Ocean fertilization won’t work – final blow to controversial geoengineering option – biopact.com

Posted on November 30, 2007. Filed under: Uncategorized |

Scientists have revealed an important discovery that raises serious doubts concerning the viability of plans to fertilize the ocean to solve global warming, a projected $100 billion ‘geoengineering’ venture that has attracted a lot of criticism from environmentalists, climate scientists, civil society and oceanographers who think the scheme may destroy marine environments. The concept was recently deemed ‘not scientifically justified’ by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) (earlier post). The bioenergy community for its part is opposed to the idea, because it distracts attention from a much safer solution to global warming, namely the production of negative emissions from bioenergy. But now scientists deal the final blow to the controversial concept, saying it simply won’t work.

Ocean fertilization, the process of adding iron or other nutrients to the ocean to cause large algal blooms, has been proposed as a possible ‘geoengineering’ solution to global warming because the growing algae absorb carbon dioxide as they grow. But research performed at Stanford University, the Carnegie Institution of Washington and Oregon State University, published in the Journal of Geophysical Research, now concludes that ocean fertilization is not an effective method of reducing CO2 in the atmosphere because of the seasonal dynamics of the way in which algae sink to the bottom of the ocean.

This discovery is very surprising. If, during natural plankton blooms, less carbon actually sinks to deep water than during the rest of the year, then it suggests that the Biological Pump leaks. More material is recycled in shallow water and less sinks to depth, which makes sense if you consider how this ecosystem has evolved in a way to minimize loss. Ocean fertilization schemes, which resemble an artificial summer, may not remove as much carbon dioxide from the atmosphere as has been suggested because they ignore the natural processes revealed by this research. – Dr. Michael Lutz, lead author, University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science the sale of offsets or credits from ocean fertilization on the unregulated voluntary markets is basically nothing short of fraudulent.

Read more from Biopact team

Advertisements

Make a Comment

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Liked it here?
Why not try sites on the blogroll...

%d bloggers like this: