Thursday, July 29, 2010

An Opening for Ocean Fertilization?

Yesterday Nature published a study indicating that global phytoplankton has declined by 40 percent over the last century. This is startling news from a scientific point of view, but may represent an opening for supporters of ocean fertilization insofar as this technique can now be portrayed not only as sequestration but also as conservation. Advocates can argue that, with phytoplankton populations plummeting as a result of global climate change, strategies such as OIF produce the twin benefits of removing carbon from the atmosphere and stabilizing the base of the ocean food chain. In political terms, "conservation" is much more palatable than "tinkering."

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