|International Policy on OIF:
Statements by various scientific and international groups
IOC Ad Hoc Working Group on OIF statement (June 2008)
Oceanographic Commission statement by an internal scientific working group.
Suggests a method to allow OIF research to continue while ensuring scientific
credibility and environmental protection by creating an international review
panel composed of scientists, NGOs, and regulators. This panel would review
individual OIF projects on a case-by-case basis before allowing them to
proceed. Also critiques the CBD’s statement on OIF from May 2008. (Original IOC
doc here – April 2008)
GESAMP (March 04, 2008)
Joint statement on OIF by the Scientific
Committee on Oceanic Research and the Joint
Group of Experts on the Scientific Aspects of Marine Environmental Protection.
This statement “commends efforts by some commercial ventures to create codes of
conduct and obtain outside reviews”.
SOLAS (July 2007)
Statement by the Surface Ocean and
Lower Atmosphere Study.
Statement from 2008 Scientific Group meeting (May 2008) (pending)
of Concern on OIF from 2007 general meeting
on Biological Diversity statements
Statement from 2008 COP meeting (May 2008) (pending)
Policy Statements on Climate Change
National Academies --
Joint Science Academies’ Statement: Climate Change Adaptation and the Transition to a Low Carbon Society
A joint statement by the National Science Academies of
thirteen prominent nations. Outlines the steps that need to be taken to
transition to a low-carbon society. Recommend increased research into geoengineering techniques in parallel with an aggressive
emissions reductions strategy. This
recommendation was clarified in a follow-up
news article to refer to ocean iron fertilization.
media coverage of International Policy on OIF
to news section
Science Papers on OIF:
Lampitt et al. 2008 – Philosophical Transactions
of the Royal Society
Fertilisation: a potential means of geo-engineering
A review paper on the ocean fertilization techniques,
their ability to sequester carbon, and the potential side effects. Calls for continued experiments of larger
scale than before, and suggests that commercial participation could be
Buesseler et al. 2008 -- Science Policy Forum
Fertilization—Moving Forward in a Sea of Uncertainty
A policy statement by 14 senior oceanographers that are leaders in the field of
ocean iron fertilization. They state
that further research into OIF is vital to understanding its potential as a
carbon mitigation tool and for understanding the potential for environmental
effects. They also suggest that carbon credits cannot be sold from an OIF
project until the scientific community has verified their existence as a result
of the project.
al. 2007 – Science
Iron Enrichment Experiments 1993-2005: Synthesis and Future Directions
Summarizes the results of all OIF experiments to date. Recommends further research into OIF at a
Smetecek et al. 2008 – submitted
Massive carbon flux to the deep sea from
an iron-fertilized phytoplankton bloom in the Southern Ocean
Carbon sequestration measurements from the most recent OIF experiment, EIFEX in
2004. It found the highest rates of sequestration yet measured by an OIF experiment.
This is partly due to continually improving experimental design for measuring
OIF experimental studies
Blaine et al. 2007 – Nature
of natural iron fertilization on carbon sequestration in the Southern Ocean
Research into “natural” OIF that occurs above the Kerguelen Island plateau in
the Southern Ocean. Seasonal increases in iron supply fertilize a large bloom
of phytoplankton. The rates of carbon sequestration via action of the
biological pump are the highest ever observed in the ocean.
Buesseler et al. 2007 – Science
Revisting Carbon Flux Through the
Ocean’s Twilight Zone
Recent measurements of the carbon sequestration effectiveness of the biological
pump from natural open-ocean phytoplankton blooms. New experimental techniques
using neutrally buoyant sediment traps show that significant quantities of
carbon can sink into the deep ocean. Up to 50% of exported carbon was observed
sinking to 500m depth, which roughly corresponds to a 100 year permanence time period.
