Navigation Links
Scientists, policymakers and industry leaders gather to discuss ocean iron fertilization
Date:9/25/2007

On September 26-27, scientists at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) will host an international, interdisciplinary conference on the proposed iron fertilization of the ocean as a means to combat rising concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

Several times over the past century, scientists and environmental engineers have proposed spreading slurries of dissolved iron into the oceans in order to fertilize the waters and promote vast blooms of marine plants (phytoplankton). Phytoplankton consume carbon dioxide as they grow, and this growth can be stimulated in certain ocean basins by the addition of iron, a necessary micronutrient.

Though common on land, dissolved iron is often rare in the ocean. Some researchers and commercial interests have recently proposed to provide that missing nutrient on a large scale in order to create artificial blooms. Theory holds that if you make such blooms large enough, you could remove excess carbon dioxide from Earths atmosphere and carry it down into the deep ocean as organic matter (such as fecal pellets and dead plankton) sinks, thereby reducing the impact of greenhouse gases and global warming.

There are many critical questions that require both better scientific understanding and an improved legal, economic, and political framework before iron fertilization can be considered either effective or appropriate, said Ken Buesseler, a senior scientist in WHOIs Marine Chemistry and Geochemistry Department and a participant in two iron fertilization experiments at sea. The time is right to bring scientists, policymakers, and commercial interests together to inform each other and the public.

Scientists took a serious interest in the idea in the late 1980s after oceanographer John Martin famously told colleagues: Give me half a tanker of iron and Ill give you the next ice age. Iron fertilization has since been tested in at least a dozen experiments around the world. The results have varied, but in general, iron fertilizers have been shown to promote plant growth in surface waters. However, many researchers remain skeptical about whether the process removes carbon dioxide from the atmosphere for the long term or just for a fleeting time. Ecological impacts from long-term, large-scale fertilization are also a concern.

The purpose of the Woods Hole conference is to bring researchers, policymakers, industrial interests, regulators, and environmentalists together to share their scientific observations and discuss the range of issues involved in altering the chemistry of the ocean. It is not intended as forum or referendum for specific projects and ventures.

In 20 hours of formal presentations and panel discussions over two days, participants will discuss:

  • Efficacy: Can iron fertilization work?
  • Research: What do we already know, and what could future studies, models, and experiments tell us?
  • Consequence: What will be the intended and unintended impacts?
  • Policy: What are the economic, social, and regulatory considerations?

The symposiumExploring Ocean Iron Fertilization: The Scientific, Economic, Legal, and Political Basis-- is being hosted by Buesseler, Scott Doney, a senior scientist in the WHOI Marine Chemistry and Geochemistry Department, and Hauke Kite-Powell, a research specialist in the WHOI Marine Policy Center.


'/>"/>

Contact: WHOI Media Relations
media@whoi.edu
508-289-3340
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. For Stanford scientists, RNAi gene therapy takes two steps forward, one step back
2. Affymetrix and ParAllele Launch Industrys Most Comprehensive Product Line for Targeted Genotyping
3. Shark skin saves naval industry money
4. Quick identification needed to save Floridas citrus industry from devastating disease
5. Scaled-down genome may power up E. colis ability in lab, industry
6. Report finds cruise industry is protecting the precious places it visits
7. Over-use of antibiotics in fish-for-food industry encourages bacterial resistance and disease
8. A cleaner, greener rice industry
9. Protect patients from exploitation by alternative medicines industry
10. Developing uses for sugar-cane bagasse: Biotechnology applied to the paper industry
11. Plastic that degrades in seawater could be boon for cruise industry and others
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/23/2017)... ARMONK, N.Y. and ITHACA, N.Y. ... IBM ) and Cornell University, a leader in dairy ... combined with bioinformatics designed to help reduce the chances ... breaches. With the onset of this dairy project, Cornell ... the Consortium for Sequencing the Food Supply Chain, a ...
(Date:5/23/2017)... Italy , May 23, 2017  Hunova, the first robotic gym ... trunk, has been officially launched in Genoa, Italy . ... Europe and the USA . The technology ... on the market by the IIT spin-off Movendo Technology thanks to a ... the Multimedia News Release, please click: ...
(Date:5/16/2017)...   Bridge Patient Portal , an enterprise ... EMR Systems , an electronic medical record solutions ... established a partnership to build an interface between ... Centricity™ products, including Centricity Practice Solution (CPS), Centricity ... new integrations will allow healthcare delivery networks using ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:7/20/2017)... ... ... Dr. Asher Kimchi, Founder and Chairman of the International Academy of ... 22nd World Congress on Heart Disease held in Vancouver, BC, Canada. In addition to ... Awards. , Dr. Asher Kimchi, together with Co-Chairmen Dr. John A. Elefteriades and Dr. ...
(Date:7/20/2017)... , ... July 20, 2017 , ... Corporate Directors Forum ... its 27th annual Director of the Year Awards. , The awards will be presented ... This annual event celebrates directors who have made significantly positive contributions in the ...
(Date:7/18/2017)... ... 18, 2017 , ... G-CON today announced that it has ... its Patent Applications 14/858,857 and 13/669,785 both entitled Modular, Self-Contained, Mobile Clean Room. ... the protection of G-CON’s R&D investments and validate the G-CON platform as a ...
(Date:7/17/2017)... ... ... The Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA) will host Aviation Adventure Day on ... from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the International Aeromodeling Center in Muncie, Indiana. ... Day will be packed with entertaining activities for the entire family. Attendees will learn ...
Breaking Biology Technology: