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Dumping iron at sea does sink carbon
Natue News ^ | 18 July 2012 | Quirin Schiermeier

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 ...


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; News/Current Events; Testing
KEYWORDS: climatechange; geoengineering; globalwarming; globalwarminghoax; iron; irondust; oceanacidiffication
Ocean acidification? Global Warming? Voila!
1 posted on 07/24/2012 1:06:25 PM PDT by neverdem
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To: neverdem

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.


2 posted on 07/24/2012 1:11:28 PM PDT by rarestia (It's time to water the Tree of Liberty.)
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To: neverdem

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...


3 posted on 07/24/2012 1:17:48 PM PDT by ICCtheWay
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To: rarestia

Stopped reading at “limit global warming”

That’s where the author states he’s a moron.


4 posted on 07/24/2012 1:18:43 PM PDT by bicyclerepair ( REPLACE D-W-S ! http://www.karenforcongress.com)
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To: neverdem

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.


5 posted on 07/24/2012 1:29:08 PM PDT by DuncanWaring (The Lord uses the good ones; the bad ones use the Lord.)
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To: neverdem

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.


6 posted on 07/24/2012 1:35:05 PM PDT by capt B
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To: neverdem

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.


7 posted on 07/24/2012 1:37:51 PM PDT by ryan71
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To: ICCtheWay

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.


8 posted on 07/24/2012 1:38:59 PM PDT by fuzzylogic (welfare state = sharing consequences of poor moral choices among everybody)
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To: neverdem
Where does all that carbon originate? Check out the CNO Cycle. Robert Felix postulates a literal rain of oil and carbon on the earth's surface during times when the magnetic field is near zero and offers little protection from incoming gamma radiation. The scheme cooked up in the article is an ant fart in a hurricane by comparison.
9 posted on 07/24/2012 1:39:38 PM PDT by Myrddin
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To: rarestia

“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?”


10 posted on 07/24/2012 1:41:31 PM PDT by EQAndyBuzz (ABO 2012)
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To: EQAndyBuzz

LMAO! Now THAT’S funny!


11 posted on 07/24/2012 1:47:26 PM PDT by rarestia (It's time to water the Tree of Liberty.)
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To: fuzzylogic

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.


12 posted on 07/24/2012 1:50:58 PM PDT by ICCtheWay
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To: El Gato; Ernest_at_the_Beach; Robert A. Cook, PE; lepton; LadyDoc; jb6; tiamat; PGalt; Dianna; ...
Mystery Tug on Spacecraft Is Einstein’s ‘I Told You So’

An Electric Car That Actually Goes Far?

New York trans fat ban has cut consumption, study finds

Compact fluorescent bulbs may contribute to skin cancer

FReepmail me if you want on or off my health and science ping list.

13 posted on 07/24/2012 1:54:40 PM PDT by neverdem (Xin loi minh oi)
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To: neverdem

Quirin Schiermeier = DORK!


14 posted on 07/24/2012 1:56:03 PM PDT by Sarajevo (Don't think for a minute that this excuse for a President has America's best interest in mind.)
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To: rarestia
We’re messing with powers about which we have little understanding.

You would think someone who believes man is unwittingly upsetting a complex balance would be loath to monkey with a chaotic system.

15 posted on 07/24/2012 2:03:22 PM PDT by D-fendr (Deus non alligatur sacramentis sed nos alligamur.)
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To: ICCtheWay
Real carbon taxes already exist in many countries. The money confiscated should go to CO2 re-sequesteration organizations using technologies like this rather than to big government. The cost to re-sequester carbon using this method is less than the cost of the carbon taxes. The truth is though the socialists only want to reduce everyone's standard of living while lavishly wasting the confiscated wealth on themselves. CO2 emissions are just an excuse for the confiscation and they don't really give an honest damn about re-sequesteration.

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.

16 posted on 07/24/2012 2:04:59 PM PDT by Reeses (Sustainable energy? Let's first have sustainable government.)
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To: D-fendr

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.


17 posted on 07/24/2012 2:07:39 PM PDT by rarestia (It's time to water the Tree of Liberty.)
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To: ICCtheWay
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...

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.

18 posted on 07/24/2012 2:41:07 PM PDT by Spirochete (Sic transit gloria mundi)
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To: neverdem; 11B40; A Balrog of Morgoth; A message; ACelt; Aeronaut; AFPhys; AlexW; America_Right; ...
DOOMAGE!

