It's All Based on Science
zone volcanic ash [SZVA] can fertilize the surface ocean and stimulate
phytoplankton growth. We find evidence of this process from
biogeochemical experiments and satellite data.
Svend Duggen, Peter Croot, Ulrike Schacht, and Linn Hoffmann,
GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH LETTERS, VOL. 34, L01612, doi:10.1029/2006GL027522,
zone volcanic ash has a substantial potential to alter the nutrient
budget of the surface ocean and to stimulate the growth of diatoms and
other phytoplankton in iron-limited and other low-productivity oceanic
areas. Hence, oceanic fertilization with SZVA may play a vital role for
the ocean-atmosphere gas interchange and ultimately the development of
the global climate."
Mesoscale Iron Enrichment Experiments 1993-2005: Synthesis and Future Directions
Science 2 February 2007: Vol. 315. no. 5812, pp. 612 - 617DOI:
P. W. Boyd,1* T. Jickells,2 C. S. Law,3 S. Blain,4 E. A. Boyle,5 K.
O. Buesseler,6 K. H. Coale,7 J. J. Cullen,8 H. J. W. de Baar,9 M.
Follows,5 M. Harvey,3 C. Lancelot,10 M. Levasseur,11 N. P. J. Owens,12
R. Pollard,13 R. B. Rivkin,14 J. Sarmiento,15 V. Schoemann,10 V.
Smetacek,16 S. Takeda,17 A. Tsuda,18 S. Turner,2 A. J. Watson2
the mid-1980s, our understanding of nutrient limitation of oceanic
primary production has radically changed. Mesoscale iron addition
experiments (FeAXs) have unequivocally shown that iron supply limits
production in one-third of the world ocean, where surface macronutrient
concentrations are perennially high. The findings of these 12 FeAXs also
reveal that iron supply exerts controls on the dynamics of plankton
blooms, which in turn affect the biogeochemical cycles of carbon,
nitrogen, silicon, and sulfur and ultimately influence the Earth climate
system. However, extrapolation of the key results of FeAXs to regional
and seasonal scales in some cases is limited because of differing modes
of iron supply in FeAXs and in the modern and paleo-oceans. New research
directions include quantification of the coupling of oceanic iron and