Company takes carbon fight to the ocean

Planting trees is not just for Boy Scouts anymore. Corporations, such as Peninsula-based Planktos, are now entering into the business of planting trees and other carbon-dioxide-absorbing life-forms to prevent global warming and tap into the carbon-credit market.

Recently, Planktos sent out its research vessel, Weatherbird II, in a first commercial venture to dump iron into the Pacific Ocean in order to fertilize phytoplankton, tiny organisms that consume carbon dioxide.

Iron fertilization is not a new idea. Planktos’ experiment follows 11 expeditions conducted by scientists starting in 1993. The amount of phytoplankton in the oceans has decreased by 12 percent since 1980, according to NASA. In 1993, oceanographer John Martin discovered that phytoplankton can be grown artificially by adding iron to the ocean.

However, it has been difficult to determine how much carbon dioxide is reduced due to plankton growth. That’s what Weatherbird II is supposed to figure out in order to sell carbon credits.

“Our intention is to do a series of pilot projects that represents a scale-up of other experiments that have been done in the world,” said Russ George, founder of the publicly traded Planktos.

svasilyuk@examiner.com

Bay Area NewsLocal

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

Folks wave from the side of a Muni cable car as it heads down Powell Street after cable car service returns from a 16-month COVID absence on Monday, Aug. 2, 2021. (Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)
San Francisco’s cable cars return after 16-month absence

San Francisco’s cable cars are back, and they’re free for passengers to… Continue reading

Blue California often is the target of criticism by conservative media, but now is receiving critical attention from liberal writers. Pictured: The State Capitol. (Photo by Anne Wernikoff for CalMatters)
Why is California now being criticized from the left?

California being what it is – a very large state with a… Continue reading

Tiffany Carter, owner of Boug Cali West Coast Creole Shack in San Francisco’s La Cocina Marketplace, was dismayed by gentrification she found when she returned to her hometown to start a business. (Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)
SF Black Wallstreet: Helping residents build wealth, reclaim spaces they’ve had to leave

Tiffany Carter moved back to her hometown of San Francisco five years… Continue reading

Steven Buss, left, and Sachin Agarwal co-founded Grow SF, which plans to produce election voter guides offering a moderate agenda. (Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)
Grow SF: New tech group aims to promote moderate ideals to political newcomers

Sachin Agarwal has lived in San Francisco for 15 years. But the… Continue reading

Most Read