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The response of coccolithophores - calcifying marine phytoplankton- to TRAce Metals and Alkalinity Enhancement


Keeping global warming below 2°C will require drastic reductions or even planetary-scale negative emissions that must be initiated within this decade to remove hundreds of gigatons of CO2 from the atmosphere. Ocean alkalinity enhancement (OAE) is one of the most promising methods to actively remove CO2 from the atmosphere whereby suitable rocks are extracted, pulverised, and dispersed over the oceans or land surfaces. CO2 is chemically absorbed during weathering and safely stored mainly as bicarbonate for geological timescales. However, the effect of introducing gigatons of alkalinity and dissolved metals in marine pelagic ecosystems remains mainly unknown. TRAMAE will be among the first to investigate some of the most relevant impacts of OAE and associated trace metals released by alkaline material, on coccolithophores. –calcifying marine phytoplankton– which are major drivers of the marine carbon and calcium carbonate cycles as they contribute 1-10% to marine primary production and ~50% to pelagic calcium carbonate sedimentation. The project aims at quantifying if and how an increase in alkalinity stimulates calcifiers and to what extent this would offset or strengthen the efficiency of OAE. Next to the focus on the calcification response towards OAE, TRAMAE aims to investigate the environmental effect of the most relevant dissolution products (i.e. trace metals) released by the minerals employed for enhancing alkalinity on the marine phytoplanktonic community. This is an urgent need to evaluate the possible risks in the real-world of the application of OAE. The fellowship will be carried out at GEOMAR (Kiel, Germany) where the proponent will be included in a team of experts on OAE in marine biology and geosciences. The results will be disseminated to raise awareness of global changes and ocean ecosystem dynamics. TRAMAE will be spearheading the assessment of OAE which may become an essential tool to counteract climate change.


Net EU contribution
€ 189 687,36
Wischhofstrasse 1-3
24148 Kiel

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Schleswig-Holstein Schleswig-Holstein Kiel, Kreisfreie Stadt
Activity type
Research Organisations
EU contribution
No data