Project aims to ‘seed’ oceans to heal them

The research ship Weatherbird II is headed on a two-year mission to spread tons of iron ore dust in areas of the Pacific Ocean in hopes of stimulating plankton growth.

The tiny plant life that is the base of the ocean’s food chain, and feeds most of the world’s marine life and removes half of the world’s carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

Plankton populations are beginning to starve because of a decrease in naturally occurring dust storms on land that deliver micronutrients of iron that plankton need to survive. In addition, research has shown that warming surface temperatures are keeping vital nutrients from the oceans’ depths from reaching plankton populations. 

In a bid to restore plankton populations, an eco-restoration firm named Planktos launched the ship Weatherbird II early in March from Washington, D.C., on a two-year project to “seed” the oceans with iron ore dust.

More info:  USA Today article

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