START A PETITION 25,136,189 members: the world's largest community for good

Germany Gives Green Light to Global Warming Experiment

Environment  (tags: climatechange, destruction, globalwarming, greenhousegases, oceans, climate-change, ClimateChange, climate, CO2emissions )

- 1913 days ago -
The German government will go ahead with a project to dump iron sulfate in the sea causing algae to bloom and soak up carbon dioxide. Attempts by environmental groups to stop the project have failed.

Select names from your address book   |   Help

We hate spam. We do not sell or share the email addresses you provide.


Cal Mendelsohn (950)
Monday January 26, 2009, 3:05 pm
Article Text:

Germany gave the green light on Monday to a controversial plan with India to drop six tons of iron dust in the South Atlantic.

The experiment is the biggest trial ever of iron fertilization, a technology which could theoretically help stop global warming at very little cost.

But following complaints by environmentalists, Germany's Science Ministry ordered the plan suspended while it conducted an urgent review.

"After careful a study of expert reports, I am convinced there are no scientific or legal objections to the German-Indian marine research project," Research Minister Annette Schavan said on Monday, Jan. 26. "I have therefore decided … to begin the experiment."

Opponents of the plan fear that the results could be catastrophic, worring that it would cause the sea to become more acidic or trigger algae blooms that would deprive large areas of the ocean of oxygen.

Environment Minister Sigmar Gabriel told Schavan in a letter recently that the experiment "destroys Germany's credibility and its vanguard role in protecting biodiversity."

Massive carbon sink

Under the plan, the iron dust is to be sprinkled over an area of 300 square kilometers from a German research vessel, the Polarstern.

It is hoped that algae living at the ocean surface will soak up the iron and reproduce rapidly, absorbing carbon dioxide from the surface water.

At the end of their life cycle the algae die and sink. Most of the carbon ends up in deep water or on the sea bottom.

The ocean absorbs more carbon dioxide from the air, reducing the greenhouse effect. Sequestering carbon this way might stop global warming.

Thirty Indian scientists and 18 from other nations left on board the Polarstern from Cape Town on Jan. 7 to carry out the experiment.

. (0)
Monday January 26, 2009, 3:53 pm
I am really looking forward to seeing the results of this experiment. And I wish them every success.

Judy Cross (83)
Monday January 26, 2009, 5:58 pm
They already have tried it. The algae bloom. then die and sink. How much iron ore are you willing to dump, at what cost, to achieve WHAT?

The level of CO2 is now 387 PARTS PER MILLION......and still the EARTH IS COOLING!

Is anybody home?

Sir Walk F. (124)
Tuesday January 27, 2009, 10:45 am
The earth is cooling?

Guess i missed that. Are you referring to winter?

Ray W. (10)
Tuesday January 27, 2009, 12:36 pm
Today it is 20 degrees F outside. back in 1967 on this day it was 67 degrees. Earth is constantly cooling and warming. That is what it is supposed to do! Now, many so called, and maybe they are, experts, claim that the destruction of large areas of south American jungles is a huge contributing factor in co2 levels. I guess when greedy corporations finish destroying these important areas protection system for the planet, maybe then there will be more attention given to what we are doing to the planet. Ever increasing population expansion is another factor that destroys these sensitive areas. I guess when the ripple effect of everything we do as a people on Earth is studied in depth, then we may make some progress.

. (0)
Tuesday January 27, 2009, 12:41 pm
What you're talking about, Ray, is weather - not climate. The temperature it happens to be today in a given spot vs. what it was 40 years ago on that same day is meaningless. What matters are long-term climate trends.

. (0)
Tuesday January 27, 2009, 12:43 pm

Judy Cross (83)
Tuesday January 27, 2009, 12:48 pm

"Here is the latest trend chart from UAH satellite data. The graph shows a distinct trend, downwards. Yet most, if not all warmists assert that temperatures are still increasing or that some unknown natural force has taken over - for now. Rest assured, they say, that it will go back up again. Perhaps it will, but none of the models predicted this.

Look carefully and you will see that current the temperature anomaly is very nearly the same as the 1979 measurement. If this trend continues can we expect a return of man-made global cooling? Not likely since AGW has now been reintroduced as the shiny new climate change, its still our fault. The take home message is that climate changes, always has, always will… get used to it."

Judy Cross (83)
Tuesday January 27, 2009, 12:51 pm
As for "long term trends", how about the last 600 million years? You can see from the graph below, there doesn't seem to be much of a correlation between temperature and CO2 in the period covered.

Ray W. (10)
Tuesday January 27, 2009, 4:54 pm
I didn't know I would have to go into finite detail with my comment on what they weather here today was verses 40 years ago. Of course climate trends are what is important, but weather and climate are closely correlated. Guess I should have deleted my 1st sentence in my post above. If we want to go into finite detail, it has been proven that earth has went thru many rises in co2 levels in the past. We have a serious oxygen problem too. We don't have the levels of oxygen that we had many moons ago either and if we don't replant oxygen giving plants, trees and vegetation, it will continue to decline.

