Seaweed PP 2
Climate change is one of the biggest threats to the planet today. One of the results of climate change is altered levels of CO2 in the atmosphere, land, and oceans. Buildup of CO2 in certain environments and different amounts can have drastic effects on the ecosystem. Continued use of fossil fuels has contributed greatly to this increase in CO2. In recent years, scientists have done research into the use of seaweed (macroalgae) as a method of carbon mitigation. Wild seaweed has great potential to sequester carbon, and an increase in agriculture of seaweed (particularly in aquaculture farms close to heavily populated land) would provide a barrier of carbon mitigation between human carbon waste and the ocean. Macroalgae can inhabit a range of aquatic habitats spanning the globe, and some species are adapted for the acidic, high-carbon environments that carbon pollution has produced. Aquaculture is a growing industry but has yet to take hold in most of the countries across the world. Seaweed aquaculture is primarily used for food, medicine, and cosmetics. Increasing seaweed production for food markets appears to be the best course in order to increase seaweed cultivation and subsequently it’s beneficial carbon-sequestering effects. Seaweed aquaculture is not an end-all solution to climate change and carbon buildup. There would need to be significant increases in aquaculture alongside reductions and reforms of the biggest CO2 production industries and locations for seaweed aquaculture to have a significant benefit. Currently, this method of carbon sequestering has gone relatively undeveloped and should be implemented world-wide where growth conditions are right as an ecologically- beneficial method of reducing carbon and CO2 buildup in the environment.