Problem solving in marine carbon dioxide removal (mCDR)

mcdr cube

Problem solving in marine carbon dioxide removal (mCDR)

Identifying important questions and capabilities for studying new human perturbations to the ocean carbon system


A community workshop on mCDR was held September 27-30, 2022 at the Univ. Rhode Island (Palter et al., 2023, workshop recordings and workshop follow-up webinar). A key follow-on from the workshop was the development of a working group focused on mCDR. The working group consists of six core members plus leaders of five regional mCDR nodes in North America, including:

Core working group members - Jessica Cross (PNNL), Jaime Palter (URI), Patrick Rafter (USF), Sarah Cooley (Ocean Conservancy), Ken Buesseler (WHOI), Lennart Bach (Univ. Tasmania, liaison to SOLAS global network of mCDR nodes)

Regional node leads (working group members) and co-leads 

  • Gulf of Mexico - George Xue (Louisiana State Univ.), Laura Stieghorst (Básico)
  • Southeast - Adrienne Hoarfrost (Univ. Georgia), Tyler Cyronak (Georgia Southern Univ.)
  • Northeast - Adam Subhas (WHOI), Justin Ries (Northeastern Univ.), Elizabeth Troein (Isometric), Meg Estapa (Univ. Maine)
  • Pacific Northwest - Meg Chadsey (Washington Sea Grant), Kohen Bauer (Univ. Victoria), Sara Nawaz (American Univ)
  • West coast/California Current System - Christina Frieder (Southern California Coastal Water Research Project), Kristen Davis (UCI), Alex Harper (CenCOOS)

With the recognition that different places have unique social, economic, environmental, and cultural contexts, the OCB mCDR Working Group is steering the spin-up of several regional mCDR nodes around the US to bring an in-person discussion of an mCDR topic(s) to their region. Using a place-based approach, they will facilitate the connection of stakeholders across sectors, disciplines, and career stages. We emphasize that the planning and implementation of the nodes will be open-ended, collaborative, and iterative. To maximize effectiveness, regional nodes will tailor their activities and discussions to their specific regional challenges and stakeholder groups, but the working group will provide a conduit through which regional node leaders can learn from one another and identify synergies. OCB will sponsor one in-person gathering of each regional node and help coordinate virtual meetings leading up to or following the in-person gathering to inform or digest discussion outcomes. The key deliverable of the regional nodes is community building at the local to regional level.

Find regional node updates to the right!

  • View GMx regional node 1st zoom recording
  • Regional Node Meeting in New Orleans during OSM2024: Please join us on Feb. 19 from 6:30-9:30 pm at the Audubon Aquarium in New Orleans for an mCDR networking event and side meeting for Gulf of Mexico stakeholders who are interested in mCDR! Learn more and sign up HERE.  Please fill this quick survey and let us know your thoughts about topics and/or formats for this meeting!

We are currently looking to identify diverse stakeholders in the Southeast who would like to connect with the Southeast regional node – find more information about the node below, and if interested please fill out this interest form

The Pacific Northwest Node leads convened a small group of mCDR researchers and science communicators for a 2.5 hour virtual meeting on Dec 18, 2023 to discuss regional mCDR priorities and ways in which an expanded mCDR community of practice might address pressing research and information needs. Discussion focused on activities that would be ‘useful but achievable’, given members’ limited capacity to contribute to such efforts. One idea that received broad support was hosting ‘mCDR learning opportunities’ for regulators and policy makers to hear from and ask questions of researchers, and also allow researchers to forge relationships with individuals and agencies responsible for decisions about mCDR project permits and funding. The PNW Node is also exploring the possibility of a half-day in-person April gathering for 40-50 people in Seattle, WA.

We are currently looking to identify diverse stakeholders in California who would like to connect with the California Current regional node – please fill out this interest form.

Northeast node

Background and Justification

Limiting warming to levels that avoid extreme risk (1.5 - 2°C) will require removing multiple gigatons of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere each year, on top of immediate and substantial reductions of greenhouse emissions (SR1.5: IPCC, 2018). Two linked OCB activities designed to marshal the ocean biogeochemistry community to set priorities in marine carbon dioxide removal (mCDR): a workshop designed to both educate and challenge our colleagues to engage in mCDR research and a working group to begin setting benchmarks for problem-solving. Overall, the aim of the paired workshop and working group is to move beyond calls for more research that identifies unknowns, and transition to solutions-based blueprints and best practices to resolve key issues. One benefit will be a networked international community of practice that can work together to address important interdisciplinary questions in CDR research. Second, this community should go beyond scientific researchers, to include agency and governance voices from the beginning. Ultimately, our research outputs should inform evidence-based decision making, so it will be essential to understand decision points and needs to scale research projects. Including those voices and needs from the outset will help the OCB community accelerate the transition of scientific research to public benefit, an especially important factor given the urgency of this problem.

Read the full proposal.

Core Working Group Members

Jessica Cross (PNNL)

Lennart Bach (Univ. Tasmania, link to SOLAS global network of mCDR nodes)

Jaime Palter (URI)

Patrick Rafter (USF)

Sarah Cooley (Ocean Conservancy)

Ken Buesseler (WHOI)

George Xue (Louisiana State Univ. - Gulf of Mexico node)

Christina Frieder (SCCWRP - West Coast/California Current System node)

Adam Subhas (WHOI - Northeast node)

Adrienne Hoarfrost (UGA - Southeast node)

Meg Chadsey (WA Sea Grant - Pacific Northwest node)