Sherie H. (5)
Tuesday January 27, 2009, 8:33 pm
If you don't believe the polar icecaps are melting and the southwest is burning down, then I guess you don't believe the world is heating up. But I know first hand that the west is burning down, living in South CA and I see enough documentaries to believe the ice caps are melting at an extremely rapid rate. Glaciers in the mtns are all melting. Islands are having to be evacuated due to the rise of the ocean levels and indigenous people all over the world are suffering from the effects of the radical change that is occurring in the environment. These are people who are dependent and in tune with their environment. I'd take their word over most scientists. Is anybody home? So go ahead and believe that the earth is cooling if that's what helps you sleep at night.
But I think the german gov are a bunch of jerks to continue this project. I think if they think it's such a great idea, fill their own lakes and bodies of water with algae and see what happens, rather than playing with the ocean. If they suddenly have more oxygen in Germany then wait and see what ill effects there are as well. Then try the ocean.

Judy Cross (83)
Tuesday January 27, 2009, 9:05 pm
"Believe" is not a word to be used in a discussion of science. Your beliefs can not be backed by facts,
Some glaciers are shrinking, some are growing.

Ocean levels are not rising

Sea levels are falling

California has always been subject to periodic lasted over 100 years.California drought history: Researchers have found evidence of century-long droughts in California during medieval times. (See papers from Nature, June 16, in Prof. Pubs./Gen. Interest/Climate Change Science.) The finding raises concern over what conditions could induce such an extreme drought in the future. (See New Scientist, p. 10, June 25; feature in Global Environ. Change Rep., pp. 1-3, June 24; The New York Times, pp. C1, C9, July 19.)

I don't "believe" the Earth is just happens to be a fact supported by the satellite data.
It looks like you joined the Church of Global Warming and have been a true believer ever since.


Sherie H. (5)
Tuesday January 27, 2009, 10:28 pm
Iceagenow is what? The Church of Global Cooling? I don't believe a website by that name would have much true "scientific" information to provide. The name itself proves it. It has one goal, to prove global warming wrong, so all it's conclusions are just the opposite. What is it, opposite day? If you were getting your information from bonafide scientific institutions and a large majority of them had come to the same conclusion then you might have something there. That's not the case though.
I wonder, are you the creator of iceagenow?

Chris Otahal (514)
Tuesday January 27, 2009, 11:49 pm
I don't "believe" the Earth is just happens to be a fact supported by the satellite data.

The SAME REPEATED cherry picked data from the Icecaps denialist site - I thought you only posted new amterials LMAO (obviouslu NOY)...well here is the reply again from another thread:

Got to love this cherry picked data set:

Icecaps again chooses a time frame which shows a "cooling trend" - actually it is stable over the short period of time except for one year which "makes" the trend negative (nicely chosen, no). But they don't tell you that is only PART of the data set! Why don't they include ALL the data - or data from other studies - because if they did that they would have to admit there is a WARMING TREND. Here are ALL the daya (the satelite data only go back to 1979) plus four other data sets - ALL showing a warming trend (also note what is happening AFTER the one year of cooling, which is nicely cut off in your graph - hit, the temp is going back UP) - it is easy to facke a cooling trend when one slectively starts in one place and stops in another - despite the fact that data exists on either side of the selectively analysed data set LMAO!!!

That is the kind of boloney science Icecaps is legendary for producing :)

and of course Judy still has problems decerning between WEATHER VARIABILITY (shor-term changes) and CLIMATE (long-term trends). Here is data Judy herself provided (when she thought it said something supportive of her dogma - which it turned out it does not, so she is ignoring the data now LMAO):

CLEAR WARMING TREND since prior to 1900 - inconvinient is it not Judy????

Judy Cross (83)
Wednesday January 28, 2009, 12:04 am
There you go again...actually we have been warming since 1854. We are still coming out of the Little Ice Age. In between that time we had warming in 1920-40, cooling again and the last minor warming which is sooo OVER. Between the switching of the PDO to it's cool phase and the lack of sunspots we'll be lucky if it gets warmer again before 30 years.
Look at that graph again...the temperature goes UP and DOWN and the trend isn't very much over 100 years

Show me your experts. Here are Icecaps...and it makes you nuts...because they are real scientists, not PR flacks.

Of course Chris can't tell one expert from another since his favorite reference is by someone untraceable with no credentials.


Chris Otahal (514)
Wednesday January 28, 2009, 6:59 am
Obviously you have problems reading YOUR OWN GRAPHS - how ANYONE could denye that there is an UP WARD trend since beroe 1900 is beyound reason - look at the graph again, see the green line, see it going up - THAT means warming LMAO!!!!!

