Global warming can be halted by plumbing a gigantic array of pipes into the depths of the oceans, according to two of the world's leading environmental scientists.
Pipes measuring up to 650ft (200m) long and 33ft in diameter should be installed and used to pump nutrient-rich water up to the surface to encourage plankton blooms, they say.
The plankton growth would then take carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere and encourage cloud formation that together would, they believe, cool the world and save it from global warming.
James Lovelock, the originator of the Gaia theory, and Chris Rapley, director of the Science Museum and a former head of the British Antarctic Survey (BAS), put forward the proposal in a letter to the scientific journal Nature.
The two professors hoped that their proposal would encourage other scientists to concentrate on establishing novel techniques to halt global warming instead of writing off geo-engineering as an impossible solution.
But the idea ran into controversy at once, with one scientist branding it "a waste of time" and others expressing doubts about its effectiveness.
Under the proposal, hundreds of thousands of pipes -- placed strategically in the seas -- would be fitted with a buoyant collar to keep one end at the surface, where they would rise and fall with the waves. Nutrients at the surface would encourage blooms of microscopic plant life, the professors suggested.
The Times, London