A Tale of Two Geoengineering Experiments: Ocean Iron Fertilization & Injecting the Atmosphere

Ed Schipul/CC BY-SA 2.0

Geoengineering is shaking its rather distracting head again.

Ocean Iron Fertilization Experiment Shows Promise
A new experiment in ocean iron fertilization has yielded more promising results than previous ones, demonstrating that a substantial portion of the carbon absorbed by the induced algae bloom did in fact sink to the deep ocean floor.

Professor Dr. Victor Smetacek of the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research says:

We were able to prove that over 50 percent of the plankton bloom sank below 1000 meter depth, indicating that their carbon content can be stored in the deep ocean and in the underlying seafloor sediments for time scales of well over a century.

Read the original research, Nature.

More info: Discovery News

First Field Trial Injecting Sulfate Particles Into Atmosphere
New York Times reports that a proposal for the first ever field trial of injecting sulfate particles into the atmosphere—intended to reflect solar radiation and reduce warming—has been developed by two Harvard professors.

Under the plan a balloon would be launched from a NASA facility in New Mexico, with "micro" amounts of sulfate particles released and studied.

Keep in mind that previous assessments of different geoengineering methods have come down against injecting sulfate particles into the atmosphere as one of the most risky methods of geoengineering, and one with particular difficulties in administering it internationally.

Tags: Geoengineering | Global Climate Change | Global Warming Solutions