February 28, 2007
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FROM VOLUME 4, NUMBER 4, APRIL 1991
"Glacial-Interglacial CO2 Change: The Iron Hypothesis," J.H.
Martin (Moss Landing Marine Lab., POB 450, Moss Landing CA 95039), Paleoceanog.,
5, 1-13, 1990. One of the recent papers to propose that iron
fertilization of the Antarctic Ocean may effectively lower atmospheric CO2
levels. (See News, this Global Climate Change Digest issue--Apr. 1991.)
"Estimates of the Effect of Southern Ocean Iron Fertilization on
Atmospheric CO2 Concentrations," F. Joos (Phys. Inst., Univ. Bern, CH-3012
Bern, Switz.), J.L. Sarmiento, U. Siegenthaler, Nature, 349(6313),
772-775, Feb. 28, 1991.
The maximum CO2 reduction calculated by a box model, about 100 ppm, is
unlikely to be achieved in practice because of various constraints. Concluded
that the ecological effects need evaluation, and that the most effective and
reliable strategy to reduce future increases in atmospheric CO2 is control of
"Ironing Out Greenhouse Effects," R.S. Keir (GEOMAR,
Christian-Albrechts Univ., Wischhofstr. 1-3, 2300 Kiel 14, Ger.), Nature,
p. 198, Jan 17, 1991. Discusses the implications of the following paper,
concluding that neither iron fertilization nor any other method of CO2
sequestration can be considered a serious alternative for reducing CO2 levels.
"Dynamical Limitations on the Antarctic Iron Fertilization Strategy,"
T.-H. Peng (Environ. Sci. Div., Oak Ridge Nat. Lab., Oak Ridge TN 37831), W.S.
Broecker, ibid., 227-229. Examined the dynamical effects of the proposal
with a box model and concluded that after 100 years of totally successful
fertilization, the atmospheric CO2 content would be lowered by only 10 + or -
"Iron Availability, Nitrate Uptake and Exportable New Production in
the Subarctic Pacific," K. Banse (Sch. Oceanog., WB-10, Univ. Washington,
Seattle WA 98195), J. Geophys. Res., 96(C1), 741-748, Jan. 15,
1991. Rates of nitrate uptake in bioassays from the Gulf of Alaska by Martin et
al. are reinterpreted. The export to depth of new organic material (and hence of
CO2) is not predictable from assays in small containers.
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