Ocean fertilization

Plans to fertilize the oceans with iron or other nutrients in order to absorb atmospheric carbon dioxide and so stave off global warming are unviable, according to scientists at Stanford and Oregon State Universities. Stimulating algal growth, the researchers has found does not lead to increased sequestration of carbon dioxide into deeper waters, suggesting that the invoked "Biological Pump" is leaky. Michael Lutz, formerly at Stanford and now at the University of Miami and colleagues compared the abundance of algae in the surface waters of the world's oceans with the amount of carbon sinking to deep water and found clear seasonal patterns in both algal abundance and carbon sinking rates. However, the relationship between the two was surprising: less carbon was transported to deep water during a summertime bloom than during the rest of the year.