Anorak News | Can We Trust Plankton To End Global Warming?

Can We Trust Plankton To End Global Warming?

by | 1st, May 2007

GLOBAL warming can be cured. Hurrah! And, as the NY Times reports, Russ George, the chief executive of Planktos, wants to grow huge floating fields of plankton, in part to mitigate carbon emissions.

“Can plankton help save the planet?

“Some Silicon Valley technocrats are betting that it just might. In an effort to ameliorate the effects of global warming, several groups are working on ventures to grow vast floating fields of plankton intended to absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and carry it to the depths of the ocean. It is an idea, debated by experts for years, that still sounds like science fiction — and some scholars think that is where it belongs.

“But even though many questions remain unanswered, the first commercial project is scheduled to get under way this month when the WeatherBird II, a 115-foot research vessel, heads out from its dock in Florida to the Galápagos and the South Pacific.

“The ship plans to dissolve tons of iron, an essential plankton nutrient, over a 10,000-square-kilometer patch. That’s equivalent to 2.47 million acres (3,861 square miles on land or 2,912 square nautical miles). When the trace iron prompts growth and reproduction of the tiny organism, scientists on the WeatherBird II plan to measure how much carbon dioxide the plankton ingests.”

Sounds like a plan. Only, often when man tries to move nature about, something bad happens.

Instapundit notes: “Like the dreaded Merkle Cloud, this could be dangerous if overdone. Don’t plunge us into a new ice age, please. (And wouldn’t that be a good plot for a thriller — evil scientist, in cooperation with Hugh Chavez-like tropical dictator, deliberately triggers an ice age!)”

Look out! It’s Tony Blair’s weather machine!

Posted: 1st, May 2007 | In: Reviews Comment | TrackBack | Permalink