There's an experiment going on to see if a major phytoplankton bloom can be instigated on a large scale in the ocean. That in turn, theoretically, could absorb masses of CO2 that is partly to blame for global warming. That experiment originates with a German research ship, now heading to the South Atlantic (far from any major military power) to dump twenty tons of FeSO4 (iron sulphate).
The experiment was put together by researchers from Germany and India. Here's what their official website says about the plan: "The Indo-German team, comprising 32 scientists from India, 11 from Germany and 10 from Italy, Spain, Chile, France, UK and USA, will board “Polarstern” in Cape Town, S. Africa on January 7, 2009, and proceed on a mission to the experimental site in the southwest Atlantic at about 50°S latitude and 37°W longitude. They will disembark 70 days later in Punta Arenas, Chile, after spending an arduous two months in a desolate strip of cold, stormy ocean between the notorious 'Roaring Forties' and 'Furious Fifties.' But the scientists will be immersed in a fascinating experiment on board a sturdy ship, so they will be able to work at wind speeds that would rock and roll an average research vessel. If successful, LOHAFEX will set a landmark in the upcoming struggle to mitigate the worst effects of dangerous climate change."
Opponents claim this esxperiment violates international treaties to protect the ocean. One blogger refers to the scientists as "Climate Hackers."
I blogged last summer about the spate of "BIG IDEAS" for combatting climate change. They are now all tossed under the name of "geoengineering." If the problems become acute enough, expect to seem numerous large engineering firms getting into the act because a "solution" to global warming could bring huge bucks. Think of putting out a million oil well fires at one time.
Here's what poll results on this topic looked like back in August:
Geoengineering to slow or stop global warming
is giving dangerous toys to dangerous boys (35%)
is a hoax like global warming itself (34%)
our best hope, 'cause you and I are gonna drive 'til we drop (16%)
is good last resort if the planet's in trouble (15%)
Total Votes: 265
Do we feel any differently today?