This weeks Science offers commentary on the use of Ocean Iron Fertilization (OIF) to mitigate rising carbon dioxide levels. The author list is a dream team of ocean productivity experts who know what they are talking about. The 1 page commentary is chock-o-block full of great quotes.
The efficacy by which OIF sequesters atmospheric CO2 to the deep sea remains poorly constrained, and we do not understand the intended and unintended biogeochemical and ecological impacts. Environmental perturbations from OIF are nonlocal and are spread over a large area by ocean circulation, which makes long- term verification and assessment very difficult
OIF could make only a partial contribution to mitigation of global CO increase.
The group lists 7 items that need to be included in future research on OIF. The ending paragraph simply states that selling carbon offsets from OIF experiments is premature and use of OIF will come with an “alteration of ocean ecosystems” with potentially unforseen consequences.
Buesseler et al. (2008) Ocean Iron Fertilization–Moving Forward in a Sea of Uncertainty. Science 319:162