They include:

Field trials for the various OAE technologies are urgently needed to test both carbon sequestration potential and environmental impacts (both positive and negative). A series of activities and products are needed to get to a series of controlled field trials. They include:

Field trials for the various OAE technologies are urgently needed to test both carbon sequestration potential and environmental impacts (both positive and negative). A series of activities and products are needed to get to a series of controlled field trials. They include:

Field trials for the various OAE technologies are urgently needed to test both carbon sequestration potential and environmental impacts (both positive and negative). A series of activities and products are needed to get to a series of controlled field trials. They include:

  • Conducting siting analyses to identify location(s) in the global ocean where OAE would be most effective at lowering surface ocean CO2, and drawing down atmospheric CO2, and where it would be least expensive.
  • Identifying candidate sites for field trials by:
  • Conducting environmental impact assessments to evaluate the potential environmental co-benefits and risks of a given OAE approach at a candidate site
  • Acquiring historical or present-day records of the pH (or pCO2 or carbonate mineral saturation state) variability at candidate sites for field trials. Set goals to keep field trial carbonate chemistry modifications within historical ranges to avoid criticisms of “geo-engineering”.
    • Considering initial field trials in sites where low pH conditions have been identified as a threat to the local marine ecosystem and industries, such that alkalinization may help abate that threat. 
    • Considering candidate coastal sites for initial field trials where the incoming tide could be used to disperse the alkalinity and reduce distribution costs, and the outgoing tide could flush away the alkalinized water, providing a discrete window over which to analyze the effects of the alkalinization{{1}}.
  • Developing a standardized list of biological indicators to measure during field trials to facilitate intercomparison between field trials.

Field trials for the various OAE technologies are urgently needed to test both carbon sequestration potential and environmental impacts (both positive and negative). A series of activities and products are needed to get to a series of controlled field trials. They include:

  • Conducting siting analyses to identify location(s) in the global ocean where OAE would be most effective at lowering surface ocean CO2, and drawing down atmospheric CO2, and where it would be least expensive.
  • Identifying candidate sites for field trials by:
  • Conducting environmental impact assessments to evaluate the potential environmental co-benefits and risks of a given OAE approach at a candidate site
  • Acquiring historical or present-day records of the pH (or pCO2 or carbonate mineral saturation state) variability at candidate sites for field trials. Set goals to keep field trial carbonate chemistry modifications within historical ranges to avoid criticisms of “geo-engineering”.
    • Considering initial field trials in sites where low pH conditions have been identified as a threat to the local marine ecosystem and industries, such that alkalinization may help abate that threat. 
    • Considering candidate coastal sites for initial field trials where the incoming tide could be used to disperse the alkalinity and reduce distribution costs, and the outgoing tide could flush away the alkalinized water, providing a discrete window over which to analyze the effects of the alkalinization.
  • Developing a standardized list of biological indicators to measure during field trials to facilitate intercomparison between field trials.

Conducting siting analyses

 

Conducting siting analyses to identify location(s) in the global ocean where OAE would be most effective at lowering surface ocean CO2, and drawing down atmospheric CO2, and where it would be least expensive.

Identifying candidate sites

 

Identifying candidate sites for field trials by:

  • Conducting environmental impact assessments to evaluate the potential environmental co-benefits and risks of a given OAE approach at a candidate site
  • Acquiring historical or present-day records of the pH (or pCO2 or carbonate mineral saturation state) variability at candidate sites for field trials. Set goals to keep field trial carbonate chemistry modifications within historical ranges to avoid criticisms of “geo-engineering”.
    • Considering initial field trials in sites where low pH conditions have been identified as a threat to the local marine ecosystem and industries, such that alkalinization may help abate that threat.
    • Considering candidate coastal sites for initial field trials where the incoming tide could be used to disperse the alkalinity and reduce distribution costs, and the outgoing tide could flush away the alkalinized water, providing a discrete window over which to analyze the effects of the alkalinization[1] Albright, R., Caldeira, L., Hosfelt, J. et al. Reversal of ocean acidification enhances net coral reef calcification. Nature 531, 362–365 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1038/nature17155 .

Developing a standardized list of biological indicators

 

Developing a standardized list of biological indicators to measure during field trials to facilitate intercomparison between field trials.

