Energy & Environment

Panel suggests US tinker with oceans to fight climate change

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine said that the U.S. should consider measures that could get oceans to remove more carbon dioxide from the air as a means of combatting climate change. 

A panel of scientific advisers recommended that the federal government allocate over $1 billion in the next 10 years to looking into the most effective ways to use the ocean to remove more carbon from the atmosphere and learning about possible drawbacks of such measures, according to The Associated Press.

The group listed six strategies that could potentially help oceans absorb more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. However, the costs, efficacy and potential negative impacts of the suggestions remain unknown, per the AP.

The strategies noted by the panel included decreasing oceanic acidity through the use of minerals or electric jolts, adding phosphorus or nitrogen to the oceans, encouraging plankton growth and creating large-scale seaweed farms that would suck up carbon before sinking into the deep ocean, according to the wire service.

The academy noted that the issue was of particular importance given the need to eliminate more harmful gasses from the atmosphere in order to achieve the goals set out in the 2015 Paris climate agreement, the AP added. 

Last month, countries that gathered in Glasgow, Scotland, for the COP26 climate summit agreed to strengthen their 2030 climate goals before the end of next year. 

The countries’ pact specifically called for global carbon dioxide emissions to be cut 45 percent by 2030 in comparison with levels seen in 2010. 

The Hill has reached out to theNational Academy of Sciences for comment. 

Tags Climate change climate goals Engineering and Medicine

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