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March 25, 2009

Research on global warming.

Filed under: global warming, NGO, science — neosurya @ 22:33

Saw the following article in the Times of India, page 18, 25th March 2009….

Ocean test to fight global warming fails
Amit Bhattacharya | TNN

New Delhi: LOHAFEX, the Indo-German Antarctic scientific expedition that had triggered a storm of protests when it set sail in January to test a controversial method of fighting global warming by getting a huge amount of CO ² to sink deep into the ocean, has returned with disappointing results.
The team found that the amount of CO ² —a greenhouse gas chiefly responsible for global warming—eliminated from the atmosphere as a result of the experiment turned out to be far less then expected. This has led the scientists, 29 of them from India, to infer that the Southern Ocean near Antarctica may not be as good a site for ‘ocean iron fertilization’ as previously thought.
Iron fertilization is a method of seeding the ocean with iron to prompt the blooming of phytoplankton, a class of tiny plant algae which take up CO ² from the air and quickly die off, sinking deep into the ocean with the carbon. If conducted on a large scale, it was touted as a way of sucking millions of tonnes of CO ² , thus reducing the level of the greenhouse gas in the atmosphere. The LOHAFEX team, however, found that though the algae mass doubled in size after four tonnes of dissolved iron was dropped in a 300 sq km patch of ocean, most of it was quickly eaten away by a crustacean zooplankton species. ‘‘This grazing resulted in most of the CO ² trapped by algae to be recycled into air,’’ said S W A Naqwi from National Institute of Oceanography, Goa, the co-chief scientist of the project.

Funny feeling I get – A few days ago, I had written about the one straw revolution, and how science and business collude in an unholy matrimony, resisting from seeing all parameters before implementation of an idea. This article is another (though milder) embodiment of that observation.

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