The application of the seaweeds in neutralizing the “ocean acidification” as a long-term multifaceted challenge

The global effects of ocean acidification (OA) on coral reefs are of growing concern. Carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere as a result of burning fossil fuels, not only has an effect on “global warming”, but also on OA which is called the “other CO2 problem”. OA combined with high ocean temperatures has resulted in a massive bleaching of coral reefs in the Indian Ocean and throughout Southeast Asia over the past decade, which is ultimately lethal. Here we discuss the option if innovative seaweed bio-technology—the Ulva lactuca bioreactor option, with its H+ ion-absorbing capacity and its huge green biomass production of around 50 MT/ha/year—which can stabilize our “World Ocean” and our global coral reefs. From our calculations, we came to the conclusion that an area covered with “Ulva lactuca bioreactors” with a production capacity of 250 × 1016 ha of seaweed per year is needed to remove all H+ ions that cause OA in our “World Ocean” since the beginning of the “Industrial Revolution” ≈ 250 years ago. This is a daunting task and therefore we have opted for a multi-faceted approach including variability in seaweed species, avoidance of eutrophication & heavy-metal accumulation, prevention of global warming by more green-biomass production and a better estimation of the huge Kelp seaweed populations in temperate zones in order to protect our coral reefs for the short term.

Ginneken V., 2019. The application of the seaweeds in neutralizing the “ocean acidification” as a long-term multifaceted challenge. Journal of Geoscience and Environment Protection 7: 126-138. Article.

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