Canada Green leader warns against fertilizing seas

Canada's lone Green Party member of parliament, Elizabeth May
Canada's lone Green Party member of parliament, Elizabeth May, pictured in 2011, on Thursday decried the so-called "ocean fertilization" of the Pacific with what she claimed was Ottawa's tacit approval.

Canada's lone Green Party member of parliament, Elizabeth May, on Thursday decried the so-called "ocean fertilization" of the Pacific with what she claimed was Ottawa's tacit approval.

May pointed to an article in the British newspaper The Guardian in which California businessman Russ George said he conducted a massive test in July, dumping 100 tonnes of iron sulfate off British Columbia's coast in a geoengineering experiment.

The iron has reportedly spawned an artificial plankton bloom as large as 10,000 square kilometers. The aim was twofold: enriching the food chain and increasing for a region that depends on fishing and hoping the plankton will absorb carbon dioxide.

May accused the Canadian government of knowing about the project and letting it happen.

"This kind of experiment is very, very risky business. Scientists have warned us it can destroy oceanic ecosystems, create toxic tides, and aggravate and global warming," May said in a statement. "The long-term absorption of carbon dioxide in water is also contested.

"The fact that may have known about this and let it happen is disturbing. Have they allowed a Californian rogue investor to play with fire at the expense of Canada's environment?"

The experiment was also harshly criticized at a key UN meeting of 70 environment ministers in Hyderabad, India on halting the depletion of Earth's natural resources.


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(c) 2012 AFP

Citation: Canada Green leader warns against fertilizing seas (2012, October 18) retrieved 28 June 2022 from https://phys.org/news/2012-10-canada-green-leader-fertilizing-seas.html
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