It takes NO expert to see THAT LMAO!!!!!

and of course you simply blow off the fact that YOUR warming trend is based on CHERRY PICKED parts of the DATA - again it takes no "expert" to see that manipulation LMAO!!!!

Judy Cross (83)
Wednesday January 28, 2009, 11:03 am
I'm not denying the uptrend. That is your "strawman argument " tactic.

I said we are still coming out of the Little Ice Age.

What I do say is that CO2 has nothing to do with it.

No Scientific Forecasts to Support Global Warming

YESTERDAY, a former chief at NASA, Dr John S. Theon, slammed the computer models used to determine future climate claiming they are not scientific in part because the modellers have “resisted making their work transparent so that it can be replicated independently by other scientists”. [1]

Today, a founder of the International Journal of Forecasting, Journal of Forecasting, International Institute of Forecasters, and International Symposium on Forecasting, and the author of Long-range Forecasting (1978, 1985), the Principles of Forecasting Handbook, and over 70 papers on forecasting, Dr J. Scott Armstrong, tabled a statement declaring that the forecasting process used by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) lacks a scientific basis. [2]

What these two authorities, Drs Theon and Armstrong, are independently and explicitly stating is that the computer models underpinning the work of many scientific institutions concerned with global warming, including Australia’s CSIRO, are fundamentally flawed.

In today’s statement, made with economist Kesten Green, Dr Armstrong provides the following eight reasons as to why the current IPCC computer models lack a scientific basis:

1. No scientific forecasts of the changes in the Earth’s climate.

Currently, the only forecasts are those based on the opinions of some scientists. Computer modeling was used to create scenarios (i.e., stories) to represent the scientists’ opinions about what might happen. The models were not intended as forecasting models (Trenberth 2007) and they have not been validated for that purpose. Since the publication of our paper, no one has provided evidence to refute our claim that there are no scientific forecasts to support global warming.

We conducted an audit of the procedures described in the IPCC report and found that they clearly violated 72 scientific principles of forecasting (Green and Armstrong 2008). (No justification was provided for any of these violations.) For important forecasts, we can see no reason why any principle should be violated. We draw analogies to flying an aircraft or building a bridge or performing heart surgery—given the potential cost of errors, it is not permissible to violate principles.

2. Improper peer review process.

To our knowledge, papers claiming to forecast global warming have not been subject to peer review by experts in scientific forecasting.

3. Complexity and uncertainty of climate render expert opinions invalid for forecasting.

Expert opinions are an inappropriate forecasting method in situations that involve high complexity and high uncertainty. This conclusion is based on over eight decades of research. Armstrong (1978) provided a review of the evidence and this was supported by Tetlock’s (2005) study that involved 82,361 forecasts by 284 experts over two decades.

Long-term climate changes are highly complex due to the many factors that affect climate and to their interactions. Uncertainty about long-term climate changes is high due to a lack of good knowledge about such things as:
a) causes of climate change,
b) direction, lag time, and effect size of causal factors related to climate change,
c) effects of changing temperatures, and
d) costs and benefits of alternative actions to deal with climate changes (e.g., CO2 markets).

Given these conditions, expert opinions are not appropriate for long-term climate predictions.

4. Forecasts are needed for the effects of climate change.

Even if it were possible to forecast climate changes, it would still be necessary to forecast the effects of climate changes. In other words, in what ways might the effects be beneficial or harmful? Here again, we have been unable to find any scientific forecasts—as opposed to speculation—despite our appeals for such studies.

We addressed this issue with respect to studies involving the possible classification of polar bears as threatened or endangered (Armstrong, Green, and Soon 2008). In our audits of two key papers to support the polar bear listing, 41 principles were clearly violated by the authors of one paper and 61 by the authors of the other. It is not proper from a scientific or from a practical viewpoint to violate any principles. Again, there was no sign that the forecasters realized that they were making mistakes.

5. Forecasts are needed of the costs and benefits of alternative actions that might be taken to combat climate change.

Assuming that climate change could be accurately forecast, it would be necessary to forecast the costs and benefits of actions taken to reduce harmful effects, and to compare the net benefit with other feasible policies including taking no action. Here again we have been unable to find any scientific forecasts despite our appeals for such studies.

6. To justify using a climate forecasting model, one would need to test it against a relevant naïve model.

We used the Forecasting Method Selection Tree to help determine which method is most appropriate for forecasting long-term climate change. A copy of the Tree is attached as Appendix 1. It is drawn from comparative empirical studies from all areas of forecasting. It suggests that extrapolation is appropriate, and we chose a naïve (no change) model as an appropriate benchmark. A forecasting model should not be used unless it can be shown to provide forecasts that are more accurate than those from this naïve model, as it would otherwise increase error. In Green, Armstrong and Soon (2008), we show that the mean absolute error of 108 naïve forecasts for 50 years in the future was 0.24°C.