Jin et al. 2008 - Biogeosciences
impact on atmospheric CO2 of iron fertilization induced changes in the ocean’s
biological pump (PDF)
Modeling study that simulates the atmospheric drawdown of moderate and large
scale OIF in the Tropical Pacific. The model uses an explicit iron cycle and an
ecological response model, coupled with an ocean circulation model. Atmospheric
drawdown rates are 75-93% of the measured carbon export, which suggests that
OIF can have a significant effect on atmospheric CO2. The study also did not
find “downstream” nutrient depletion effects from continuous OIF.
Aumont and Bopp 2006
– Global Biogeochemical Cycles
results from ocean in situ iron fertilization studies
Modeling study that simulates large scale OIF on a global basis and on a 100
year timescale. Results show that the Southern Ocean is the largest sink for
carbon from OIF, which accumulates 90% of the total sequestration. Total carbon
sequestration after 100 years is 33 ppm of CO2 (250
GtCO2). “Downstream” depletion of nutrients was found in Tropical oceans, but
was not found in the Southern Ocean. This suggests that location of an OIF
project is critical for both ensuring carbon sequestration effectiveness and
for mitigating potential negative ecological effects.
Cassar et al. 2007
The Southern Ocean Biological Response to Aeolian Iron
Synthesis of modeling results and paleo-measurements
of carbon export and airborne dust flux in the Southern Ocean. Results suggest
that enhanced OIF stimulated by higher iron flux was responsible for half of
the atmospheric drawdown of CO2 during the glacial cycle (40ppm CO2).
Winckler et al. 2008 -- Science
Glacial-Interglacial Dust Fluxes in the Equatorial Pacific and Antarctica
500,000 year record biological productivity and dust flux from deep-ocean
sediment cores in the Tropical Pacific. Shows that dust flux increases during glacial cycles compared to present
conditions, and that biological carbon export increases in response to
increasing iron-containing dust.
et al. 2008 – Nature
couplings over the past 800,000 years from the EPICA Dome C ice core
800,000 year record of dust and temperature in Antarctic ice cores. Shows
statistical correlation between high dust and low temperatures in Antarctica.
Petit et al. 1999 – Nature
and atmospheric history of the past 420,000 years from the Vostok ice core
Often cited paper that shows the graphical
relationship between high dust flux and low temperatures and low CO2 levels.
Gruber 2003 – Geophysical Research Letters
the radiative benefit of ocean fertilization by enhancing N2O emissions
Modeling study that suggests N2O production would be minimal if OIF is
conducted in high-latitude oceans, and would offset less than 10% of the total
carbon sequestration value of OIF. However, N2O production would be greater if
OIF is conducted in tropical oceans, and could significantly offset the CO2
reduction benefit. This points to the critical
importance of carefully choosing the location of OIF to avoid significant N2O
Walter et al. 2005 -- Geophysical Research
oxide measurements during EIFEX, the European Iron Fertilization Experiment in
the subpolar South Atlantic Ocean.
Measured N2O production from the EIFEX experiment in the Southern Ocean. Found no significant production of N2O.
Ling 2001 -- Deep-Sea Research II
oxide flux and response to increased iron availability in the Antarctic
Measured N2O production from the SOIREE experiment in the Southern Ocean. Found
a potential 6-12% offset in CO2 reduction benefits.
effects of OIF
2007 – Science
Icebergs: Hot Spots of Chemical and Biological Enrichment in the Weddell Sea
Melting icebergs produce an iron fertilization effect because of the dust
entrained in the ice. This produces a significant enhancement of biological
productivity of phytoplankton, which increases biological activity at higher trophic levels, such as fish and birds. This research was covered
in Time Magazine.
and Tsuda 2005 – Progress in Oceanography
An in situ iron-enrichment experiment in the western
subarctic Pacific (SEEDS): Introduction and summary. Progress in Oceanography
The only OIF study that examined the effects of OIF on higher trophic levels such as fish. The authors write, “Trawl samplings of salmon and other nekton
were performed inside and outside of the iron-enriched patch at the end of the
experiment (day 14). Although there was no significant divergence in
salmon catch between inside and outside of the patch, catch of juvenile
Northern mackerel was obviously high in the iron-enriched patch”.
of CO2 Emissions
Hansen et al. 2008– ArXiv.org
Target atmospheric CO2: Where should
Dr. Jim Hansen’s latest paper that analyzes a “safe” level of atmospheric CO2.
