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To Fix Climate Change, Scientists Turn To Hacking The Earth

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Climate changeIn the summer of 2012, a small group of the Haida people, a native community in Canada, had a problem. The salmon they rely on were disappearing. So the Haida took matters into their own hands.

They partnered with an American businessman, drew up plans and then took a boat full of iron dust into the waters off their home island and put the dust in the ocean.

When they spread the iron dust, it created a big algae bloom. They hoped the algae would soak up carbon dioxide and bring back the fish. The reaction to the experiment was immediate and negative, and as the "world's first rogue geoengineering project."

While it scared a lot of people and angered a lot of scientists, this event could be a sign of what's to come. Because some very mainstream scientists are saying that the climate change situation is so bad that saving life as we know it might require something radical: like shooting chemicals into the stratosphere to protect earth from the sun. In essence, these scientists are talking about hacking the climate.

In scientific circles, what the Haida did is called ocean fertilization. Jason McNamee, a spokesman for the group that carried out the experiment, says the goal was to protect the Haida people who live off the coast of Canada.


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