Trying to turn ever-present Atlantic seaweed into a climate fix
Environment carbon sequestration Global Warming

Trying to turn ever-present Atlantic seaweed into a climate fix

Dr Shawna Foo
Dr Shawna Foo

In 10 seconds? As seaweeds absorb lots of carbon dioxide (CO2) while growing, seaweed farming has been mentioned as a potential strategy to capture CO2 from the atmosphere. A recent study, however, shows that when considering natural feedbacks of seaweed patches, this carbon sequestration capability is reduced.

What’s the finding? Researchers investigated a natural seaweed farm – the Great Atlantic Sargassum Belt – a large bloom of seaweed in the North Atlantic Ocean. They found that the Sargassum patch sequestered 810,000 tonnes of carbon. However, when they weighed in the complexities of a real-world system, CO2 absorption was reduced by 20 – 100%. This raises some doubts about seaweed farming as an effective climate intervention strategy.

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