October 18, 2012
Rogue Dumping of Iron into Ocean Stirs Controversy
. A controversy is brewing over a project conducted by the Haida Salmon Restoration Corporation this past July, as some scientists accuse the company of rogue geoengineering. More than 200,000 pounds of iron sulfate were allegedly dumped into the Pacific Ocean as part of an ocean-fertilization scheme in which iron was used to promote the growth of phytoplankton. This has the affect of removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere because the phytoplankton take up carbon dioxide at the surface of the ocean and then sink to the bottom. Although some researchers believe that this approach holds promise, the Haida Salmon Restoration Corporation has been widely criticized for the way in which it went about the project. According to the UN convention on biological diversity and the London Convention there is an international moratorium on ocean-fertilization. Rutgers climate scientist and CECI affiliate Alan Robock
joined many other scientists in criticizing the project, saying that mitigation is the solution to global warming, not geoengineering.