Monday, May 7, 2007

Planktos - seeding the oceans with iron

Planktos plans to fertilise the oceans with iron to stimulate growth of phytoplankton, microscopic marine plants that soak up carbon dioxide. Their ship plans to dissolve tons of iron over a 10,000-square-kilometer patch.

For more details, see:
The Independent
NY Times


Sam Carana said...

There are some concerns that the plankton will release greenhouse gases as it decomposes and sinks to the ocean bed and decays. Carbon dioxide could be released as well as methane and nitrous oxide, which are far more potent as a greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide. Paul Falkowski, biophysics professor at Rutgers University, has done some modeling on this.

See: MarSci

Chisholm, S.W., Falkowski, P.G., and Cullen, J.J. Dis-Crediting Ocean Fertilization. Science 294 (5541), 309-310 (2003)

Brian Cady said...

There's further work now on intentional iron fertilization, this time to try to replicate great salmon runs after an Aleutian volcano spread dust over the NE Pacific in 2008, stimulating an algae bloom thought responsible for the 40-fold increase in returning salmon.
For more, see: