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The Precourt Institute for Energy is part of the Stanford Doerr School of Sustainability.

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Energy Seminar: Reversing Climate Change within a Generation – The Pivotal Role of Algae

Precourt Institute for Energy

Event Details:

Monday, May 6, 2019
4:30pm - 5:20pm PDT

Our pursuit of a better life, enabled by the discovery of fire, agriculture and fossil fuels gave us modern civilization. It also gave us climate change. We can reverse climate change and improve the quality of life on earth using proven technologies, achieving zero carbon emissions by 2040. Solar and wind will replace fossil fuels in electricity generation, transport fuels are replaced by microalgae, and heat is provided from solar, heat pumps, advanced cookstoves, and biomethane from macroalgae. Agriculture and forestry will be dominated by reforestation of 20 million km2, ultimately bringing us to net removal of up to 22 GT CO2 yr-1. Atmospheric CO2 levels will be restored to where they were in 1750 in just a hundred years.

Charles Greene will be presenting on behalf of Mark Huntley.

Speaker Bios:




Dr. Charles Greene received his PhD in Oceanography from the University of Washington in 1985, spent a year as a postdoctoral fellow at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, and joined the faculty at Cornell in 1986. He is currently a professor in Cornell’s Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences and Director of its Ocean Resources and Ecosystems Program. Dr. Greene’s research interests range from the ecological dynamics of marine animal populations to the impacts of climate variability and change on ocean ecosystems and the Earth system. His most notable research finding to date is that decadal-scale regime shifts in Northwest Atlantic shelf ecosystems are often remotely forced by atmosphere-cryosphere-ocean interactions in the Arctic’s climate system. More recently, Dr. Greene has served on the leadership team of a consortium of universities and other organizations that are conducting marine microalgae research to develop technological pathways for addressing the interconnected global challenges of climate, energy, food, and water security. Mor information about Dr. Greene’s research can be found at

Mark Huntley is Visiting Scholar, Department of Animal Science, Cornell University since 2011; he served on the faculty at Department of Oceanography, University of Hawaii, Manoa (1998-2011) and the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UCSD (1982-1998).

Mark has dedicated his career to understanding and reversing climate change. He was Chief Science Officer of Cellana BV (2007-2011), a $200 million algae biofuels joint venture with Royal Dutch Shell. He served as Principal Investigator of the Cornell Marine Microalgae Biofuels Consortium (2009-2015) and is now Co-PI of the Marine Algae Industrialization Consortium, MAGIC (2015-). He served on the executive committee of GLOBEC, the only component of the IGBP to study the impact of climate change on marine ecosystems (1992-2002). He has led four Antarctic research expeditions (1986-1992). He has published >80 peer reviewed articles and several patents.

Read more about his current projects at and more about Mark at

Recommended Reading:

Drawdown: the most comprehensive plan ever proposed to reverse global warming, Paul Hawken (Ed.), Penguin (2017)

Marine microalgae: Climate, energy and food security from the sea, Greene et al., Oceanography 29(4) (2016)

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