Iron Fertilizers for the Oceans: Pro et Contra

13.02.2013

There were several attempts to stop the global warming using geoengineering methods, such as dumping of 200,000 tons of iron sulphate in the North Pacific. After that, such experiments were banned forever by the UN. Nevertheless, the Oceans still get their iron sulphur with ship exhausts and combustion of organic materials. Is it good or bad? And how water-soluble iron might harm oceanic ecosystems?

Jellyfish instead of salmon? Might be so, if we keep dumping soluble iron to the Oceans

On one hand, iron sulphate consumes carbon dioxide, the main greenhouse gas. Besides, it nourishes phytoplankton, the lowest link of the oceanic food chain. The more phytoplankton there is, the more are there crustactaceans, small fish, and – finally – large fish, like Pacific salmon. However, the consequences of such methods might be totally unpredictable. Fish-dominated ecosystems might turn into jellyfish-dominated ones. No salmon, but plenty of stinging polyps, right. And we still might see the results in several years.

Photo: Shutterstock.