Testing ocean alkalinity enhancement as a method to restore ecosystem services impacted by ocean acidification

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Agency Name
ClimateWorks Foundation
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PI First Name
PI Last Name
Area/s of Research
Climate Change Science

The overarching aim of this two-year project is to generate the empirical foundation to elucidate the benefits and risks associated with ocean alkalinity enhancement (OAE) via olivine dissolution or the addition of quicklime. The project objectives are (1) determine the dissolution kinetics of carbonate and silicate minerals; (2) monitor changes in the carbonate system and metals associated with mineral dissolution; and (3) assess the impacts of OAE on marine biota, the latter through two distinct components: determining the impact of OAE on the physiology and dynamics of phytoplankton functional groups through lab and mesocosm experiments (led by UCSB); and studying the impact of OAE on the physiology and dynamics of selected organisms on the intertidal mudflat (e.g lugworms, bivalves, benthic diatoms) through lab experiments and field mesocosm studies (led by AWI).

Our proposal represents an urgently needed step to determine the likely feasibility of OAE to restore ocean pH in the field effectively and safely. The objectives will be met through a combination of unique areas of expertise by the PIs, and strategically positioned institutions (naturally acidified waters, and an intertidal site where OAE could be enhanced naturally) to test the impact of OAE.