1.All Plants Need Iron, But Very Little Iron –
Iron is a micronutrient essential for the synthesis of enzymes required for photosynthesis. In relatively rare cases where terrestrial plants lack iron, they cannot manufacture sufficient chlorophyll, such as those to the left. The amounts plants need, however, are small; a mature two-ton tree will need about 40 grams.
2. Most Ecosystems Have More Than Enough Iron – Terrestrial plants seldom lack iron becau most soils have abundances of iron. Most ocean waters are supplied by iron from river and bottom sediments or by clouds of dust that can travel for thousands of miles. To see satellite images of Asian dust storms over the Pacific see: http://cimss.ssec.wisc.edu/goes/misc/980424.html
1. Iron Fertilization Is a Truly New Concept. The fundamental concept that iron controls the growth of phytoplankton in much of the world’s oceans was formally postulated with supporting data in the late 1980’s. During the 1990’s and into 2002, a series of experiments, ranging from bench-scale assays to large-scale fertilizations of 100-sqare kilometer patches of ocean from the North Pacific to Antarctica, have been conducted to test the “iron hypothesis” and the results of these experiments have confirmed the initial hypothesis.
How it works
How would iron fertilization for carbon sequestration be done?
The most likely approach to applying iron fertilizer for carbon sequestration would be to produce carbon “crops” with large, temporary blooms in the open ocean. The sequence of a typical “crop” would be:
The Need For New Approaches To Greenhouse Gas Control
Einstein had said “Significant problems cannot be solved at the same level of awareness that created them.” Clearly this is so for the problem of greenhouse gas control: attempts to reduce emissions by conventional means have not worked and are unlikely to work in the future.
GreenSea believes that John Martin was correct in predicting that at some point in the future, people will acknowledge that conventional approaches are not working and will consequently begin concerted and focused development of innovative carbon management approaches, iron fertilization among them. The only uncertainty is how long people will ignore the buildup of greenhouse gases and tolerate the failure of conventional controls.