Develop New In-Water Tools for Autonomous CDR Operations

A new suite of durable, seagoing technologies are needed to support OAE RD&D. Technology development needs include: 

A new suite of durable, seagoing technologies are needed to support OAE RD&D. Technology development needs include: 

A new suite of durable, seagoing technologies are needed to support OAE RD&D. Technology development needs include: 

A new suite of durable, seagoing technologies are needed to support OAE RD&D. Technology development needs include: 

  • Creation of effective testing platforms for field trials that are:
    • Flexible
    • Modular
    • Can be easily re-located
    • Can be powered by renewable energy
  • Innovative solutions for dispersion of alkaline materials: 
    • Apply existing analytical (e.g. IMCO{{1}}) and numerical models (e.g. MAMPEC{{2}}) to design dispersion protocols. For more complex cases, develop new modeling tools.
    • Investigate whether and how large ships that slowly disperse alkaline materials in a large volume of water may provide a solution for safe dispersion of alkaline materials{{3}}
  • Development of autonomous sensors and remotely/autonomously operated vehicles (e.g. gliders, drones, etc.) to monitor carbon sequestration and downstream environmental impacts.
  • Development of low-cost, easy-to-use sensors to make widespread measurements of changes to marine chemistry faster, less expensive, and more reliable.
    • In the near term (~ 1 year): Develop specification sheets for sensor criteria needs to support ocean-based CDR. These specification sheets should explicitly define acceptable instrumental precision, accuracy, and cost requirements.
    • Medium term (1+ years): Launch request for proposals to develop low-cost, abundant oceanographic sensors to support CDR research, development, and demonstration

A new suite of durable, seagoing technologies are needed to support OAE RD&D. Technology development needs include: 

  • Creation of effective testing platforms for field trials that are:
    • Flexible
    • Modular
    • Can be easily re-located
    • Can be powered by renewable energy
  • Innovative solutions for dispersion of alkaline materials: 
    • Apply existing analytical (e.g. IMCO) and numerical models (e.g. MAMPEC) to design dispersion protocols. For more complex cases, develop new modeling tools.
    • Investigate whether and how large ships that slowly disperse alkaline materials in a large volume of water may provide a solution for safe dispersion of alkaline materials
  • Development of autonomous sensors and remotely/autonomously operated vehicles (e.g. gliders, drones, etc.) to monitor carbon sequestration and downstream environmental impacts.
  • Development of low-cost, easy-to-use sensors to make widespread measurements of changes to marine chemistry faster, less expensive, and more reliable.
    • In the near term (~ 1 year): Develop specification sheets for sensor criteria needs to support ocean-based CDR. These specification sheets should explicitly define acceptable instrumental precision, accuracy, and cost requirements.
    • Medium term (1+ years): Launch request for proposals to develop low-cost, abundant oceanographic sensors to support CDR research, development, and demonstration

Creation of effective testing platforms

 

Creation of effective testing platforms for field trials that are:

  • Flexible
  • Modular
  • Can be easily re-located
  • Can be powered by renewable energy

Innovative solutions for dispersion of alkaline materials

 
  • Apply existing analytical (e.g. IMCO[1]MEPC (1975) Method for calculation of dilution capacity in the ships wake. Submitted jointly by the Netherlands and Norway ) and numerical models (e.g. MAMPEC[2]“MAMPEC.” Deltares, 31 Jan. 2017, www.deltares.nl/en/software/mampec/. ) to design dispersion protocols. For more complex cases, develop new modeling tools.
  • Investigate whether and how large ships that slowly disperse alkaline materials in a large volume of water may provide a solution for safe dispersion of alkaline materials[3]Caserini, S., Pagano, D., Campo, F., Abbà, A., De Marco, S., Righi, D., Renforth, P. and Grosso, M., 2021. Potential of Maritime Transport for Ocean Liming and Atmospheric CO2 Removal. Frontiers in Climate, 3, p.22. https://doi.org/10.3389/fclim.2021.575900

Development of autonomous sensors and remotely/autonomously operated vehicles

 

(e.g. gliders, drones, etc.) to monitor carbon sequestration and downstream environmental impacts.

Development of low-cost, easy-to-use sensors

 

Development of low-cost, easy-to-use sensors to make widespread measurements of changes to marine chemistry faster, less expensive, and more reliable.

