Washington, DC, United States
Washington, DC, United States

Time filter

Source Type

News Article | May 24, 2017
Site: www.nature.com

Marine scientists are raising the alarm about a proposal to drop tonnes of iron into the Pacific Ocean to stimulate the growth of phytoplankton, the base of the food web. The non-profit group behind the plan says that it wants to revive Chilean fisheries. It also has ties to a controversial 2012 project in Canada that was accused of violating an international moratorium on commercial ocean fertilization. The Oceaneos Marine Research Foundation of Vancouver, Canada, says that it is seeking permits from the Chilean government to release up to 10 tonnes of iron particles 130 kilometres off the coast of Coquimbo as early as 2018. But Chilean scientists are worried because the organization grew out of a for-profit company, Oceaneos Environmental Solutions of Vancouver, that has sought to patent iron-fertilization technologies. Some researchers suspect that the foundation is ultimately seeking to profit from an unproven and potentially harmful activity. “They claim that by producing more phytoplankton, they could help the recovery of the fisheries,” says Osvaldo Ulloa, director of the Millennium Institute of Oceanography in Concepción, Chile. “We don’t see any evidence to support that claim.” Tensions flared in April, when researchers at the institute went public with their concerns in response to Chilean media reports on the project. The government has since requested input from the Chilean Academy of Science, and the institute is organizing a forum on the project and related research on 25 May, at a marine-sciences meeting in Valparaíso, Chile. The Oceaneos foundation, which declined an invitation, has accused the scientists of improperly classifying its work as geoengineering, rather than ocean restoration. Oceaneos president Michael Riedijk says that his team wants to work with Chilean scientists and will make all the data from its experiment public. The foundation plans to hold its own forum later, but if scientists aren’t willing to engage, he says, “we’ll just move on without them”. Researchers worldwide have conducted 13 major iron-fertilization experiments in the open ocean since 1990. All have sought to test whether stimulating phytoplankton growth can increase the amount of carbon dioxide that the organisms pull out of the atmosphere and deposit in the deep ocean when they die. Determining how much carbon is sequestered during such experiments has proved difficult, however, and scientists have raised concerns about potential adverse effects, such as toxic algal blooms. In 2008, the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity put in place a moratorium on all ocean-fertilization projects apart from small ones in coastal waters. Five years later, the London Convention on ocean pollution adopted rules for evaluating such studies. Because Oceaneos’s planned experiment would take place in Chilean waters, it is allowed under those rules. Riedijk says that the foundation will voluntarily follow international protocols for such studies; it is unclear whether that will allay fears that the group is promoting an unproven technology, rather than conducting basic research. Philip Boyd, a marine ecologist at the University of Tasmania in Hobart, Australia, wants to see the foundation publish research based on lab experiments before heading out into the field. “If they are a not-for-profit scientific venture that wants to partner with academics, then surely transparency is their best foot forward,” he says. Oceaneos’s links to a 2012 iron-fertilization project off the coast of British Columbia, Canada, have made some researchers wary. In that project, US entrepreneur Russ George convinced a Haida Nation village to pursue iron fertilization to boost salmon populations, with the potential to sell carbon credits based on the amount of CO that would be sequestered in the ocean. News of the plan broke after project organizers had dumped around 100 tonnes of iron sulfate into the open ocean. In the years since, scientists have seen no evidence that the experiment worked. Riedijk says he was intrigued when he read about the Haida experiment in 2013, and contacted one of its organizers, Jason McNamee. McNamee later served as chief operating officer of Oceaneos Environmental Solutions — which Riedijk co-founded — before leaving the company last year. Despite the Haida project’s problems, Riedijk says that ocean fertilization merits further research: “If this actually does work, it does have global implications.” Oceaneos Environ-mental Solutions has developed an iron compound that can be consumed efficiently by phytoplankton, he adds, but he declined to release details. Riedijk also says that the foundation is working on a method to trace the movement of iron up the food chain and into fish populations. In the meantime, scientists say that it will be difficult to get solid data from the Oceaneos foundation’s planned experiment. The geology off the Chilean coast, and the patterns of currents there, create a mosaic of low- and high-iron waters. Anchovies, horse mackerel and other fish move freely between these areas. And adding iron could shift the location and timing of phytoplankton blooms to favour fast-growing species, says Adrian Marchetti, a biological oceanographer at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. One of those, the diatom Pseudo-nitzschia, produces domoic acid, a neurotoxin that can kill mammals and birds. Oceaneos’s experiment will probably increase plankton growth in low-iron waters, Marchetti says, “but it’s not to say that that is actually good for the higher levels of the food chain”.


