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A Crash Course on Carbon Dioxide Removal (CDR): what it is, ways to do it, and context in Alaska

July 18 @ 11:00 am to 12:00 pm AKDT

Speaker: Jessica Cross, NOAA Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory.

Human-induced climate changes already affect every inhabited region across the globe, with potentially dire consequences for many ecosystems and human communities. Under current emissions trajectories, global surface temperatures will continue to rise. With further warming of the Earth system, every region is projected to experience increasingly concurrent climate extremes, associated with clear impact drivers. Limiting warming to levels that avoid extreme risk requires immediate and substantial reductions of greenhouse emissions, as well as the removal of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. While emissions-reduction approaches are the primary component for addressing this challenge, negative emissions strategies will be essential for keeping global temperatures at or below target levels. Many of these techniques are promising in theory, and have garnered significant attention from venture capital, private companies, and large NGOs interested in offsetting their carbon footprints. This in turn has led to the development of new legislation targeted at developing a US strategy for carbon removal. Despite this emerging interest, all carbon dioxide removal techniques are currently in their infancy and require additional research to evaluate their effectiveness and scalability and explore potential co-benefits and environmental risk, as outlined by a recent consensus study from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Mathematics. Here, we will profile marine carbon dioxide removal techniques that are relevant for Alaska and provide an opportunity for discussion.