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Home > News > Nanotechnology or not: Iron seeding of ocean seems premature at best

May 4th, 2007

Nanotechnology or not: Iron seeding of ocean seems premature at best

Regular readers of Nanodot know that we often disagree with ETC Group — but not always. They have issued a press release condemning a plan by a private firm to seed the ocean with iron particles in an effort to fight global warming. An excerpt:

As worrying, Planktos boasts on their website that the iron they dump will be in nanoparticle form because nanoparticles float longer than normal particles.(8) (although Planktos have given contrary information in person). If this is true, then the Planktos experiment may be the largest intentional release of engineered nanoparticles ever undertaken.

So it's not clear whether the iron particles are nanoscale or not. In any case, ETC Group opposes such geoengineering efforts and wants the UN to make climate decisions. Now, while Foresight normally favors "bottom-up" problem-solving, this Planktos project appears to be taking the idea rather far. It's not clear that freelance efforts by one company to change ocean chemistry are a good idea at this point. This seeding project seems premature at the very best.


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