Saturday, 4 January 2020

Fertilising the oceans with iron

Fertilising the Oceans with Iron

A correspondent has brought THIS ARTICLE to my attention. He did it for two reasons: 

  1. It is a very interesting article and 
  2. My photograph of Banded Iron Formation which I wrote about some time ago, is used to illustrate it. See HERE.
The first reason is the more important one - of course. 

I didn't realise how complicated the chemistry of iron in the oceans and atmosphere was. Iron is the fourth most abundant element in the Earth's crust but is almost absent in the oceans. Its absence can hinder the growth of diatoms and other beasties. If there was more iron available, more diatoms could form, removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Sounds simple, but it is not. Read the article to understand some of the complications!

Iron-rich dust launched into the air by winds swirls around the Southern Ocean. Understanding how iron’s chemistry shifts during its journey from earth to air to sea will be important for developing better climate models. (William Putnam and Arlindo da Silva, NASA / Goddard Space Flight Center)

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