geoengineering news roundup

image of pacific ocean with possible algae bloom

As John mentioned, we are long overdue for an update on geoengineering news.

Of course the big story is Russ George dumping iron in the pacific ocean.  It is unclear if this is:

  1. A way to generate carbon credits
  2. A way to restore salmon populations
  3. A scientific study on whether iron fertilization is a valid geoengineering approach

The Guardian initially posted the story, followed by the links above, leaning towards one of these goals..

Russ George defends himself here:

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=questions-and-answers-with-rogue-geoengineer-carbon-entrepreneur-russ-george

A nice summary is here:

http://www.nature.com/news/ocean-fertilization-project-off-canada-sparks-furore-1.11631

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5 Responses to geoengineering news roundup

  1. John says:

    This is a very interesting read! I hadn’t seen the SA article with Mr. George defending their ‘experiment’ before. It seems to me like there are two fundamental issues in this case:

    1) Profit motive- Is it possible to do rigorous science and sell carbon credits at the same time? Almost certainly not- it’s a huge and glaring conflict of interest. This issue is relevant for anyone working in GHG assessment or carbon finance.
    2) Qualification- Even if you resolve the first issue and your intentions are true, good intentions don’t necessarily lead to good science or responsible behavior. Anthropogenic influences on global cycles is a delicate business, and probably not particularly amenable to quick fixes. Mr. George as quoted in the SA article: “The main problem is high CO2 promoting plant growth… The immediate consequence of that has been a diminishment of Aeolian dust…. it’s tragic for the oceans because it’s a source of iron for the oceans. It’s the primary cause of the collapse of primary productivity in the oceans.” It seems like quite a stretch to attribute changes in fish stocks at their particular site to an imbalance in these coupled global biogeochemical cycles, and to suggest that it can be ‘fixed’ in this way…

    Based on what I’ve read so far, the whole thing seems like amateur hour at best, or at worst (and probably more likely) reckless profiteering.

  2. Pingback: Assisted migration- ecosystem protection versus unintended consequences | Energy and the Future

  3. John says:

    Also, here’s an example of a natural iron fertilization experiment- pretty neat! Too bad it didn’t do much of anything though.
    http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=79525&src=eoa-iotd

  4. Pingback: TV drama like details of last summer’s iron dumping revealed | Energy and the Future

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