2.1 Science and research

Is the project based on foundational science? Has the project identified key research questions and developed plans to address them?

Our principles

  • Our system must be built on the foundation of best available science.

  • Research is focused on questions that will reduce scientific uncertainty, with the end goal of identifying solutions that can effectively mitigate climate change.

  • Research will be conducted with scientific integrity.

  • Research plans are documented and publicly available to advance collective knowledge.

  • Research is iterative and follows a staged progression towards scale, starting with laboratory and/or small scale controlled pilot experiments.

How we demonstrate these principles

  • Prior to beginning research, Running Tide assembled a “Foundational Science Overview”, which was shared with our independent Scientific Advisory Board and scientific partners, as well as a technical white paper that describes our approach – and the science that informs it – in detail.

  • Running Tide has released a Carbon Removal Research Roadmap, which details how past research conducted informs current and future research plans and what key questions our research is designed to answer. Several active projects in progress with external research partners to advance scientific understanding are also detailed. These research plans are regularly reviewed with our Scientific Advisory Board and Ocean Visions, who convenes the Board.

  • Conducting research deployments requires formulating well-informed “priors” to monitor and determine if, where, and why trials deviate from expectations based on controlled or laboratory experiments previously conducted.

    • As an example, in-house advection modeling based on publicly available datasets and real-world tests of our verification hardware systems directly informs where our research projects are deployed to target ideal biomass sinking locations.

    • Similarly, the results from laboratory and controlled coastal experiments and modeling directly inform both our system design and proactive mitigation measures for research projects. As an example, an initial design for a “long line” carbon buoy tested by Running Tide in 2020 and 2021 provided significant efficiencies in terms of macroalgae yield (high yields were observed in fixed research locations with low wave energy, high-nutrient conditions), but presented potential challenges at scale in terms of deployability and potential ecological impacts (both in the ocean and within the supply chain) based on scientific review. Though these reviews determined the risk was minimal, and long lines are commonly used in marine aquaculture, we tested a number of more conservative alternative approaches, leading to the development of the lower density, distributed carbon buoy designs used in research deployments today.

  • Running Tide has provided the Government of Iceland (the site of our initial research projects) with Project Design Documents detailing our research plans. We share quarterly updates to Iceland’s Marine & Freshwater Research Institute and Environment Agency, both of whom we are in continuous contact with throughout the research program. These regular updates are a required mechanism through which we can demonstrate scientific rigor and maintain our permission to operate.

As our work progresses, we aim to identify additional avenues through which to publicly share the results and data from our ongoing research. We are open to all suggestions for effective information sharing that are widely utilized and respected within the scientific community.

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