Give me your carbon dioxide, your atmospheric heat…

By Tiago Fioreze – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=6111892

The ocean, our super hero ? Will those vast expanses of salty water, reaching down to lightless depths, be our planet’s saviour ? In an interview with Eos magazine, none other than our own Phil Renforth (yes, the same with whom we walked the rugged shores of Hawai’i), explains in a very accessible way how the ocean may assist us in combating effects of climate change. More specifically, Phil explains how raising the ocean’s alkalinity -it’s acid buffer capacity- may help to sequester more CO2 from the atmosphere. This is of course a shared research interest, as we collaborate on several fronts. The interview in Eos was done to accompany a scientific article Phil published in the journal Reviews of Geophysics, on the same subject. It would be silly to repeat what Phil has to say, so I invite you sit down and read it here. Enjoy !

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OLIvOA has moved !

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During the second half of 2016, OLIvOA headquarters was forced to move. Due to a change in institutional situation (read: I found a good working position elsewhere), OLIvOA has moved with me to my new work spot: São Paulo, Brazil ! The new headquarters are located at the Department of Marine Ecology, Conservation & Management at the Instituto Oceanográfico of the University of São Paulo (IO-USP). From our new address (see bottom of the website) in this huge and vibrant metropolis, OLIvOA will continue to push and develop research into the effects of olivine dissolution on the marine carbonate system and its potential environmental impacts.

COP21 Paris about to start

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From Monday 30 November till Wednesday 11 December, the 21st Convention of Parties of the United Nations Conference on Climate Change –COP21 in short- will take place. A lot of attention has been going to this convention. The main reason for this is the fact that the main goal of this convention is to achieve a legally binding and universal agreement on the climate, with the aim of keeping global warming below a global average of 2 degrees Celsius. A very ambitious, but necessary goal indeed. A grand total of 150 heads of state are expected to arrive on 30 November in Paris, making this an international diplomatic conference of unprecedented magnitude. Should the Convention prove successful, we would be looking at a global-scale effort to not only adapt to climate change and bring down global carbon emissions, but actually re-capture carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and store it on a time scale of millenia.

Already in the IPCC reports of 2014, measures such as afforestation, land use change and carbon capture and storage (CCS) have been put forward as parts of the climate mitigation portfolio. In our opinion, far too little attention is spent on mineral weathering and Enhanced Weathering of Olivine (EWO) in particular. This is in part due to the fact that not much is published about EWO. Large-scale EWO may contribute to atmospheric carbon sequestration, and when applied in coastal sediment management programmes, may prove to be relatively simple to implement. We hope that our research may fill some of the knowledge gaps, so that we can contribute to the climate solution.