  • In the near term (~ 1 year): Develop specification sheets for sensor criteria needs to support ocean-based CDR. These specification sheets should explicitly define acceptable instrumental precision, accuracy, and cost requirements.
  • Medium term (1+ years): Launch request for proposals to develop low-cost, abundant oceanographic sensors to support CDR research, development, and demonstration

Develop CDR Monitoring and Verification Protocols

Standardized methodologies from third parties to verify uptake of atmospheric CO2 resulting from ocean alkalinity enhancement will ultimately need to be developed to enable trading of carbon removal credits. Key first steps to support development of these protocols include: 

  • Convening experts to review advances from modeling tools (Develop New Modeling Tools to Support Design and Evaluation) and controlled field trials (Accelerate Design and Permitting of Controlled Field Trials) to identify satisfied and outstanding data needs necessary to quantify additional CO2 uptake as a direct result of OAE. As advances in OAE RD&D are made, the satisfied and outstanding data needs will need to be updated.
  • Apply existing[1]Koornneed, J. and Nieuwlaar, E., 2009. Environmental life cycle assessment of CO2 sequestration through enhanced weathering of olivine. Working paper, Group Science, Technology and Society, Utrecht University. [2]Hartmann, J., West, A.J., Renforth, P., Köhler, P., De La Rocha, C.L., Wolf‐Gladrow, D.A., Dürr, H.H. and Scheffran, J., 2013. Enhanced chemical weathering as a geoengineering strategy to reduce atmospheric carbon dioxide, supply nutrients, and mitigate ocean acidification. Reviews of Geophysics, 51(2), pp.113-149. or develop when necessary, life cycle analysis tools to calculate stored carbon after accounting for emissions from required materials, energy, transportation/dispersal, etc.
  • Include aspects of sustained monitoring to verify CDR permanence over long time scales as CDR is scaled.

Standardized methodologies from third parties to verify uptake of atmospheric CO2 resulting from ocean alkalinity enhancement will ultimately need to be developed to enable trading of carbon removal credits. Key first steps to support development of these protocols include: 

  • Convening experts to review advances from modeling tools (Develop New Modeling Tools to Support Design and Evaluation) and controlled field trials (Accelerate Design and Permitting of Controlled Field Trials) to identify satisfied and outstanding data needs necessary to quantify additional CO2 uptake as a direct result of OAE. As advances in OAE RD&D are made, the satisfied and outstanding data needs will need to be updated.
  • Apply existing{{1}}{{2}} or develop when necessary, life cycle analysis tools to calculate stored carbon after accounting for emissions from required materials, energy, transportation/dispersal, etc.
  • Include aspects of sustained monitoring to verify CDR permanence over long time scales as CDR is scaled.

Standardized methodologies from third parties to verify uptake of atmospheric CO2 resulting from ocean alkalinity enhancement will ultimately need to be developed to enable trading of carbon removal credits. Key first steps to support development of these protocols include: 

  • Convening experts to review advances from modeling tools (3a) and controlled field trials (3b) to identify satisfied and outstanding data needs necessary to quantify additional CO2 uptake as a direct result of OAE. As advances in OAE RD&D are made, the satisfied and outstanding data needs will need to be updated.
  • Apply existing{{1}}{{2}} or develop when necessary, life cycle analysis tools to calculate stored carbon after accounting for emissions from required materials, energy, transportation/dispersal, etc.
  • Include aspects of sustained monitoring to verify CDR permanence over long time scales as CDR is scaled.

Standardized methodologies from third parties to verify uptake of atmospheric CO2 resulting from ocean alkalinity enhancement will ultimately need to be developed to enable trading of carbon removal credits. Key first steps to support development of these protocols include: 

  • Convening experts to review advances from modeling tools (3a) and controlled field trials (3b) to identify satisfied and outstanding data needs necessary to quantify additional CO2 uptake as a direct result of OAE. As advances in OAE RD&D are made, the satisfied and outstanding data needs will need to be updated.
  • Apply existing{{1}}{{2}} or develop when necessary, life cycle analysis tools to calculate stored carbon after accounting for emissions from required materials, energy, transportation/dispersal, etc.
  • Include aspects of sustained monitoring to verify CDR permanence over long time scales as CDR is scaled.

Standardized methodologies from third parties to verify uptake of atmospheric CO2 resulting from ocean alkalinity enhancement will ultimately need to be developed to enable trading of carbon removal credits. Key first steps to support development of these protocols include: 

  • Convening experts to review advances from modeling tools (3a) and controlled field trials (3b) to identify satisfied and outstanding data needs necessary to quantify additional CO2 uptake as a direct result of OAE. As advances in OAE RD&D are made, the satisfied and outstanding data needs will need to be updated.
  • Apply existing,, or develop when necessary, life cycle analysis tools to calculate stored carbon after accounting for emissions from required materials, energy, transportation/dispersal, etc.
  • Include aspects of sustained monitoring to verify CDR permanence over long time scales as CDR is scaled.

