Scientists considering radical ways to "fix Earth's climate"
Trendwatch Brief

Scientists considering radical ways to "fix Earth's climate"

Rick C. Hodgin

Scientists from around the globe are proposing many outside-the-box ideas on how to fix Earth's climate.  These include an emergency fix by floating a whole bunch of pipes vertically in the ocean.  They'll be 10 meters wide and up to 200 meters long.  They'll act like big pumps bringing up the more saline salt water to the surface whereby the algae will thrive and begin gobbling up the carbon dioxide.  In the process, the algal bloom would "push down carbon dioxide levels and also produce dimethyl sulphide, helping to seed sunlight-reflecting clouds."

Another solution involves dumping huge amounts of iron into the ocean.  The iron will fertilize plankton which will then "soak up carbon dioxide from the surrounding sea water.  When the plankton died, their bodies would sink into the deepest waters and sediments, where the carbon would be locked up indefinitely."  It's interesting to note that researchers have already "carried out a dozen scientific trials" with some showing interesting results.

These solutions are perhaps best summed up by Brian Hoskins, a professor of meteorology at the University of Reading.  He said, "In my opinion ... uncertainties over the ... impact of ... greenhouse gas emissions ... is high.  The uncertainties over what these solutions may do is an order of magnitude higher."  In other words, he says these "climate fixes" are ten times more concerning than the possibility of real damage from greenhouse gas emissions.