Olafur Grimsson

Iceland's President is turning the landscape into a lab for climate-change research

Ari Magg for TIME

Iceland's President Olafur Grimsson at the site of the Carbon Rock project at Hengill, Iceland, on March 19, 2007.

POLITICIAN About halfway between Iceland's capital city of Reykjavík and the small town of Hveragerdi, the smell of sulfur hangs in the air. White plumes of steam billow from deep under the earth into the blue sky, and moss covers the lava-strewn ground. It's a dramatic scene, and if Icelandic President Olafur Grimsson has his way, it will be the stage for the next big advance against global warming.

Over the next two years, a team of scientists will try to inject carbon dioxide--charged water into the basalt beneath the ground through boreholes drilled by a nearby geothermal energy plant. The...

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