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Science. 2004 Apr 16;304(5669):414-7.

The effects of iron fertilization on carbon sequestration in the Southern Ocean.

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  • 1Department of Marine Chemistry and Geochemistry, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Woods Hole, MA 02543, USA.


An unresolved issue in ocean and climate sciences is whether changes to the surface ocean input of the micronutrient iron can alter the flux of carbon to the deep ocean. During the Southern Ocean Iron Experiment, we measured an increase in the flux of particulate carbon from the surface mixed layer, as well as changes in particle cycling below the iron-fertilized patch. The flux of carbon was similar in magnitude to that of natural blooms in the Southern Ocean and thus small relative to global carbon budgets and proposed geoengineering plans to sequester atmospheric carbon dioxide in the deep sea.

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