Global Warming PING!

You have been pinged because of your interest in environmentalism, alarmist wackos, mainstream media doomsday hype, and other issues pertaining to global warming.

Freep-mail me to get on or off: Add me / Remove me

Please ping me to all note-worthy threads on global warming.

Global Warming on Free Republic

Latest from Global Warming News Site

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Latest from Junk Science

Latest from Terra Daily

19 posted on 07/24/2012 2:50:55 PM PDT by Tolerance Sucks Rocks (Obama should change his campaign slogan to "Yes, we am!" Sounds as stupid as his administration is.)
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To: neverdem
Great. First we burn our food and now we dump our steel in the ocean.

Just great.

20 posted on 07/24/2012 2:53:43 PM PDT by facedown (Armed in the Heartland)
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To: neverdem

Gigantic volcanic eruptions out pour gasses of all natures - CO, CO2, methane and a number of others.. I a week of erupting a large volcano can out pour more of these gasses than has been done in all of industrialized human history... So where is the connection to what humans are doing?

Global Warming - if there is such a thing... would more likely be due to slight orbital perturbations of earth in it’s orbit around the Sun, the Sun’s expansion and/or contraction, Sunspots, slight changes in the earth’s tilt on it’s axis... volcanic eruptions or some chance combination of some of these events creating a multiplier effect. As most any thinking person knows - the earth has had numerous Ice Ages... warm - cold - very cold - cold as hell - then warming - ice melts - it is warm again... All done with only a handful of preindustrialized humans around to contribute anything..


21 posted on 07/24/2012 2:56:35 PM PDT by ICCtheWay
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To: neverdem

Some years back while arguing with a lefty enviro nut ... he made the claim that the American cattle industry of helping to cause Global Warming (massive numbers of Methane cow farts) ... and we should eliminate beef from our diets to help compensate... I pointed out that the huge human populations of China, India, Africa would be doing this too ... massive numbers of human methane farts... He promptly began arguing that this was not part of the problem.... Really Now - not the same thing - WOW!


22 posted on 07/24/2012 3:04:49 PM PDT by ICCtheWay
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To: neverdem

This is NOT the worst science I have ever read. It’s also not the best. BUT I think it’s worth trying. Here’s why:

Many oceanic ecosystems have just a couple limiting factors, such as oxygen+ sunlight, or iron+ temperature, and so on.

In certain areas of the ocean, which they think they have identified, the limiting factor is iron; ie a key ‘fertilizer’: in other words there’s not enough iron to let phytoplankton grow as fast as they could, all other critical factors being plentiful. In other parts of the ocean it might be temperature, dissolved CO2, pH, etc etc. In another example, the limiting factor for growth in a corn field in Nebraska, in a normal rainfall year, is the LACK of CO2 in the ambient air. (REM: Orchid greenhouses are frequently augmented with CO2 to enhance growth).

The point is that it *DOES* make sense to fertilize the oceans with the missing nutrient. Growing more algae will indeed cause the photosynthetic algae to ‘fix’ CO2 into the ‘bodies’ of the algae, and those will eventually sink to the bottom of the ocean.

BUT!!!

the balancing act is that creating an artificial bloom creates an enhanced demand for OXYGEN as well during the night hours when these additional organisms continue to respire in the dark. THAT causes mass die-offs of other organisms ... i.e., fish kills. This is especially true in aquatic ecosystems.

Still, don’t throw this one out.

FWIW, the same thing could be accomplished by smartly ‘dumping’ municipal black water sewage into the ocean at the right times of the day (NOT night).


23 posted on 07/24/2012 3:08:08 PM PDT by Blueflag (Res ipsa loquitur: non vehere est inermus)
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To: Blueflag

Does algae actually consume oxygen or is it bacteria eating an oversupply of dead algae at night causing the problem? This is a problem for fish ponds but does it apply to the deep open ocean? The ocean is highly buffered so it seems hard to believe the oxygen ppm could drop to fish killing levels overnight.


24 posted on 07/24/2012 3:28:22 PM PDT by Reeses (Sustainable energy? Let's first have sustainable government.)
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To: Myrddin

Thanks for the links. I’m not itchy to try geoengineering, but other clowns are thinking about trying to copy volcanos and dump loads of sulfates in the upper atmosphere.


