Just last week ocean seeding company Planktos was found dead in the water, a victim of what it claimed was a band of “anti-offset crusaders” with a “highly effective disinformation campaign” that it said had curbed its ability to raise funding. Hmmm, the offset-haters don’t seem to have stopped another ocean seeding startup, Climos, from raising funds; the company tells CNET that it has raised a Series A round of $4 million, which it will announce next week.
Climos’ plan is actually very similar to that of Planktos. Both companies want to dump iron into the ocean, with the idea that plankton eat CO2 and throughout their lifecycle, sink down into the ocean, which can theoretically then sequester the carbon. Like Planktos, Climos plans to sell carbon credits (they’re calling them Climosets) from the project.
Environmentalists have been highly critical of ocean seeding, alleging there could be unintended consequences. While the technique has seen some scientific study — Climos cites on its web site 12 publicly funded experiments since 1993 — the technology is far from proven.
Ocean seeding is also an example of a category of highly controversial methods to “geo-engineer” the planet, or basically produce large-scale modifications of the global environment. Projects like re-icing the Arctic, cooling the ocean with pipes, or genetically modifying trees to eat more CO2 are being investigated due to the growing concerns over climate change.