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Posted Wed Mar 25 2009: from Mongabay:
Ocean fertilization will not help reduce CO2 levels, suggests experiment
A controversial 'ocean fertilization' experiment suggests seeding the seas with iron to boost carbon-absorbing phytoplantkon will not sequester much carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Some -- including researchers and private companies -- had hoped iron fertilization might be an easy fix for climate change. The Lohafex experiment, conducted by Indo-German team of scientists from the National Institute of Oceaonography and the Alfred Wegener Institute earlier this year, dumped 20 tons of iron sulphate into the Southern Ocean and measured the carbon uptake by plankton. Fertilization stimulated a short burst of phytoplankton growth which was negated by increased predation by crustaceans known as amphipods. "As a result, only a modest amount of carbon sank out of the surface layer by the end of the experiment," said the Alfred Wegener Institute in a statement.
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