In response to the ongoing climate policy debates, this study examines the cost impacts of carbon-pricing legislation on selected US energy-intensive manufacturing industries. Specifically, it evaluates output-based rebate measures and the border adjustment provision specified in the bill, and tests the effectiveness of cost containment features of the policy, such as the international offsets, under various market assumptions. Results of the examination confirm that in all policy cases or industries, the output-based rebates would effectively mitigate the manufacturers' carbon-pricing costs in the short-to-medium term. However as the rebates decline after 2020, especially in a case where low-carbon electricity generation or international offsets are not readily available or implemented, these industries would suffer greater declines in profitability. At the same time, the study's findings were mixed concerning the effectiveness of the border adjustment measure in reducing cost impacts after 2020. While border adjustments could reduce costs to US manufacturing sectors, at least temporarily, they could create problems for domestic downstream producers and exports, under cost pass-along conditions. However at best, the output-based rebates, international offset, and border adjustment and measures primarily buy time for manufacturers. The only long-term solution is for EITE industries to invest in energy-saving and next-generation low-carbon technologies. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.


Bassi A.M.,Millennium Institute | Bassi A.M.,University of Bergen | Powers R.,SUNY ESF | Schoenberg W.,SUNY ESF
Energy Economics | Year: 2010

Many international organizations and research institutions have released recently unequivocal scenarios on energy's future prospects. The peak in global oil production is likely to happen in the next ten to fifteen years, if it hasn't already happened, and decisions to be made in the near future are likely to have large impacts on our quality of life in the coming decades. This study presents an integrated tool for national energy planning customized to North America. The authors analyzed the impact of world oil production on economic, social and environmental indicators. Two cases of global ultimate recoverable oil reserves are considered, a low and medium estimate within current research. Three sets of policy directions were chosen: Business As Usual (Market Based), Maximum Push for Renewables, and Low Carbon Emissions. Results of the simulations show that without restrictions on emissions coal becomes the dominant energy in the longer term. On the other hand, if US policymakers are able to effectively implement the necessary polices, such as a 20% RPS by 2020 and increased CAFE Standards, along with increased energy conservation and efficiency, the medium to longer-term economic impacts of a global peak in oil production can be mitigated, while a sustained reduction in emissions would require a larger effort. © 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


Kopainsky B.,University of Bergen | Alessi S.M.,University of Iowa | Pedercini M.,Millennium Institute | Davidsen P.I.,University of Bergen
Simulation and Gaming | Year: 2015

In complex simulation-based learning environments, participants’ learning and performance may suffer due to demands on their cognitive processing, their struggle to develop adequate mental models, failure to transfer what is learned to subsequent learning or activities, and fear of failure. This study investigates an instructional strategy addressing those four problems, which we call prior exploration strategy. It was implemented in a simulation requiring participants to optimize a developing nation’s per capita income. The prior exploration strategy allows participants to manipulate and see the results of a simulation model in practice mode before they manage a similar simulation in a more final mode. The strategy was assessed in an experiment comparing participants using the prior exploration strategy with participants studying equivalent content in a non-exploratory fashion. The dependent variables were performance within the simulation and improvement of participants’ understanding. The prior exploration strategy significantly improved participants’ performance, as measured by per capita income. It also significantly improved some aspects of the participants’ understanding (e.g., their understanding of the nation’s debt accumulation), but not others (e.g., their understanding of the need to balance the nation’s health, education, and infrastructure investments; those that appear to have complex interrelations). © 2014, 2014 SAGE Publications.


