19 Jul '12, 11am

A Way to Trap Carbon Deep in the Ocean

A Way to Trap Carbon Deep in the Ocean

Marina Montresor SZN/Alfred Wegener Institute Once fertilized with iron, this algal bloom, dominated by the chains of the spiny diatom Chaetoceros, sinks to the ocean bottom and can store carbon there. After an eight-year analysis, an international team of scientists has announced a breakthrough in the understanding of how algae and iron interact to sequester atmospheric carbon. By adding iron to the ocean, the researchers induced a massive algal bloom. A significant portion died and sank to the ocean floor, carrying its sequestered carbon along with it to the depths. The finding contributes to science’s understanding of the global carbon cycle and has implications for potential ways of mitigating rising levels of carbon dioxide, which contributes to climate change. “Phytoplankton blooms are all over, but their fate was not previously known,” said Victor Smetacek , a biolo...

Full article: http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/07/19/a-way-to-trap-c...

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