Reckless science

A global warming "solution" that could have catastrophic results on the oceans

There are times I really wonder about humanity as a species.

We have a global warming "problem" which may or may not exist, depending on how one reads the figures.

The "problem" has been linked by shaky (and as of yet UNVERIFIED) "science" to the presence of "excess" carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

There is no clear link between the presence of atmospheric carbon dioxide and temperature increases.

And now we have a company preparing a "solution."

The idea behind the venture is to create plankton "blooms," or large-scale growth, by seeding the ocean with iron. As the plankton grows, it consumes carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas, and removes it from the atmosphere.

Planktos is not the first to come up with the idea of capturing or sequestering carbon through plankton blooms. But the Foster City, Calif.-based company appears to be the first trying to commercialize ongoing research on the topic.

During the trip, the crew of about 16 will seed thousands of miles of the Pacific Ocean with iron. After the growth phase, a percentage of that plankton will die and sink. Once the plankton are below 500 meters, they sequester the consumed carbon for centuries, said David Kubiak, director of communications for Planktos.

"We're mostly concerned with plankton that get below 500 meters. It puts them in deep enough ocean currents that they are out of the atmosphere for centuries," he said. "Below 1,000 meters and we're talking millennia."

Get that? They plan to deliberately trigger a plankton bloom, despite the fact that they can't adequately monitor or even access it. This could very well trigger a cascade. Given what we do know about plankton blooms, I would consider that more likely than any control of global warming.

Result, wide swatches of ocean that can't support life.

Meanwhile, the link between carbon dioxide and global warming still hasn't been proven.

— NeoWayland

Posted: Thu - May 10, 2007 at 12:52 PM  Tag

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