News and Events

News and Events

Oxford Geoengineering Programme

Geoengineering Seminar Series Event: Ocean Fertilization - Can Seeding New Life in the Ocean Absorb Our Excess Carbon?

Wednesday 1st February 2012

Location: The Oxford Martin School

Seminar Summary:  

The proposed geoengineering technique of ocean fertilisation involves adding nutrients to enhance the ocean’s capacity to draw carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere. The theory is that by providing certain nutrients to those parts of the ocean that are deficient in them, we can seed new life that will ‘feed’ on carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. But what are the risks of these proposals? How would they affect the balance of life in the oceans? What is technically feasible and what kind governance structures would be required to regulate such activities.This seminar involved three panelists who made brief presentations on the science of ocean fertilization, the drawbacks and dangers thus far identified by scientific research, and the ongoing process of governing ocean fertilization experimentation and marine geoengineering proposals. These presentations were followed by a question and answer period with the audience and discussion amongst the participants.


This event was part of a seminar series: “The science, governance and ethics of climate intervention techniques.”

To watch the recording of this event please visit our Webex site ( and click "View Event Recordings" in the upper right hand side of the window.

You can also read a review of this event here.

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