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Groups oppose "ocean fertilisation" in Philippines

by Staff Writers
Manila (AFP) Nov 12, 2007
Environmental groups condemned on Monday an Australian company's plan to dump hundreds of tonnes of fertiliser into Philippine waters as part of an experiment to combat climate change.

The groups, including Greenpeace and civil society organisations, called on the Philippine government to stop the experiment, known as "ocean fertilisation".

"This is not a solution and is a dangerous diversion to the real solutions to address climate change," said Jasper Inventor, Greenpeace climate and energy campaigner.

"It is also extremely irresponsible to test a speculative and unproven method, which potentially has high impacts to the environment."

Sydney-based Ocean Nourishment Corp. is said to be planning to pump up to 1,000 tonnes of nitrogen-rich urea into the Sulu Sea in the southern Philippines, where it has already dumped one tonne of the substance.

The company has said urea stimulates the growth of phytoplankton in the sea and can absorb large quantities of carbon dioxide -- the main cause of global warning -- from the atmosphere.

It also said the growth of more phytoplankton would help boost fishing stocks.

But Inventor said the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has noted that ocean fertilisation "remains largely speculative" and "many environmental side effects have yet to be assessed."

The Sulu Sea between Palawan in the west and Mindanao is home to the UNESCO World Heritage Tubbataha Reef Marine Park.

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Global warming: Oceans could absorb far more CO2, says study
Paris (AFP) Nov 11, 2007
The ocean's plankton can suck up far more airborne carbon dioxide (CO2) than previously realised, although the marine ecoystem may suffer damage if this happens, a new study into global warming says.

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