Message for Policymakers: Ocean Iron Fertilization Chances of Success Low

open ocean photo

photo: Marina Kuperman/Creative Commons

Another summary of the potential risks and benefits of ocean iron fertilization--the geoengineering method which proposes seeding oceans with iron so as to stimulate microscopic plants that absorb carbon from the atmosphere and sequester it--comes down against it. The summary for policymakers produced by scientists from seven countries concludes that the chances of success using iron fertilization to stop climate change are low. Lead author of the report, Professor Doug Wallace of the Leibniz-Institut für Meereswissenschaften, says that published accounts of experiments conducted so far "suggest that even very large-scale fertilization would remove only modest amounts of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere over 100 years."

ocean iron fertilization chart

The report notes that areas where knowledge of the geoengineering method are lacking include whether the findings of small-scale experiments apply to larger scales and the possibility of unintended ecological consequences of large-scale deployment of ocean fertilization schemes.

Indeed, that last knowledge gap is held in common with many of the more aggressive geoengineering proposals...

Here's the summary: Ocean Fertilization: A scientific summary for policymakers [PDF]

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More on Geoengineering:
Ocean Iron Fertilization for Geoengineering Should Be Abandoned
15-20 Times Less Carbon Sequestered by Ocean Iron Fertilization Than Some Estimates Claim: New Report
Ocean Iron Fertilization Could Stimulate Toxic Algae Blooms in Open Ocean

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