Argument: Iron-fertilized algae blooms deplete nutrients in ecosystems

Issue Report: Geoengineering, iron fertilization of algae blooms


“A scientific critique of oceanic iron fertilization as a climate change mitigation strategy”. Greenpeace Research Laboratories. September 2007 – “Iron fertilization results in other essential nutrients, such as nitrates, phosphates ad silicates, being used up as the phytoplankton bloom progresses. Consequently, this could result in a reduction of these nutrients down-current from an iron- fertilized area. In turn, a lack of nutrients would cause a negative impact on phytoplankton down-current resulting in a reduction in overall biological productivity. This would be likely to have a knock-on negative impact on all other marine life because phytoplankton underpin the marine food web. Indeed, because of this phenomenon, modeling studies have predicted that commercial-scale iron fertilization of the oceans could have a significant detrimental impact on important fisheries.”