Accelerate RD&D Through New Partnerships

Version published: 

Research, development, and demonstration of OAE may be accelerated and strengthened by creating partnerships with key industries/sectors, including:  

  • Transoceanic shipping – cargo vessels often travel at less than full capacity, provide onboard power, and move from port to port providing frequent opportunities to acquire new alkaline material and offload byproducts from alkalinization processes. Developing partnerships with the shipping industry to help the industry fulfill its commitments to decarbonize shipping could be a stepping stone to accelerate ocean-based net negative emissions (e.g. Poseidon Principles[1]“Poseidon Principles” https://www.poseidonprinciples.org/ ).
  • Industries generating alkaline byproducts for feedstock into OAE processes (steel, aluminum, cement, lime, and nickel production; coal and biomass combustion)[2]Renforth, P. The negative emission potential of alkaline materials. Nat Commun 10, 1401 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-019-09475-5 .
    • 7 billion tons of alkaline byproducts generated annually from manufacturing and combustion could decrease costs and potentially facilitate transitions to larger-scale OAE[3]Renforth, P. The negative emission potential of alkaline materials. Nat Commun 10, 1401 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-019-09475-5 . 
  • Finfish and shellfish aquaculture, as well as coral reefs, where the added alkalinity could be used to optimize chemical conditions, including providing relief from ocean acidification[4]Gattuso J-P, Magnan AK, Bopp L, Cheung WWL, Duarte CM, Hinkel J, Mcleod E, Micheli F, Oschlies A, Williamson P, Billé R, Chalastani VI, Gates RD, Irisson J-O, Middelburg JJ, Pörtner H-O and Rau GH (2018) Ocean Solutions to Address Climate Change and Its Effects on Marine Ecosystems. Front. Mar. Sci. 5:337. doi: 10.3389/fmars.2018.00337 . 
  • Offshore renewable energy production, including wind and others, both as power sources and as integrated CDR platforms.
  • Coastal industries, including desalination and wastewater treatment facilities, which already have infrastructure for pumping/processing seawater or wastewater for alkalinity addition.
  • Marine research laboratories that already pump seawater and have expertise, technical equipment and infrastructure to support research and development.

Developing and strengthening relationships with partner industries may also help promote greater public support, as well as potentially offer faster routes to obtaining the necessary permitting.

Research, development, and demonstration of OAE may be accelerated and strengthened by creating partnerships with key industries/sectors, including:  

  • Transoceanic shipping – cargo vessels often travel at less than full capacity, provide onboard power, and move from port to port providing frequent opportunities to acquire new alkaline material and offload byproducts from alkalinization processes. Developing partnerships with the shipping industry to help the industry fulfill its commitments to decarbonize shipping could be a stepping stone to accelerate ocean-based net negative emissions (e.g. Poseidon Principles{{1}}).
  • Industries generating alkaline byproducts for feedstock into OAE processes (steel, aluminum, cement, lime, and nickel production; coal and biomass combustion){{2}}.
    • 7 billion tons of alkaline byproducts generated annually from manufacturing and combustion could decrease costs and potentially facilitate transitions to larger-scale OAE{{3}}. 
  • Finfish and shellfish aquaculture, as well as coral reefs, where the added alkalinity could be used to optimize chemical conditions, including providing relief from ocean acidification{{4}}. 
  • Offshore renewable energy production, including wind and others, both as power sources and as integrated CDR platforms.
  • Coastal industries, including desalination and wastewater treatment facilities, which already have infrastructure for pumping/processing seawater or wastewater for alkalinity addition.
  • Marine research laboratories that already pump seawater and have expertise, technical equipment and infrastructure to support research and development.

Developing and strengthening relationships with partner industries may also help promote greater public support, as well as potentially offer faster routes to obtaining the necessary permitting.

