Faulty figure


Estimates of the amount of iron dissolving into seawater around some of the world’s coasts may be drastically wrong. There is no standard, one-size-fits-all way to measure how much iron enters the water in different parts of the globe. A new study shows the amounts may vary by up to 10,000 times between one area and another, with profound implications for the impact of iron on the oceanic carbon cycle. Iron is key to CO2 removal from the atmosphere as it promotes the growth of phytoplankton or microscopic marine plants that mop up the greenhouse gas and lock it away in the oceans. The observation can help improve ocean-climate models.


Down to Earth, August, 2013