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Dumping iron at sea to fertilize algae does sink carbon

ananyo (2519492) writes | more than 2 years ago

Earth 1

ananyo writes "In the search for methods of geoengineering 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 attracting controversy and a UN moratorium, as well as previous 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. 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. The team reports that much of the captured carbon was transported to the deep ocean, where it will remain sequestered for centuries — a 'carbon sink' (abstract)."

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