Ocean calcifiers

This study highlights the potential of ocean calcifiers to sequester atmospheric carbon in quantity and even reverse climate change. The study, which we hope will show why cultivating calcifiers in the short term would be advantageous, attempts to provide a different, biological, viewpoint of the published data bearing on two specific issues, namely ocean acidification and return of CO2 to the atmosphere by the calcification reaction itself. We find reasons to doubt the validity of both issues. Experiments showing ocean acidification is damaging to calcifiers have all used experimental pH levels that are not projected to be reached in the oceans until the next century or later; today’s oceans are alkaline. In open water habitats in equilibrium with the atmosphere, it may be true to claim precipitation of CaCO3 by calcification as a net source of atmospheric CO2, but only if the solidified limestone is ignored as sequestered CO2. In these kinds of conditions, the calcification response is not carried out by living calcifiers. The chemistry of life is distinguished from that of open water by occurring on enzyme polypeptide surfaces, inside organelles with phospholipid membranes that selectively absorb certain ions, and inside cells encased in phospholipid bilayer membranes. Nowadays, marine calcifiers (coccolithophore algae, Foraminifera [protists], Mollusca, Crustacea, Anthozoa [corals], Echinodermata and some annelids) convert atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) into solid calcium carbonate (CaCO3) protective shells which are left when they die. These organisms could be the biotechnological carbon capture and storage mechanism to control climate change. Ignoring what is known about the biology, physiology, and molecular biology of living calcifiers leads to erroneous conclusions and deficient advice about the potential for calcifier biotechnology to contribute to atmosphere remediation. We conclude that the world’s aquaculture industries already operate biotechnology that, with massive and immediate global expansion, can sustainably control atmospheric CO2 levels at a reasonable cost. We hope that this view of marine calcifiers will show the value and promise of the contribution that aquaculture could make to bringing equilibrium to the atmosphere.

Author(s) Details:

David Moore
Department of Biology, Medicine and Health, School of Biological Sciences, The University of
Manchester, UK.

Matthias Heilweck
Independent Researcher, F-68240, Kaysersberg, France.

William Burton Fears
Department of Medicine, Southwestern Medical School, Dallas, Texas and Founding Fellow of the
American College of Endocrinology, USA.

Peter Petros
Kaapa Biotech Oy, Teilinummentie 4, 09120 Karjalohja, Finland.

Samuel J Squires
Department of Biology, Medicine and Health, The University of Manchester, UK.

Elena Tamburini
Department of Environmental and Prevention Sciences, University of Ferrara, Ferrara, Italy

Robert Paul Waldron
Independent Researcher, LA-70448, Mandeville, Louisiana, USA.


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Recent Global Research Developments in Sequestering Atmospheric Carbon with Ocean Calcifiers

Ocean Calcifiers and Carbon Sequestration: A Brief Overview Marine calcifiers, including coccolithophore algae, Foraminifera (protists), Mollusca, Crustacea, and Anthozoa (corals), play a crucial role in removing carbon dioxide (CO₂) from the atmosphere. They convert it into solid calcium carbonate (CaCO₃), which remains stable over geological time scales.

Potential Value for Climate Remediation Recent research highlights the potential of ocean calcifiers to sequester atmospheric carbon in significant quantities and even contribute to reversing climate change [1]. By harnessing their natural ability to fix CO₂, we can explore innovative solutions for carbon capture and storage.

References

  1. Moore, D., Heilweck, M., Fears, M. D., Burton, W., Petros, P., Squires, S. J., … & Waldron Jr, R. P. (2022). An assessment of the potential value for climate remediation of ocean calcifiers in sequestration of atmospheric carbon. ScienceOpen Preprints.

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