Pedercini M.,Millennium Institute
Lecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics) | Year: 2011

In the context of the implementation of the second-generation poverty reduction strategy (CSLP II) in Mali, we investigate the country's development potential, within existing resource constraints. We apply an integrated, resource-based approach to growth, implemented through a system-dynamics-based national development planning model. Scenario analysis indicates that the policy orientation of the CSLP II might foster growth in the long run, but, even in our most optimistic scenario, the government's stated growth and development goals are unlikely to be achieved. Our results highlight the importance of endogenous growth mechanisms for sustainable development, and the significance for economic performance of the major delays involved in the accumulation of the resources that are necessary for growth. We believe that our approach contributes to the most commonly used tools for medium-long term planning by providing a dynamic perspective on the key resources for growth and on the constraints to the country's development. © 2011 Springer-Verlag.


With the adoption of the Kyoto Protocol in 1997 national leaders have started investigating options for reducing carbon emissions within national borders [1]. Despite confronting similar energy issues, every country that adopted the Kyoto Protocol has a unique energy strategy [1,2] -being characterized by a different context, social, economic or environmental that influences the way different nations deal with climate change and other energy-related issues. Finding that currently available energy models are often too detailed or narrowly focused to inform longer-term policy formulation and evaluation holistically [3], the present study proposes the utilization of an integrated cross-sectoral medium to longer-term research and modeling approach, incorporating various methodologies to minimize exogenous assumptions and endogenously represent the key drivers of the system analyzed. The framework proposed includes feedback, delays and non-linearity and focuses on structure, scenarios and policies, requires a profound customization of the model that goes beyond a new parameterization. The inclusion of social and environmental factors, in addition to economic ones, all unique to the geographical area analyzed, allows for a wider analysis of the implication of policies by identifying potential side effect or longer-term bottlenecks for socio-economic development and environmental preservation arising from cross-sectoral relations. © 2010 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


Pedercini M.,Millennium Institute
Lecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics) | Year: 2011

Policy-making is a complex process that involves a variety of actors. Several difficulties of various nature intervene in such process, making the identification and implementation of successful policies especially difficult. The usefulness of models in addressing technical obstacles related to the incorrect understanding of the issues and inferring of policy impacts have been broadly investigated [1,2]. Beyond facilitating technical aspects of the policy process, models can also facilitate communication among actors involved in such process. © 2011 Springer-Verlag.


Trademark
Millennium Institute | Date: 2016-03-28

PUBLICATIONS, NAMELY, EDUCATIONAL MATERIALS IN THE FORM OF PRINTED DOCUMENTATION, PAPERS, REPORTS, ARTICLES, AND NEWSLETTERS, FEATURING THE ECONOMIC, DEMOGRAPHIC, RESOURCE, AND ENVIRONMENTAL FUTURE OF INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS, COUNTRIES, PROVINCES, CITIES, INDUSTRIES, BUSINESSES, AND HOUSEHOLDS.


Trademark
Millennium Institute | Date: 2016-03-28

PUBLICATIONS, NAMELY, EDUCATIONAL MATERIALS IN THE FORM OF PRINTED DOCUMENTATION, PAPERS, REPORTS, ARTICLES, AND NEWSLETTERS, FEATURING THE ECONOMIC, DEMOGRAPHIC, RESOURCE, AND ENVIRONMENTAL FUTURE OF INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS, COUNTRIES, PROVINCES, CITIES, INDUSTRIES, BUSINESSES, AND HOUSEHOLDS.


Trademark
Millennium Institute | Date: 2016-03-28

PUBLICATIONS, NAMELY, EDUCATIONAL MATERIALS IN THE FORM OF PRINTED DOCUMENTATION, PAPERS, REPORTS, ARTICLES, AND NEWSLETTERS, FEATURING THE ECONOMIC, DEMOGRAPHIC, RESOURCE, AND ENVIRONMENTAL FUTURE OF INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS, COUNTRIES, PROVINCES, CITIES, INDUSTRIES, BUSINESSES, AND HOUSEHOLDS.

Loading Millennium Institute collaborators
Loading Millennium Institute collaborators