Skip to comments.Dumping iron at sea does sink carbon
Posted on 07/24/2012 1:06:15 PM PDT by neverdem
Geoengineering hopes revived as study of iron-fertilized algal blooms shows they deposit carbon in the deep ocean when they die.
In the search for methods to limit global warming, it seems that stimulating the growth of algae in the oceans might be an efficient way of removing excess carbon dioxide from the atmosphere after all.
Despite other studies suggesting that this approach was ineffective, a recent analysis of an ocean-fertilization experiment eight years ago in the Southern Ocean indicates that encouraging algal blooms to grow can soak up carbon that is then deposited in the deep ocean as the algae die.
In February 2004, researchers involved in the European Iron Fertilization Experiment (EIFEX) fertilized 167 square kilometres of the Southern Ocean with several tonnes of iron sulphate. For 37 days, the team on board the German research vessel Polarstern monitored the bloom and demise of single-cell algae (phytoplankton) in the iron-limited but otherwise nutrient-rich ocean region.
Researchers studying iron-fertilized algal blooms from the research vessel Polarstern have shown that carbon in dead algae sinks to the deep ocean.
Philipp Assmy/AWI, Germany Each atom of added iron pulled at least 13,000 atoms of carbon out of the atmosphere by encouraging algal growth which, through photosynthesis, captures carbon. In a paper in Nature today, the team reports that much of the captured carbon was transported to the deep ocean, where it will remain sequestered for centuries1 a 'carbon sink'.
At least half of the bloom was exported to depths greater than 1,000 metres, says Victor Smetacek, a marine biologist at the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research in Bremerhaven, Germany, who led the study...
(Excerpt) Read more at nature.com ...
We’re messing with powers about which we have little understanding. Nature, like all things, seeks homeostasis, and any attempts to “neutralize global warming” is likely to be met by unintended consequences.
Future generations will look back at us and wonder what in the Hell we were thinking.
First one has to begin to believe that there is such a thing as man made global warming and that carbon dioxide is anything other than a natural component of our gaseous life giving atmosphere. Which I do not. Despite the research - if iron is pumped into the oceans on a large scale - you can bet on the Law of Unintended Consequences that something adverse will happen...
Stopped reading at “limit global warming”
That’s where the author states he’s a moron.
In another decade, as the sun’s magnetic field continues to weaken, allowing more cosmic rays to hit the earth’s atmosphere, creating clouds and rain, we’ll be wishing we had that carbon back in the atmosphere.
During WWII thousands of ships, carrying all manner of iron objects, from ammo to trucks, tanks, planes, etc, were sunk. Must have been the reason the winter of 1947 had big snowfalls in NYC.
I don’t buy the very idea that we have a CO2 issue. The numbers I’ve seen appear to be results of a natural corrective process.
If CO2 increases, plants prosper and consume it. If CO2 decreases, plants suffer and consume less. It’s a brilliant balancing act.
Agree. I always wondered (from the Bible) what on earth could cause “...and the seas turned to blood and all the fish in the sea died”.
...then I hear ideas like this.
“Future generations will look back at us and wonder what in the Hell we were thinking.”
And as they are freezing and trying to suck what little oxygen is left they will wonder, “why did George Bush do this?”
LMAO! Now THAT’S funny!
Well that was a toxic red algae bloom - big bloom - zillions die dumping toxins in the sea - kills the fish ... still happens around the world... This could be one of those unintended consequences of dumping iron in the oceans ... massive and numerous toxic red algae blooms everywhere. Then all the protected whales, dolphins and fishes would take a BIG HIT... But of course the Rabid Environmentalists would blame Bush.
FReepmail me if you want on or off my health and science ping list.
Quirin Schiermeier = DORK!
You would think someone who believes man is unwittingly upsetting a complex balance would be loath to monkey with a chaotic system.
Ted Kaczynski conservatives are embarrassing. Advancing technology is the second front in fighting leftist economic destruction. We need to support technology development to keep from ending up like Greece. For example if we can drive down the hourly cost of robotics to the cost of minimum wage, for the first time in history the left will have a worker class they can confiscate all their work output from without bothering us. They can be parasites on eternal foodstamps and we can get on with our lives.
I don’t think it’s an unwitting attempt at all. Most environmental whackos with whom I’ve had the displeasure of talking are oftentimes anarchists who believe human beings are a disease (think: “The Matrix”). They want us to pare back centuries of progress to allow the “Earth Mother” to regenerate.
What they don’t realize is that the “Earth Mother” is a big girl who can take care of herself and is a little pissed off that we “little people” are attempting to meddle in her very large sandbox.
Earth is going to outlive every single one of us alive today and most likely humanity itself. The idea that something we’re driving or consuming is going to cause some sort of global cataclysm is like saying that spitting in a swimming pool is going to clog the filtration system.
Soluble iron in the ocean will remove O2 from the atmosphere. Billions of years ago, large amounts of soluble seawater iron scavenged O2 from the atmosphere and formed banded iron formations called "redbeds". The atmosphere would probably have become oxygen-rich much sooner but for the creation of BIFs.