Hansen et al. write, “If humanity wishes to preserve a planet similar to that
on which civilization developed and to which life on Earth is adapted , paleoclimate evidence and ongoing climate change suggest
that CO2 will need to be reduced from its current 385 ppm to at most 350 ppm.”
Climate Change Mitigation Policy:
the Climate Deadlock
High level overview of the post-Kyoto climate regulation framework. Addresses
the key questions on how incorporate all countries and carbon sectors into new
binding regulations. Tony Blair, former UK Prime Minister, is the policy leader on this effort.
Also see website.
Mitigation Potential Supply
Mitigation Potential – McKinsey 2007
A US-based cost curve for GHG mitigation potential. This is a seminal view of
the cost of climate change mitigation.
Mitigation Potential – McKinsey 2007
A global cost curve for GHG mitigation potential. This is a seminal view of the
cost of climate change mitigation. This particular report was commissioned by
the Swedish electric utility, Vattenfall.
Position Paper – IETA (June 2008)
The International Emissions Trading Association official position on the role of
offsets under cap and trade mechanisms. Offsets will reduce the societal cost of achieving GHG reduction
targets, while capturing emission reductions from sectors and jurisdictions
outside of the cap and trade regime. Climos staff co-wrote this document.
Greenhouse Gas Market Report – IETA (Dec 2007)
Multiple articles on the state and trends of the global GHG marketplace.
Trends of the Carbon Market 2007 – The World Bank (May 2007)
Data intensive report on the size of emerging carbon markets worldwide in
2005-6. Focused primarily on the regulatory markets such as EU ETS, CDM, and
of the Voluntary Carbon Market – Ecosystem Marketplace (May 2008)
Data intensive report on the size of emerging voluntary carbon markets. USA
focused, and has very good analysis on the motivations of buyers and project
developers within the voluntary market.
Scoping Plan Draft
California’s comprehensive climate mitigation plan. First to regulatory
framework to cover the transportation sector with cap and trade. Several more
innovative ideas such as the Carbon Trust concept. Will set up a regional cap-and-trade system
under the Western Climate Initiative (WCI). Offsets are recommended to meet 10% of the compliance obligation of
WCI Draft Plan (pending)
Regional climate mitigation framework in Western North America.
Climate Security Act of 2008(PDF)
Major climate legislation that made it to the Senate floor in June 2008 but
went no further. Would have covered 85% of the US emission under cap-and-trade.
Obama’s climate plan
News Media Articles:
International Policy on OIF
opposition, ocean iron fertilization forging ahead – Cleantech.com (June
Well-balanced analysis of the developing regulatory frameworks around OIF.
Explains that UN policy makers are looking to the London Convention process for
developing effective regulatory policy. Also explains that there was no actual
“moratorium” issued by the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD).
in the News
Industries Journal interviews Dan Whaley (June 30, 2008)
S.F. Entrepreneur Floats a
Bold Idea to ‘Fertilize’ Ocean (March 30, 2008)
The Sacramento Bee covers Climos’ Series A funding.
Ideas that are Changing the World (March 24, 2008)
Time Magazine mentions Climos in an article about big ideas that have a global
effect on the planet. Reference is to geoengineering.
Plankton to the
Rescue (Jan 22, 2008)
Cleantech.com interview with Dan Whaley, CEO of Climos
Fervor Shifts to Energy in Silicon Valley (March 14, 2007)
NY Times mentions Climos as a promising clean tech startup.