ground- water, geo- statistics, environmental- engineering, earth- science Updates for 2009-06-03

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Written by Claus

June 3rd, 2009 at 11:59 pm

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  1. Two short comments on “Plankton might consume less CO2 than previously thought”: (1) current estimates of primary production by plankton in the ocean are highly uncertain. Hence, the effect of fluorescence found by M. Behrenfeld (my co-advisor at Princeton) is much smaller than the uncertainty in currently available estimates. (2) The supposed link to geo-engineering as made by the author is of the blog post is complete nonsense! Primary production per se does not tell you anything about whether or not iron fertilization works. What you need is “export production”, i.e., the CO2 fixed by the plankton has to sink into the deep ocean. Simply stimulating production does not anything, since the CO2 is quickly regenerated by decomposition and released back into the atmosphere. Most studies suggest that iron fertilization stimulates production, but none have shown proof that a substantial portion of the additional production actually sinks into the deep ocean. Bottomline: iron fertilization most likely does NOT work against global warming AND it has nothing to do with the fluorescence stuff M. Behrenfeld discovered.


    8 Jun 09 at 9:45 pm

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