Dumping Iron Into the Ocean May Solve Climate Change

Senior Contributor
07.19.12 7 Comments

However you feel about climate change, we’re dumping a lot of crap into the atmosphere and it’d be nice to remove said crap before it does some form of damage. But how?

It turns out all we really need to do is put more iron into the ocean.

It works like this: various forms of microscopic sea life need all the iron they can get. They also tend to suck carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere, seeing as they’re basically plants. So, if you grow a lot of them and let nature take its course, you have huge numbers of microscopic sea life corpses floating to the bottom of the ocean, and taking all the carbon dioxide they are with it.

The problem was testing the idea: the sea tends to move. But new experiments using an eddy in the ocean’s current show that the idea works, at least on a small scale.

Of course, there’s also the question of whether we should be knocking the natural order of the ocean out of whack just because we can’t stop driving Hummers, but that seems outside the scientific method.

image courtesy Wikimedia Commons

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