Ocean negative carbon emissions: A new UN Decade program

Jihua Liu, Carol Robinson, Douglas Wallace, Louis Legendre, Nianzhi Jiao

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Abstract

The Paris Agreement sets the target to limit increases in mean global temperature to well below 2°C, preferably to 1.5°C, compared with preindustrial levels. Carbon neutrality is the preferred route to reach this target.1 This requires primarily a reduction of CO2 emissions to the atmosphere but also an increase of carbon sinks or negative emissions (absorption of atmospheric CO2). The ocean is the largest active carbon pool on Earth, acting as the key regulator to global climate change, and thus has great potential for carbon negative emission.2,3 Recent research demonstrates that the ocean has already absorbed approximately 28% of anthropogenic CO2 since the Industrial Revolution,4,5 which indicates that ocean negative carbon emissions could potentially have an important role in achieving the 1.5°C or 2.0°C goal. Given the urgency and seriousness of the ongoing climate change, it is therefore imperative to explore the potential of enhancing ocean carbon sinks.
Original languageEnglish
Article number100302
JournalThe Innovation
Volume3
Issue number5
Early online date7 Sep 2022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 13 Sep 2022

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