25 posted on 07/24/2012 3:56:04 PM PDT by neverdem (Xin loi minh oi)
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To: neverdem

I believe that iron is more valuble than controlling climate change that isn’t caused by man’s CO2 emissions.


26 posted on 07/24/2012 4:05:38 PM PDT by GingisK
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To: Reeses

Most all aquatic organisms in the photic zone (lit by sunlight) take oxygen IN and put CO2 out - both plant and animal — it’s just that photosynthesizers (green plants/algae) produce more oxygen than they consume during the day (while the sun is bright enough) and consume more CO2 than they respire during the day.

During the night all those organisms take oxygen in and respire (exhale so to speak) CO2. Thus during the night the oxygen levels can drop precipitously, resulting in fish kills in ponds, and potential ‘kills’ in ocean areas, but not if the iron seeding was judicious.

Oceans can be remarkably stratified in terms of temperature, salinity, pH and dissolved gasses. In other words, the water in the first 20 fathoms is very different from the water 21-100 fathoms, and so on. So indeed, an induced ‘bloom’ in the photic zone of 100 square miles of ocean, well-managed, would probably NOT cause a fish kill, because they can move out of the affected area. Might be a different issue for the zooplankton. (animal plankton).

Still this is worth looking at as an experiment.

Having ‘said’ that ... we’d rather not DO this because it reduces AGW. Rather we’d do it to prove a scientific point.

Lastly, the richest fishing grounds in the oceans are in areas of upwelling — where deep sea currents rich in nutrients (dead stuff, call it oceanic compost) come up near the surface into the photic zone and provide fertilizer for algae and zooplankton, which feed krill, which feed small fish, which feed large fish, you get the idea. One could argue the relative merits of fertilizing the ocean in order to create artificial upwellings — and grow more edible fish/shrimp etc. (use black water instead of iron)


27 posted on 07/24/2012 4:08:24 PM PDT by Blueflag (Res ipsa loquitur: non vehere est inermus)
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To: neverdem

70% of the earth’s surface is ocean. They could dump into the ocean, all the existing iron stock we have in the world, and it wouldn’t reduce algae measurably. Think about it. 167 square KM required several tons of iron. Several million tons would be a drop in the ocean.

These people are insane. But anybody insane enough to think algae needs killing is insane enough to think they could manufacture enough steel to even notice a difference.

Insane asses.


28 posted on 07/24/2012 4:37:14 PM PDT by Freedom_Is_Not_Free (REPEAL OBAMACARE. Nothing else matters.)
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To: rarestia

Because the iron compound is nothing but a nutrient, there is nothing about this process that can run away. The worst thing that can happen is that it doesn’t work.


29 posted on 07/24/2012 5:15:34 PM PDT by BlazingArizona
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To: BlazingArizona
Except to make iron filings you need iron.

It's at the end of a long process that starts with coal.


30 posted on 07/24/2012 5:33:56 PM PDT by Oztrich Boy (Literals will believe anything.)
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To: rarestia; All

What kind of self-hating moron would try to sequester or eliminate carbon, an element critical for life (what is unclear about “carbon-based lifeforms”?)?

Secondly, these environmentalists are watermelons - green on the outside, red in the middle. They care less about the earth than about convincing people to surrender to their globalist vision.

Thirdly, carbon tax schemes are not about reducing carbon, which is nigh impossible; rather it is to secure a funding steam for leftist utopian schemes.

YMMV


31 posted on 07/25/2012 9:30:50 AM PDT by bt_dooftlook (Democrats - the party of Amnesty, Abortion, and Adolescence)
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To: rarestia; All

What kind of self-hating moron would try to sequester or eliminate carbon, an element critical for life (what is unclear about “carbon-based lifeforms”?)?

Secondly, these environmentalists are watermelons - green on the outside, red in the middle. They care less about the earth than about convincing people to surrender to their globalist vision.

Thirdly, carbon tax schemes are not about reducing carbon, which is nigh impossible; rather it is to secure a funding stream for leftist utopian schemes.

YMMV


32 posted on 07/25/2012 9:31:09 AM PDT by bt_dooftlook (Democrats - the party of Amnesty, Abortion, and Adolescence)
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