7. The climate system is stable.

To assess stability, we examined the errors from naïve forecasts for up to 100 years into the future. Using the U.K. Met Office Hadley Centre’s data, we started with 1850 and used that year’s average temperature as our forecast for the next 100 years. We then calculated the errors for each forecast horizon from 1 to 100. We repeated the process using the average temperature in 1851 as our naïve forecast for the next 100 years, and so on. This “successive updating” continued until year 2006, when we forecasted a single year ahead. This provided 157 one-year-ahead forecasts, 156 two-year-ahead and so on to 58 100-year-ahead forecasts.

We then examined how many forecasts were further than 0.5°C from the observed value. Fewer than 13% of forecasts of up to 65-years-ahead had absolute errors larger than 0.5°C. For longer horizons, fewer than 33% had absolute errors larger than 0.5°C. Given the remarkable stability of global mean temperature, it is unlikely that there would be any practical benefits from a forecasting method that provided more accurate forecasts.

8. Be conservative and avoid the precautionary principle.

One of the primary scientific principles in forecasting is to be conservative in the darkness of uncertainty. This principle also argues for the use of the naive no-change extrapolation. Some have argued for the precautionary principle as a way to be conservative. It is a political, not a scientific principle. As we explain in our essay in Appendix 2, it is actually an anti-scientific principle in that it attempts to make decisions without using rational analyses. Instead, cost/benefit analyses are appropriate given the available evidence which suggests that temperature is just as likely to go up as down. However, these analyses should be supported by scientific forecasts.

The reach of these models is extraordinary, for example, the CSIRO models are currently being used in Australia to determine water allocations for farmers and to justify the need for an Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) – the most far-reaching of possible economic interventions. Yet, according to Dr Armstrong, these same models violate 72 scientific principles.


1. Marc Morano, James Hansen’s Former NASA Supervisor Declares Himself a Skeptic, January 27,2009.

Chris Otahal (514)
Wednesday January 28, 2009, 11:44 am
Oh boy, another cut and paste article - simply repeating the same thing over and over again...

"I'm not denying the uptrend. That is your "strawman argument " tactic."

You are full of BS (bad science) - you constantly are shreaking that we are in a cooling trend - now you say you did not say that - it does seem your "reality" tends to change to fit your purpose - your not even consistent with your lies :)

. (0)
Wednesday January 28, 2009, 12:21 pm
Thank you Judy for the tireless work you do trying to educate those with less knowledge than you have.
I love how Chris starts making a bunch of typos when he is challenged by someone smarter than himself.
You cannot predict future WEATHER or CLIMATE from past WEATHER or CLIMATE, it is just not possible, by experts or with computer models and no matter how much faith you have in the Church of Global warming.

Chris Otahal (514)
Wednesday January 28, 2009, 6:35 pm
Personal attacks is a sign of a very weak argument - LMAO!!!!

. (0)
Wednesday January 28, 2009, 7:06 pm
so, why do you make them?

Peace Monger (185)
Thursday January 29, 2009, 2:07 am
The above bickering aside; the real issue is that Germany wants to create an algae bloom with the hope it will soak up CO2. But, what happens if the experiment goes awry? If the algae doesn't react the way scientists expect and instead blankets on-shore reefs, killing all life on those reefs? Algae blooms are not something to be 'tinkered with'. These types of experiments don't always go according the plan; they have been known to do further damage!
Instead of trying to 'fix' CO2 levels by adding more pollutants to our environment, science needs to look to the causes and eradicate those, or at the very least work on alternatives which don't add to the problem.
IMHO, Germany's 'experiment' is a knee jerk reaction and will beget more problems to our oceans and planet.

Past Member (0)
Sunday April 21, 2013, 5:22 am
Thanks for sharing the news

Alexandra Rodda (175)
Tuesday June 25, 2013, 6:42 am
Actually, we cannot reverse the effect of the CO2 in the atmosphere already. It will take us to 2 degrees warming, which will be a nightmare in the not too distant future. the money that Judy Cross probably gets for what she writes won't help her then.
We will need to do some geo-engineering if we want to return to climatic conditions that will foster our survival. The Germans realize that, but I wonder whether their timing is right. I would only allow this as a last resort, desperate measure.

Marija Mohoric (51)
Sunday August 11, 2013, 6:11 am
Interesting comments: who is right?
Or, log in with your
Facebook account:
Please add your comment: (plain text only please. Allowable HTML: <a>)

Track Comments: Notify me with a personal message when other people comment on this story

Loading Noted By...Please Wait


Content and comments expressed here are the opinions of Care2 users and not necessarily that of or its affiliates.