Climate change already affects every part of the globe, with potentially dire consequences for many ecosystems and human communities. Reducing human-caused emissions of greenhouse gasses, including carbon dioxide, is the most important strategy for addressing the impacts of climate change, and the most feasible given current technology. Alongside emissions reductions, the IPCC recommends that climate interventions like carbon dioxide removal (CDR) will be needed to meet climate targets and begin to stabilize Earth’s climate system.
CDR refers to a portfolio of techniques that are used to remove greenhouse gases from the atmosphere and lock them away permanently in secure reservoirs, such as the ocean, forests, soils and geologic formations. While negative emissions technologies such as carbon removal techniques are still in the early stages of development in most cases, the body of research and interest around these techniques is growing fast.
Today, NOAA released a report outlining its Carbon Dioxide Removal Strategy which identified and explored 11 removal techniques. The report does not endorse any one technique but rather outlines the relative strengths and weaknesses of each technique and describes NOAA’s potential research contributions. The effort was led by NOAA’s Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory and involved contributions from across the agency, including more than 60 technical experts, 33 primary authors, and a 10-member executive advisory board.
“After two years of working with our partners in other agencies, private industry, NGOs, and the public, it’s exciting to showcase new ways NOAA’s mission can support the new blue economy.” says Jessica Cross, Carbon Dioxide Removal Co-Lead at NOAA’s Ocean Acidification Program and lead author of the strategy.
NOAA is well-positioned to lead in the analysis of impact, effectiveness, feasibility, and risk of many CDR techniques to understand the climate benefits and economic potential of carbon management. NOAA’s existing and innovative assets, such as long-term observations, models, ecosystem assessments, and spatial planning tools can inform evidence-based decisions. Those decisions, in turn, could be used by many in the carbon removal sector, including state and local governments, private sector entities and non-profit organizations, as well as other federal agencies.
To support these efforts, the NOAA Ocean Acidification Program, on behalf of that National Oceanographic and Partnership Program, announced a $24 million funding opportunity for proposals focused on Marine Carbon Dioxide Removal (mCDR) to support informed decisions regarding a potential scaled negative carbon ocean industry. Announcement of the awards will be in late summer 2023.
NOAA PMEL, in partnership with academic institutions, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, and startup companies are modeling and measuring the effectiveness of electrodialysis-based ocean alkalinity enhancement for ocean acidification mitigation and atmospheric carbon dioxide removal. This work is supported by NOAA’s Ocean Acidification Program, ClimateWorks Foundation and Department of Energy’s Water Power and Technology Office.
Join NOAA, this Wednesday, June 7 from 4:45-5:30 pm ET for a free, virtual panel at Capitol Hill Ocean Week to hear about the finalized strategy, NOAA’s Climate Ready Nation targets, climate intervention programs and from NOAA’s partners in CDR research.
PMEL in the News
How warm water in the Pacific shapes storms, droughts, and record heat around the world. Mike McPhaden is quoted.
The planet is simmering, both on land and at sea, and that could signal more record temperatures for the remainder of 2023, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Mike McPhaden is quoted.
The natural burst of El Nino warming that changes weather worldwide is far costlier with longer-lasting expenses than experts had thought, averaging trillions of dollars in damage, a new study found. Mike McPhaden is quoted.
International State of the Climate in 2021 Released: record-high greenhouse gases, ocean heat content, and global sea level
Most of the excess energy being trapped in the Earth system by increasing amounts of greenhouse gases is stored in the ocean. This map shows where the global ocean gained (orange) or lost (blue) energy between 1993 and 2021. Places where the trend is small relative to year-to-year variability (not statistically significant) are shaded with gray. NOAA Climate.gov map, based on data provided by John Lyman.
Greenhouse gas concentrations, global sea levels and ocean heat content reached record highs in 2021, according to the 32nd annual State of the Climate report, despite a double-dip La Niña event taking place in the Pacific Ocean.... more