According to the study, one technology in particular has the highest potential for immediately addressing the root cause of climate change. By quickly developing ocean-based renewable energy systems — such as tidal generators, offshore wind farms, and geothermal heat pumps — we can quickly reduce carbon emissions from fossil fuel sources.
“Not only do offshore wind farms, wave energy and other ocean renewables have a very large potential to reduce carbon emissions, but they are also cost-effective and ready to be implemented at a large-scale,” said study co-author Dr. Alexandre Magnan, from France's Institute for Sustainable Development and International Relations, in a statement.
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The action plan also calls for more radical strategies. One potentially effective measure for combating sea acidification, for example, is to add massive quantities of alkaline materials and nutrients to the oceans.
Another suggestion calls for manipulating marine habitats and ecosystems, or even using genetic engineering, to help species adapt more quickly to climate change. A third proposal suggests radical geoengineering methods, such as covering the oceans with a non-toxic foam to reflect excess solar radiation.
The group concedes that many of these extreme measures aren’t yet feasible, and would require years of additional research. The report is structured to compare the proposed solutions in terms of their risks, benefits, and ultimate viability. But provocative proposals are part of the plan. The idea is to get scientists and public policy makers to start thinking, planning, and collaborating.
Hopefully they all come together before it’s too late.