Rogue Geoengineering Experiment Creates Massive Algae Bloom in Pacific Ocean

by Al Bredenberg, 10/21/12

The Guardian is reporting that a July dump of 100 tonnes of iron sulphate in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of British Columbia, Canada, by California businessman Russ George has fueled a plankton bloom as large as 10,000 square kilometers. The dump is part of a rogue geoengineering experiment that is intended to demonstrate that ocean fertilization using iron can draw carbon from the atmosphere and sequester it in the ocean long-term to help combat climate change. But environmentalists have called George’s algae bloom experiment a “blatant violation of two international resolutions.”

George’s actions were based on the theory that iron stimulates the growth of phytoplankton such as diatoms, a type of algae. When the phytoplankton die, the organic material sinks, transferring the organisms’ carbon into the deep ocean, where it could remain for centuries. You can see the formation of the bloom on the NASA maps shown here. If you compare this June 2012 map before the iron dump to the August 2012 image after the dump (above), you’ll see that a large red-orange mass has formed near the center of the map, which indicates a substantial increase in chlorophyll production in that area in response to the fertilization effort.

Read more: Rogue Geoengineering Experiment Creates Massive Algae Bloom in Pacific Ocean | Inhabitat – Sustainable Design Innovation, Eco Architecture, Green Building.

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