No to Iron Fertilisation

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Iron fertilisation —sprinkling iron in the sea to spur the growth of carbonabsorbing phytoplankton— can turn water toxic.

The method used to combat global warming can spur growth of toxic alga Pseudonitzschia thought to be limited to coasts. Scientists have found they are common in open sea.

They are highly responsive to iron, becoming dominant in algal blooms. They generate toxic domoic acid which kills marine life.


Down To Earth, December 2010