Organizations Urge Caution on Ocean Fertilization Experiments



The idea of stimulating ocean primary production to draw down atmospheric carbon dioxide and/or enhance production at higher trophic levels is not new. However, recent proposals to fertilize the ocean with iron or urea as part of commercial carbon sequestration and/or food production schemes have stimulated the ocean science community to publish papers and other statements documenting the community's views on this topic [see Buesseler et al., 2008; Glibert et al., 2008]. While some are upbeat that commercial carbon sequestration through stimulating ocean primary production will help offset fossil fuel emissions, others worry that fertilizing the ocean will not result in the hoped for sequestration and/or will have significant adverse environmental consequences.