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Biotech

Submission + - Fertilizing the sea with iron (palomar.edu)

Gerard J. Pinzone writes: A little over ten years ago, oceanographer John Martin proclaimed, "Give me a half tanker of iron, and I will give you an ice age."

These inflammatory words centered around a theory known as the iron hypothesis. Martin professed that by sprinkling a relatively small amount of iron into certain areas of the ocean, one could create large blooms of algae. He believed the growth in algae could take in so much carbon from the atmosphere that they could reverse the greenhouse effect and cool the Earth. Years after his death, a series of experiments proved his theory and raised the possibility of using this technique to combat global warming.

The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution recently held a symposium on this topic. A downloadable webcast will be available soon.

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