Galapagos Islands Iron Filings Experiment - Printable Version

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Galapagos Islands Iron Filings Experiment - flatron - 06-23-2007

<span style="color:#FFFFFF"><span style="color:#FFFFFF">this article might have been lost to history had <span style="color:#FFFFFF">google not had a cached copy.
not sure as to why BBC would pull the article but there must be a reason?

Quote:<span style="color:#FFFFFF">Galapagos experiment sparks alarm
A US company plans to dump iron filings into the sea off the Galapagos Islands in an experiment to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

But the plans have alarmed the US government and conservationists. The firm Planktos intends to sell carbon credits to individuals who want to offset their personal CO2 emissions, the Telegraph newspaper reports. But opponents say the dumping of iron filings without a permit is illegal under US and international law.

Seeding the oceans with iron filings is known to create plankton blooms that can absorb significant quantities of carbon dioxide. But environmentalists say the effects of such an experiment on the Pacific ecosystem have not been properly researched. The Telegraph reports that the company will begin dumping 100 tonnes of iron filings this month in a 100 sq km area off the Galapagos from its ship, the Weatherbird II, a US-flagged vessel.

Environmentalists say the plan may violate both the London Convention, set up to regulate dumping at sea, and the US Ocean Dumping Act.

Jim Thomas, chief executive of Canada-based environmental group ETC Group, said: "The overwhelming scientific conclusion based upon the numerous governmental and intergovernmental experiments is that iron seeding is risky and may only temporarily sequester carbon dioxide." "<span style="color:#99FFFF">Leaving the CO2 below the surface just long enough for private geo-engineers to cash their cheques."

ETC Group has asked the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to launch an immediate and full investigation into Planktos' ocean dumping activities. Russ George, the chief executive of Planktos, told the Telegraph: "How could this be illegal?" He added that if concentrations were as low as were involved in this case, then no permit was needed. "We are in the ecosystem restoration business. To portray us as money grubbing greedy capitalists is a perversion of the truth.''