[Coral-List] Pipes hung in the sea ...

Joan Kleypas kleypas at ucar.edu
Wed Oct 10 07:48:52 EDT 2007

Dear Melissa:

Iron fertilization is quite a debated topic these days, given the 
uncertainty of its effectiveness at drawing down atmospheric CO2 and the 
fact that industry is capitalizing on its use in the carbon credits game.

A website about very recent and interesting conference organized by Ken 
Buesseler and others at Woods Hole Oceanogr. Inst. (see 
http://www.whoi.edu/page.do?pid=14617) has some nice resources and links 
about this topic.


Melissa Keyes wrote:
> Hello, Listers,
>   I have been reading articles about Global Warming for ? thirty years, longer?
>   Does anyone remember an experiment using elemental Iron?  Seems the Tropical Oceans are clear because the water is devoid of Iron, so algae cannot grow.  A group had to try twice, but when they sifted powdered iron into the South Pacific,(quite offshore near the Equator) using the ship's propellers to mix it well, they created a huge green bloom from what little algae was present.  They followed their creation until the algae couldn't reproduce anymore without more Iron.  It died and sank.
>   The big surprise was something about how they didn't stay in one place, they drifted more than 800 miles, 19,200 km.  I distinctly remember a comment that a few shiploads of Iron so deployed could sop up huge amounts of Carbon, sending it to the bottom of the ocean when the plants died and sank.  An Ice Age could be precipitated if they used too much Iron, they said.  An ecosystem didn't form to recycle the carbon because,(another remembered quote) "The cows couldn't keep up with the pasture", meaning too few herbivores amongst the blooming algae.
>   I'm sorry that I cannot provide names and dates, this was quite a while ago.  A possible drop in the ocean of our problem of the Earth's warming?
>   Cheers,
>   Melissa E. Keyes
>   St. Croix, USVI
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