Planktos has just announced that its research ship Weatherbird II, has begun its "Voyage of Recovery." For the benefit of any anti-Darwinian types in the audience, that's a play on century-old words indeed.
Even if we knew the Weatherbird's course, we wouldn't tell because there are still plenty of people who think that studying the effects of a few tons of extremely dilute powdered iron ore spread atop the deepest offshore zones is more dangerous than climate catastrophe and worsening marine acidification. Here's a background post on Planktos' plans and opposition to them. Kimberley outlines the need for the voyage of recovery here. Jeremy lays out the crisis in stark terms here.
"Now equipped with state of the art research equipment that makes it the match of the rest of the US research fleet. Much of the research equipment has come aboard as part of a services agreement with a leading ocean research technology group that routinely equips US research vessels. In spite of a series of unanticipated and long delays in equipping the ship with her scientific gear and bringing officers and crew aboard, the ship is now underway and has left US waters.
"It's great to know the ship is now so well and fully equipped to embark on the ocean
ecorestoration and science missions that lay ahead," commented Planktos CEO Russ George. "Equipping and manning the ship in kind with the established science fleet goes a long way to insuring our missions will truly enjoy state of the art science." The company expects to soon announce scientific agreements with additional leading ocean science groups worldwide.
Beginning in the new year the public will be able to follow the progress of the Weatherbird's research via web casts and regular updates on the Planktos website.
While the ship has sailed the destination and route is being kept confidential based on advice received from international maritime security experts. This is especially relevant given the frontier nature of the research the ship is involved in and the opposition to such climate change research being voiced from some quarters. Planktos is dedicated to engaging in scientifically and environmentally sound business practices within the well regulated and certificate driven programs described by UNFCCC and Kyoto Protocols.
The work aboard Weatherbird over the coming years will provide the critical data and knowledge required by project development documents and methodologies that lead to verifiable certifiable climate change projects amongst those nations who are signatories to the Kyoto Accord.