Would have been a better idea!
German researchers on Wednesday said they had evidence that sowing the ocean with iron particles sucks up and stores carbon dioxide (CO2), preventing the gas from stoking dangerous climate change.
But their work, touching on a fiercely controversial issue called geo-engineering, came under attack from other scientists and environmentalists.
These said a far bigger question — whether such schemes could damage the marine biosphere — remained unanswered.
Published in the science journal Nature, the paper is one of the biggest and most detailed probes into ocean fertilisation, a practice that is banned under international law although scientific research into it is permitted.
Its goal is to take CO2 from the atmosphere and store it in the deep sea so that it no longer adds to the greenhouse effect.
This would be done by scattering the ocean surface with iron dust, a nutrient for microscope marine vegetation called phytoplankton. As the plants gorge on the iron, they also suck up atmospheric CO2 thanks to natural photosynthesis.
In the next step, the phytoplankton die and sink to the deep ocean floor — taking with them the CO2, which would lie in the sediment, possibly for centuries.