The Potential of Ocean Iron Fertilization as an Option for Mitigating Climate Change.

Bertram, C. (2011) The Potential of Ocean Iron Fertilization as an Option for Mitigating Climate Change. In: Emissions Trading. . Springer, Berlin, pp. 195-207. DOI 10.1007/978-3-642-20592-7_12.

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Abstract

Ocean iron fertilization is currently being discussed as one measure that could contribute to climate change mitigation by stimulating the growth of phytoplankton in certain parts of the ocean and enhancing oceanic CO2 uptake. Its implementation is greatly debated however and its mitigation potential has not yet been explored well. At present, it is still not possible to use carbon offsets generated through iron fertilization projects for complying with the Kyoto Protocol as trading these offsets is currently only possible on voluntary carbon markets. Company interests in such a commercial use of ocean iron fertilization do however already exist. Consequently, there is a need to explore the potential of ocean iron fertilization as a climate change mitigation option as well as regulatory issues connected with its implementation. This article combines these two aims by first examining the scientific background, quantitative potential, side effects and costs of ocean iron fertilization. In a second step, regulatory aspects such as its legal status and open access issues are reviewed. Moreover, the chapter analyses how the regulations for afforestation and reforestation activities within the framework of the Kyoto Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) could be applied to ocean iron fertilization. The main findings of this chapter are that the quantitative potential of ocean iron fertilization is limited, that potential adverse side effects are severe, and that its costs are higher than it was initially hoped. Moreover, the legal status of ocean iron fertilization is currently not well defined, open access might cause inefficiencies, and the CDM regulations could not be easily applied to ocean iron fertilization.

Document Type: Book chapter
Keywords: CDM, Kyoto protocol, Ocean iron fertilization
Research affiliation: OceanRep > The Future Ocean - Cluster of Excellence > FO-R03
Kiel University
OceanRep > The Future Ocean - Cluster of Excellence
Refereed: Yes
Open Access Journal?: No
DOI etc.: 10.1007/978-3-642-20592-7_12
Projects: Future Ocean
Date Deposited: 05 Oct 2017 11:44
Last Modified: 23 Sep 2019 23:25
URI: http://oceanrep.geomar.de/id/eprint/39685

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