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Iron Fertililization Experiment Underway

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

The ship Polarstern is heading out to a small patch of the Scotia Sea between Argentina and the Antarctic Peninsula with 50 scientists from Germany, India, Italy, Spain, Chile, France and Britain to dump 20 tones of iron sulphate in hopes that the iron will induce an algal bloom in this usually nutrient-poor region.  They will then observe the growth and decay of the organisms in unprecedented detail during the following eight weeks. It is estimated that the process could remove up to a billion tonnes of carbon from the atmosphere every year, but is being conducted despite a moratorium put in place last year by the United Nation's Convention on Biological Diversity.

 

Isn't this more a means to commercialize iron fertilization?  The link below states that several companies in the United States and Australia have planned to sequester carbon in this way, which could then be sold as offsets on carbon credit markets.

 

Your thoughts? 

 

 

http://www.nature.com/news/2009/090109/full/news.2009.13.html

post #2 of 9

my thoughts? bloody stupid idea! yes, just business trying to go for a quick buck, not thought  through at all, like the biofuels fiasco.

 

which kind of algae will bloom? what will that do to the ecosystem? how much will actually sink, and how much will stay sequestered? etc.

 

oh bother, new scientist has gone down. i got as far as search, the first article is the one i wanted to post;

Ocean seeding fails the acid test

Fertilising the ocean with iron filings to battle global warming also produces a nasty acid lethal to marine life and even humans

 

also found this summary;

 

Scientists Doubt Ocean Iron Fertilization as Climate Change Strategy

Submitted by Crystal Davis on Wed, 2008-02-06 20:31.

earthtrends.wri.org/updates/node/282

 

this wiki has some good looking references

 

 

 

 


Edited by gerda - Sat, 10 Jan 2009 16:19:46 GMT


Edited by gerda - Sat, 10 Jan 2009 17:36:08 GMT
post #3 of 9

Well the main controversy seems to be regarding whether this particular experiment is too large-scale.  Personally I'm okay with it because further experimentation will help to answer those questions raised by gerda.  The only issue is how large the experiments should be.

post #4 of 9

This just in yesterday:  LOHAFEX put on hold!

 

http://blogs.nature.com/climatefeedback/2009/01/storm_over_planned_ocean_ferti_1.html

 

 


Edited by gcnp58 - Thu, 15 Jan 2009 16:48:51 GMT
post #5 of 9
Thread Starter 

Hmnn, I'm a bit suspicious about their intent since they're still heading on their way, but at least they're acknowledging the problem with their conducting the experiment while a moratorium is on the table.  Way to stay on this.  Thanks for sharing the update.

post #6 of 9

i heard warning bells a while ago, when i finally thought 'iron, red, red tide....errrr....what kind of bloom are we talking here.....'

post #7 of 9

News blurb in Nature on iron fertilization, contains reference to article appearing in same issue:

 

http://www.nature.com/news/2009/090128/pdf/457520b.pdf

 

Article on iron is at bottom of page, might not show at first

post #8 of 9

Yeah looks like bad news for iron fertilization.

 

A study published in this week’s issue of Nature (see page 577) finds that the potential of
iron-induced carbon sequestration is far lower than previously estimated.

 

Some think it is game over. “Ocean iron fertilization is simply no longer to be taken as a
viable option for mitigation of the CO2 problem,” says Hein de Baar, an oceanographer at the Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research in Texel.

 

On the one hand it's kind of disappointing that this process doesn't seem very viable for CO2 sequestration.  On the other hand, maybe it's a good thing, since there are concerns about other effects from the iron fertilization.

post #9 of 9

Yup, all that Grant Money right down the ole toilet. Another sparkling success for the MMCCKs. That's Man Made Climate Change Kooks for anyone that was wondering. :-)

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