I get email: Iron Fertilization 101

The Intersection
By Sheril Kirshenbaum
Oct 30, 2007 8:20 PMNov 5, 2019 10:19 AM


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Yesterday, I mentioned iron fertilization and more than one email found my inbox inquiring exactly what that means. So with readers in mind, I've composed a blog post over at CORRELATIONS explaining Iron Fertilization 101.

Phytoplankton take up CO2 in oceans and then go on to die and sink, and drum roll please.... we've got a natural process that helps mitigate lots of the pesky CO2 that's been mucking up planet earth! You see, iron is a limiting factor for phytoplankton growth, so if we were to, say, dump a lot of Fe into the sea - phytoplankton will bloom and carbon would be sequestrated in oceans.

To offset emissions, for-profit corporations want to spread Fe where it currently limits phytoplankton. Investors hope to use this process to earn carbon credits which would be traded through markets or sold as offsets for greenhouse gas emissions.

But WAIT just one second! Before we jump on the iron fertilization bandwagon, there are a few things important things to consider.

Read about the serious risks associated with this process here...

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