Press Conference

Tuesday, 20 October, 2015 - 10:45
Press Conference

Professor Willy Baeyens of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel will fertilize the oceans to save the climate. This fertilization stimulates the plankton growth and as a consequence increases the absorption of CO2 from the atmosphere. And CO2 is the big evildoer of the earth’s warming up. Professor Baeyens is carrying out this research with the SeaExplorer robot.

Everybody knows that the CO2-concentration in the atmosphere has to be reduced drastically. This can be achieved in 2 ways: by restricting the CO2-production or by increasing the CO2 absorption. For the latter, marine phytoplankton is extremely efficient. However: research indicates that it is not everywhere as abundantly present in the oceans. How can one arrange that its biomass increases? The answer is fertilization with nutrients, that are essential substances for the plankton. To know which and where nutrients have to be added, novel research is needed. Therefore, VUB bought an ocean robot and equipped it with special, home-made sensors.

Climate Lifesavor
VUB developed special sensors which can be incorporated in the SeaExplorer: these are the only sensors for that instrument which can measure all nutrients in the oceans and
make it possible to map their spatial distribution.