Harnessing nature to restore the oceans and fix the climate crisis.

 

For All of Us

The Caribbean is experiencing an unexpected symptom of climate change. Sargassum, a seaweed that has escaped its normal environment in the Sargasso Sea, has exploded in growth over the past decade and has been washing up on Caribbean beaches.

SeaFields will develop a proprietary ocean-combine-harvester to capture the Sargassum that’s affecting the Caribbean and sink it to the bottom of the ocean.

The founder of SeaFields, Sebastian Stephens met Victor Smetacek, biological oceanographer and Professor Emeritus at the Alfred Wegener Institute in Bremerhaven, Germany after listening to his interview in The Sargassum Podcast by Mar Fernández Méndez, Franziska Elmer and Robby Thigpen. The two hatched a plan to turn the nuisance seaweed into a leading solution in combating climate change.

Sargassum influx: nature’s gift to restoring the oceans and helping us fix the climate emergency

Carbon sequestration needs more attention.

Stopping ongoing carbon emissions isn’t enough. We need to scrub existing pre-industrial CO2 as well, and quickly, to avoid us reaching key climate tipping points.

Current efforts are focussed on cutting the 50 gigatons of CO2 we emit each year (GtCO2), but little thought is being put into sequestering the ~1830 GtCO2 post-industrialisation emissions that remain.

It’s difficult to visualise the scale of the problem.

One gigaton = a billion metric tons. That is the equivalent to the CO2 emissions of Germany in 1990. The 276 million cars in the US release about 1.27 gigatons of CO2 per year. The entire mass of humanity = 287 million metric tons. Sequestering more than 50 GtCO2 a year would need collaboration at a scale humanity has never seen before.

Is terrestrial carbon sequestering really nature’s best solution?

We need to plant 1.2 trillion trees to solve the problem terrestrially. The geopolitical challenge of this makes it practically unachievable, plus trees take time to grow.

Sargassum has become invasive in the Caribbean.

As a result of climate change, Sargassum has been blooming in unexpected places and at an inconceivable scale, impacting the local tourist trade, fisheries, coastal ecosystems and the health of locals as it washes up on beaches.

By harvesting and baling Sargassum in the Atlantic to sequester gigatons of carbon, we can offset current carbon emissions. Alongside this, we will wholesale raw Sargassum to industry partners who provide alternatives to fossil fuel products, helping the global effort to rapidly lower CO2 emissions. The end goal is a world with very low carbon emissions, where our sequestered carbon is even scrubbing the pre-existing, post-industrial CO2.