What is it about?

‘Negative emissions’ means taking carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere, rather than adding to it. Most of our ideas about how to do this are still just theories. Scientists are still guessing at how well they might work. One of the models they use is called the “Carbon dioxide removal model inter-comparison project” (CDRMIP). It has been mostly been used to work out how much carbon dioxide could be removed from the atmosphere in the next 100 years. One of the ideas for removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere is called ‘ocean alkalization’. This means adding something to sea water so that it soaks up more carbon dioxide. In this project, the scientist worked out how much carbon dioxide this could remove from the atmosphere over 1 million years.

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Why is it important?

This study helps us understand how quickly carbon dioxide levels are increasing. It shows how high they will get if we do nothing. It shows how much lower they could be if we use seawater to soak up carbon dioxide. It also shows how long it will take for the earth to recover, in each case. These timescales are estimates, but they help us compare different ways of reducing carbon dioxide. KEY TAKEAWAY: One of the options scientists are exploring is whether to add other substances to sea water so that our oceans can soak up more carbon dioxide. They are working out how well this would work, compared to other options for tackling climate change.

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This page is a summary of: Anthropogenic CO2 of High Emission Scenario Compensated After 3500 Years of Ocean Alkalinization With an Annually Constant Dissolution of 5 Pg of Olivine, Frontiers in Climate, December 2020, Frontiers,
DOI: 10.3389/fclim.2020.575744.
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