How to cool the planet and save coral reefs by 2100

Mike Kelland


Start Year: 2015, 2nd cohort

Host University: The University of Sheffield

Department: Animal and Plant Sciences

Supervisors:  Prof. David Beerling (University of Sheffield), Prof. Jonathan Leake (University of Sheffield), Prof. Steven Banwart (University of Sheffield), Prof. Mark Hodson (University of York) 

Mike Kelland

Academic profile


MSc in Earth Science, Distinction; The Open University, 2013–2015
BSc in Natural Science, 1st Class Hons; The Open University, 2009–2013
PGCE (Sec) Science (with QTS); University of Wales Institute Cardiff, 2009–2010
BSc in Physical Science, 2.2 Hons; The Open University, 2005–2009

Skills and relevant qualifications: 

Pedagogy; statistical analysis of large data sets; financial management

ACCE Ph.D. Research topic


How to cool the planet and save coral reefs by 2100: Experimental investigations of enhanced weathering as a geoengineering CO2 removal strategy

Rising CO2 levels pose increasingly severe risks to live on Earth – not just from global warming, but also due to secondary environmental effects like ocean acidification. From a purely ‘natural’ standpoint, anthropogenic changes to CO2 levels are effectively irreversible over human timescales, however, it may be possible to engineer reversibility through large-scale intervention in the climate system. One possible way to do this is to artificially enhance the silicate weathering rate by mining, crushing and distributing silicate-bearing rocks on land. This process could accelerate the removal of CO2 from the atmosphere, and would also release alkaline weathering products into the oceans, which could directly counteract ocean acidification.

Through a series of small-scale controlled experiments, my project will investigate the potential application of terrestrial enhanced weathering as a strategy for mitigating climate change.