Ocean Science and Engineering Presents Dr. Charles H. Greene, Cornell University
Marine Microalgae: Climate, Energy, and Food Security for the 21st Century
The large-scale industrial production of marine microalgae can provide a foundation for stabilizing Earth’s climate system while simultaneously addressing the global challenges of energy, food, and water security.
Marine microalgae can profitably meet the projected 2040 global demands for animal feed protein, vegetable oil, and liquid transport fuels on approximately 600,000 km2 of non-arable land, equivalent to ~6.5% of the Sahara Desert. To meet these demands, society must invest between now and 2040 an amount comparable to what it currently invests in generating electricity.
The use of algae instead of terrestrial crops and fishmeal to meet these demands can conserve ~17% of global freshwater consumption,~ 34% of wild harvest fisheries, and ~2.8 million km2 of cropland. By decreasing fossil carbon emissions and land use, microalgae can account for a reduction of up to 13 GT CO2 year-1 by 2040.