Galapagos Islands Spared Ocean Dumping Experiment

galap3.jpgLast summer while working in the Galapagos Islands I wrote about Planktos, a company that wanted to create plankton blooms near the islands by dumping tons of iron particles into the ocean: Carbon Project Endangers the Galápagos.

Planktos hoped these plankton blooms would ultimately become a lucrative way of removing carbon from the atmosphere. However in a January issue of the journal Science, a number of international scientists issued a warning that not enough was known to commercialize what is known as iron fertilization of the oceans.

Last summer’s dumping in the Galapagos never went forward, in part because of strong local objections, concern by marine scientists over unintended impacts and international environmental group protests. Feb 13 Planktos announced indefinite postponement of the experiment due to lack of investment funds because of “an effective disinformation campaign” by those opposing the effort.

3 thoughts on “Galapagos Islands Spared Ocean Dumping Experiment

  1. Nature has already done the experiment. Test waters anywhere I the world. You will find the vary significantly. Where iron concentration is very low the ocean is a dessert. Where it is high there is an overabundance of life. We let companies drudge the ocean floor to mine the meteroites that are made up of iron and nickel. These are the primary source of iron in upwelling currents that give them the high iron concentration that creates the abundance of sealife that is so popular with the fishing industry. There is a place and time for science and it is now.

  2. This article is so slanted. You say near the Galapagos islands when in reality the experiment was going to be done east of the islands down current from the islands. This site was chosen because it is an oceanic dessert. You call it dumping. How slanted can that be. They intend to add iron to raise the iron concentration to the level it is on the west side of the Galapagos islands. If you are an environmentalist as I am, I want to save this planet from the small mined that are content to continue on this path of environmental destruction.

    • No part of the ocean is a desert. And the seas around the Galapagos are legendary for their abundance of life but fished nearly to extinction by foreign fleets until protected areas were created. We’d be smarter to reduce CO2 emissions to stop acidification of the oceans first before trying to add iron particles to the ocean

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