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Overview of assessment framework for ocean fertilization


Mayo-Ramsay, JP, Overview of assessment framework for ocean fertilization, National Environmental Law Review, 4 pp. 49-56. ISSN 1445-405X (2009) [Professional, Non Refereed Article]

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Since the 1990’s ocean fertilization has been trialled as a possible solution to reduce the increasing levels of anthropogenic carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Early experiments found that the growth of phytoplankton blooms can be stimulated by the addition of a limiting nutrient, such as iron or urea, into the water column. During the lifecycle of the phytoplankton, CO2 is absorbed and some of this CO2 is exported to the ocean depths. Although the science is still in its infancy, there have been a number of commercial propositions to generate carbon offsets through ocean fertilisation. With no regulatory mechanism in place some scientists raised concerns that uncontrolled commercial applications of ocean fertilisation may cause irreversible environmental harm and adversely impact on delicate marine ecosystems and the biodiversity of the oceans. As a result a number of scientific groups were formed to assess and report on the best proposals for ocean fertilization in the near future. In 2008 it was agreed that there should be a moratorium on ocean fertilisation projects until scientists can prove a better understanding of the potential risks and effectiveness of the process.2 This paper discusses the progress of the reports and assessments in relation to ocean fertilization and in particular the proposed amendments to the London Convention /Protocol.

Item Details

Item Type:Professional, Non Refereed Article
Keywords:Ocean fertilization, London Convention/Protocol, ocean dumping, carbon mitigation strategies, geoengineering
Research Division:Indigenous Studies
Research Group:Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, society and community
Research Field:Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and the law
Objective Division:Environmental Policy, Climate Change and Natural Hazards
Objective Group:Mitigation of climate change
Objective Field:Climate change mitigation strategies
UTAS Author:Mayo-Ramsay, JP (Ms Julia Mayo-Ramsay)
ID Code:62658
Year Published:2009
Deposited By:IASOS
Deposited On:2010-03-16
Last Modified:2010-06-30

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