Ocean-fertilization company Planktos has indefinitely suspended its plans for large-scale dumping of iron powder in the ocean. The company claimed that such a project would have seeded phytoplankton blooms to sequester carbon from the atmosphere. Eventually, Planktos said, the phytoplankton would sink to the ocean floor, taking their carbon with them.

Planktos has halted its plans for iron fertilization. Credit: PLANKTOS

“A highly effective disinformation campaign waged by anti-offset crusaders” made raising the required funds difficult, the company based in Foster City, California, stated last week.

But critics say that more research is needed to understand the possible environmental effects of such large-scale iron releases, including hypoxia and the production of other greenhouse gases.