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Iron in the Oceans

15 March 2012
Climate change

At www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/03/120313103853.htm … news that the Thera volcano (Santorini) is filling up with fresh magma – is it about to blow?

At www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/03/120313140434.htm … a paper in Nature Geoscience (March 11th, 2012) claims the presence of iron in the oceans has had a direct impact on biological productivity – affecting the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, and therefore atmospheric temperatures. Carbon in the oceans is vital for the growth of marine plants – primarily phyto-plankton, via photosynthesis. The authors seek to understand how much biological productivity occurred at different times in the past in order to determine (?) the amount of atmospheric co2 at various points in earth history. However, the magnitude of ocean biological productivity also depends on other key ingredients, it is argued, such as nitrogen, phosphorus and iron. In fact, it seems that biological productivity, it is being suggested, is inhibited by the amount of iron – a surprising discovery as iron occurs in much smaller amounts than the other ingredients. It is then we begin to see that this might all be another CAGW hoax as the new research is designed to breathe fresh life into a controversial theory – the 'Iron Hypothesis' of John Martin. He claimed biological productivity could be stimulated by increasing the amount of iron in the oceans. This, in his eyes was a good thing as this would draw down atmospheric co2 and he further argued, this process would contribute to a cooler world, and it had been one of the causes behind the Ice Ages. When earth was drier and more dustier there was more iron in the oceans, the hypothesis says, and it was drier and more dustier during certain parts of the last Ice Age – and during the Younger Dryas event. What is missing? Perhaps it is the fact that comets and streams of red iron dust trailing in their wake are not part of the equation.

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