Ocean Alkalinity Enhancement (OAE)

Ocean Alkalinity Enhancement (OAE)

Increasing ocean alkalinity to expand the carbon storage capacity of seawater


Ocean’s inner alkalinity naturally converts dissolved inorganic CO2 in seawater into bicarbonates and carbonates. The resulting CO2 deficit in seawaters is continuously rebalanced by the absorption of atmospheric CO2 in the ocean. This process occurs naturally over geologic times. 


Artificial addition of alkaline substances to seawater (for instance, the spread of large amounts of alkaline minerals such as olivine and basalt over the open ocean or beaches) may thus increase the capacity of the ocean to sequester atmospheric CO2, while reducing, at the same time, the acidification of the ocean.