Research, development, and demonstration of OAE may be accelerated and strengthened by creating partnerships with key industries/sectors, including:  

  • Transoceanic shipping – cargo vessels often travel at less than full capacity, provide onboard power, and move from port to port providing frequent opportunities to acquire new alkaline material and offload byproducts from alkalinization processes. Developing partnerships with the shipping industry to help the industry fulfill its commitments to decarbonize shipping could be a stepping stone to accelerate ocean-based net negative emissions (e.g. Poseidon Principles{{1}}).
  • Industries generating alkaline byproducts for feedstock into OAE processes (steel, aluminum, cement, lime, and nickel production; coal and biomass combustion).
    • 7 billion tons of alkaline byproducts generated annually from manufacturing and combustion could decrease costs and potentially facilitate transitions to larger-scale OAE. 
  • Finfish and shellfish aquaculture, as well as coral reefs, where the added alkalinity could be used to optimize chemical conditions, including providing relief from ocean acidification. 
  • Offshore renewable energy production, including wind and others, both as power sources and as integrated CDR platforms.
  • Coastal industries, including desalination and wastewater treatment facilities, which already have infrastructure for pumping/processing seawater or wastewater for alkalinity addition.
  • Marine research laboratories that already pump seawater and have expertise, technical equipment and infrastructure to support research and development.

Developing and strengthening relationships with partner industries may also help promote greater public support, as well as potentially offer faster routes to obtaining the necessary permitting.

Research, development, and demonstration of OAE may be accelerated and strengthened by creating partnerships with key industries/sectors, including:  

  • Transoceanic shipping – cargo vessels often travel at less than full capacity, provide onboard power, and move from port to port providing frequent opportunities to acquire new alkaline material and offload byproducts from alkalinization processes. Developing partnerships with the shipping industry to help the industry fulfill its commitments to decarbonize shipping could be a stepping stone to accelerate ocean-based net negative emissions (e.g. Poseidon Principles).
  • Industries generating alkaline byproducts for feedstock into OAE processes (steel, aluminum, cement, lime, and nickel production; coal and biomass combustion).
    • 7 billion tons of alkaline byproducts generated annually from manufacturing and combustion could decrease costs and potentially facilitate transitions to larger-scale OAE. 
  • Finfish and shellfish aquaculture, as well as coral reefs, where the added alkalinity could be used to optimize chemical conditions, including providing relief from ocean acidification. 
  • Offshore renewable energy production, including wind and others, both as power sources and as integrated CDR platforms.
  • Coastal industries, including desalination and wastewater treatment facilities, which already have infrastructure for pumping/processing seawater or wastewater for alkalinity addition.
  • Marine research laboratories that already pump seawater and have expertise, technical equipment and infrastructure to support research and development.

Developing and strengthening relationships with partner industries may also help promote greater public support, as well as potentially offer faster routes to obtaining the necessary permitting.

Growing and Maintaining Public Support

Version published: 

First-Order Priorities to build public support for ocean-based CDR pathways are found in the Public Support road map Additionally, there are some specific opportunities to cultivate public engagement in and support around OAE including: 

  • Developing targeted public outreach/advocacy campaigns to inform about OAE and its potentials with regards to ameliorating ocean acidification 
  • Responding to the narrative of OAE as less “nature-based” than, for instance, coastal blue carbon restoration with the concept that OAE represents an acceleration of “natural” chemical weathering.

First-Order Priorities to build public support for ocean-based CDR pathways are found in the Public Support road map Additionally, there are some specific opportunities to cultivate public engagement in and support around OAE including: 

  • Developing targeted public outreach/advocacy campaigns to inform about OAE and its potentials with regards to ameliorating ocean acidification 
  • Responding to the narrative of OAE as less “nature-based” than, for instance, coastal blue carbon restoration with the concept that OAE represents an acceleration of “natural” chemical weathering.

First-Order Priorities to build public support for ocean-based CDR pathways are found in the Public Support road map Additionally, there are some specific opportunities to cultivate public engagement in and support around OAE including: 

  • Developing targeted public outreach/advocacy campaigns to inform about OAE and its potentials with regards to ameliorating ocean acidification 
  • Responding to the narrative of OAE as less “nature-based” than, for instance, coastal blue carbon restoration with the concept that OAE represents an acceleration of “natural” chemical weathering.

First-Order Priorities to build public support for ocean-based CDR pathways are found in the Public Support road map Additionally, there are some specific opportunities to cultivate public engagement in and support around OAE including: 

  • Developing targeted public outreach/advocacy campaigns to inform about OAE and its potentials with regards to ameliorating ocean acidification 
  • Responding to the narrative of OAE as less “nature-based” than, for instance, coastal blue carbon restoration with the concept that OAE represents an acceleration of “natural” chemical weathering.
Help advance Ocean-based CDR road maps. Submit Comments or Content
Share your expert knowledge to advance these road maps. Become a Contributor