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

Chase Center and the Golden State Warriors hosted a media Welcome Back conference to discuss the safety protocols and amenities when fans return for a basketball game on April 23rd at Chase Center on April 13, 2021 in San Francisco, California. (Photography by Chris Victorio | Special to the S.F. Examiner).
Golden State Warriors ready to welcome fans back to Chase Center

COVID-19 tests, app-based food ordering among new safety protocols announced this week

People came out in numbers to memorialize George Floyd, who was fatally shot by police, outside San Francisco City Hall on June 9, 2020. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
SFPD prepares for possible protests as Chauvin trial continues

Police to schedule community meetings, provide officers with crowd control training

Mayor London Breed said Tuesday that with other counties moving ahead with expanding vaccine eligibility “we want San Franciscans to have the same opportunity.” (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Everyone in SF ages 16 and up is now eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine

San Francisco expanded eligibility for the COVID-19 vaccine Tuesday to everyone ages… Continue reading

San Francisco Park Rangers have seen their budget and staffing levels increase significantly since 2014. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Citations for being in SF’s public parks after midnight soar

Data shows disproportionate impact on Black residents

Parents and students line up socially distanced before the first day of in-person learning at Bret Harte Elementary School on Monday, April 12, 2021. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
‘It’s a beautiful sight’: The first students return to the classroom

San Francisco’s youngest public school students stepped into classrooms for in-person learning… Continue reading

Most Read