Thursday, June 25, 2009

The Geritol Solution (final)

So, what are these "loose ends" that need tying up. The information in the past two blogs raises questions for me that cannot be answered until the oceans are seeded and the data collected and analyzed. By this time, if something has gone wrong, it may be too late to reverse. Worse yet, we may not have enough time left to allow Mother Nature to reverse the damage we will have done to her.

The concerns/questions this leaves me with are:

We are seeding the oceans with additional iron to force unseasonal algal blooms in the hopes that the phytoplankton will take the CO2 they have taken from the atmosphere, turn it into organic material, and take it to the sea bottom as they die.

1. What if the phytoplankton does not manage to take the organic material to the ocean floor; but, instead is eaten before it has a chance to sink? What are the ramifications of this scenario?

2. Will additional phytoplankton, food for many levels of the aquatic food chain, cause an imbalance in fish species? Will one or two species thrive on the additional, out-of-season food windfall to the detriment of other species? What new problems will this cause?

3. Since the plankton blooms will be out-of-season, will they become HABs (harmful algal blooms)? Harmful Algal Bloom (HAB) can occur when certain types of microscopic algae grow quickly in water, forming visible patches that may harm the health of the environment, plants, or animals.

4. Many fish species feed with the first couple ocean layers; and, could be in danger of ingesting some of this iron dust in their normal feeding habits. What health problems could be brought on by overingestion of iron dust?

5. If alot of the organic matter makes it to the ocean bed to decompose, could this excess of organic matter eventually smothering the ocean floor it lays on causing an oxygen-deprived zone on the seabed? What effect would this have on bottom-dwelling ocean life? What about decomposition of dead marine species who depend on bottom-dwellers, such as hag fish, to help the process along?

6. Will areas of forced algal bloom cause oxygen-depletion in surrounding waters while the bloom is active? Could this change fish migration and/or movement?

7. Will the additional seeded iron and the algal blooms it can cause, cause a depletion in other minerals, etc. needed for a healthy aquatic environment? If so, what will we do then?

I think there comes a times when you stop tinkering with Mother Nature and let her get on with her job!!

1 comment:

kathi said...

Okay, but that was only one of the 4 possible scenarios that the Time Magazine article mentioned for harnessing the seas to reduce CO2 in atmosphere. Two of the others were salt splitting (also involves problems with sea life being killed where water taken in and let out) and these huge filters for outside with fuel reclamation when full. I can dig up article and find the 4th idea. I was very interested that people were working on new ways to lessen global warming.