EGU General Assembly 2023
© Author(s) 2023. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Atmospheric CO2 removal by alkalinity enhancement in the North Sea

Feifei Liu, Ute Daewel, Jan Kossack, and Corinna Schrum
Feifei Liu et al.
  • Helmholtz-Zentrum hereon, Institute of Coastal Systems-Analysis and Modeling, Germany (

Increased ocean alkalinity reduces the activity of CO2 in seawater and prompts an enhanced flux of CO2 from the atmosphere into the ocean, thereby provides a promising means to reduce the atmospheric CO2 concentrations. However, due to the high complexity of physical and biological processes in coastal waters, the possible effects of coastal alkalinity enhancement (AE) are unclear yet. We thereby aim to set up a model framework to simulate the carbon cycles in the North Sea, which further allows scenario studies to disentangle the efficiency of various forms of coastal AE measures as well as their side effects and ecosystem impacts on the Northwest European Shelf (NWES) system. In two scenarios, the same quota of alkalinity is added into two designated areas, the European coast and the middle North Sea along with the ship tracks, respectively. The alkalinity is distributed continuously and evenly into the two areas. Our results indicate that the North Sea is quickly adjusted to both AE deployments, given that the AE efficiency shows no significant trend since the second year of these deployments. Seasonally, AE is more efficient in wintertime. The efficiency reaches the lowest level in spring, implying that the ocean uptake of the atmospheric CO2 is dominated by biological processes during this season. This modelling assessment will serve as a guide for coastal management and policy making that allows reconciling the application of Carbon Dioxide Removal (CDR) techniques with the maintenance of a good environmental status. It thereby offers an important yet unprecedented case study for a regional to local CDR deployment in the proximal coastal ocean of a temperate shelf sea.

How to cite: Liu, F., Daewel, U., Kossack, J., and Schrum, C.: Atmospheric CO2 removal by alkalinity enhancement in the North Sea, EGU General Assembly 2023, Vienna, Austria, 24–28 Apr 2023, EGU23-9305,, 2023.