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Greening the oceans

03/29/2022 9:14 AM

Most of the oceans far from shore is basically a dead desert of sorts.There is not enough iron in the water to start the food chain.Attempts have been made to fertilize the waters,but the iron quickly sinks to the bottom and is useless.

Plastic floats on top of the water,and will not sink,so why not apply fine iron powder to the plastic garbage patches to encourage the beginning of a food chain there?

I have see volley balls with crustaceans growing on them,eventually they will sink and take the stored carbon with them.

The phytoplankton,which are the base of the food chain, merely need a place to start,the rest will follow.

Constructive comments are always welcome.

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#1

Re: Greening the oceans

03/29/2022 12:05 PM

As I see it, the challenge is how to go from a "human scale" to an "earth scale" project.

It would seem to make more sense to "seed" an area of the ocean closer to our food chains. Artificial reefs are one way to seed a "desert" in the seas.

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#2

Re: Greening the oceans

03/29/2022 1:16 PM

..."John Gribbin was the first scientist to publicly suggest that climate change could be reduced by adding large amounts of soluble iron to the oceans.[7] Martin's 1988 quip four months later at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, "Give me a half a tanker of iron and I will give you an ice age,"[6][8][9] drove a decade of research.

The findings suggested that iron deficiency was limiting ocean productivity and offered an approach to mitigating climate change as well. Perhaps the most dramatic support for Martin's hypothesis came with the 1991 eruption of Mount Pinatubo in the Philippines. Environmental scientist Andrew Watson analyzed global data from that eruption and calculated that it deposited approximately 40,000 tons of iron dust into oceans worldwide. This single fertilization event preceded an easily observed global decline in atmospheric CO2 and a parallel pulsed increase in oxygen levels.[10]"...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iron_fertilization

You could trap tidal water in an inlet and release it to the ocean floor causing an upwelling of the warmer nutrient rich water due to turbulence on the ocean floor....

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#3
In reply to #2

Re: Greening the oceans

03/29/2022 1:49 PM

I realize that the fertilizer must be used in a controlled manner,and a long way from shoreline to prevent a toxic algae bloom,which can be caused by runoff from farms,etc.

The problem with the original idea that you referred to was the iron sinking to the bottom before it had much effect.

Dispersing it onto the plastics would allow a slow release into the water,as well as possible capturing some of the micro plastics.When enough organisms accumulate on the plastic,it would sink to the bottom,carrying carbon and plastic with it.

The very small phytoplankton have a huge effect on global temperature.

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#4
In reply to #3

Re: Greening the oceans

03/29/2022 2:44 PM

"The problem with the original idea that you referred to was the iron sinking to the bottom before it had much effect."

The supply would be prolonged though, not a one time shot, every 12 hours the tide replenishes the supply...The problem is building such a mechanism and testing the results would take a lot of time and money.. .Remember every action that we take is going to have unintended consequences as well...and you would probably want varied discharge locations and finding the richest seabed iron deposits would be a challenge...the details such as discharge angle and water temperature etc would all have to be studied for years...Maybe we could just coat the hulls of ships with ablating iron deposits somehow...or maybe we could invent a bacteria that would convert iron to the water soluble variety most conducive to growth....but then what if this led to destruction of iron deposits...sometimes it's best to just leave nature alone....

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#5
In reply to #2

Re: Greening the oceans

03/29/2022 5:40 PM

Iron fertilization, in some cases may become ineffective, when "greedy phytoplankton" absorb more iron than they need and take it to the ocean bottom.

Sometimes lifeforms don't do what you want them to do...

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/06/130612144833.htm

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#6
In reply to #5

Re: Greening the oceans

03/29/2022 7:53 PM

I guess we should just leave the plastic garbage patch alone then.The idea was to help sink the plastic while fertilizing the area,two birds with one stone.

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#7
In reply to #4

Re: Greening the oceans

03/29/2022 7:56 PM

I was not thinking of seabed iron deposits,I was thinking of terrestrial iron finely powdered and sifted, and treated to be water soluble,sprinkled in the plastic garbage patches.

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#8
In reply to #6

Re: Greening the oceans

03/29/2022 8:30 PM

What makes you think the water soluble iron solution would somehow stick to the plastic? Anybody can think up ways to spend money, it's having proof of concept profitability that drives innovation...

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#9

Re: Greening the oceans

03/30/2022 1:43 AM

Plastics are different from one another, and most do not float, including beverage bottles (PET), conduit and construction pipe (rigid PVC), parts of cars/boats/planes (polyesters, ABS, nylons, flex PVC) and CDs and glazing (polycarbonates, acrylic). What floats are polyethylene and polypropylene films, household chemical bottles, and anything foamed. The biggest source of ocean plastics is discarded fishing equpment (nets). some floating (PP) and some sinking (nylons).

None of these are biotoxic, although the general public wants to think they are. Nor can they be digested by human or fish, which belies the popular but bio-impossible image of people being poisoned by eating plastic-eating fish. Naturals like viruses, breakdown products of degradables, and bad weather are more dangerous.

So the garbage patches, which are very far away from people and contain other things than plastics, may not be as effective a source of human food as farming of fish, shrimp and more, as already done.

I don't want to see waste of anything, but singling out "plastic pollution" is deflecting to get minimal disruption to our lifestyles. Big issue in itself, too big for here.

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#10

Re: Greening the oceans

03/30/2022 2:57 AM

Easy way is to park all the disused cruise ships made redundant by the lack of sea travel caused by the pandemic and let them slowly rust away. Of course the byproduct of this would be some nations would be deprived of a livelihood of cutting up the ships and selling the steel back to us.

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#11
In reply to #8

Re: Greening the oceans

03/30/2022 8:40 AM

If this,or other methods can reduce carbon in the atmosphere,perhaps carbon credits could held defray the cost or more research in this area.

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#12
In reply to #9

Re: Greening the oceans

03/30/2022 8:54 AM

I am not referring to a fish-farm type industry,the main idea is to increase carbon capture from the atmosphere.

The idea was to increase phyto plankton near the surface of the water,then take carbon to the bottom when they die,thereby sequestering the carbon.

Micro-plastics have been found in human blood,so that too is a problem.

If they are in the blood,they will be surely in the organs,and the long term effects are currently unknown.It is unknown at the present time, whether they can pass the brain/blood barrier.

https://www.weforum.org/videos/microplastics-found-in-human-blood

We are what we eat,and what we consume also eats,from the bottom of the food chain on up.

Perhaps our bodies will evolve to handle it,and our poop will exit our bodies wrapped in a skin,like bananas.No more hoarding the toilet paper.

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#13
In reply to #8

Re: Greening the oceans

03/30/2022 9:01 AM

What makes you think it will not stick;Only one way to find out:Experiments in the lab to determine the best methods or feasibility.

Perhaps a method to "puff" the iron to increase float time.

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#14

Re: Greening the oceans

03/30/2022 9:03 AM

Don't you think there is enough decaying iron in the oceans from ships, trains, old military equipment,without adding more pollution? What we need to do is grow more seaweed to reduce methane and create kelp forest to soak in carbon and methane.It stays natural and prevents more problems from human interference's. There is enough proof to show we have no idea how to fix anything on this planet, so why start on the oceans and seas?

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#15
In reply to #14

Re: Greening the oceans

03/30/2022 9:10 AM

The sunken iron is below the light zone where the pyto plankton live.They do not provide iron to nourish the phyto plankton at or near the surface.The phyto plankton,though very small,can absorb more carbon that the seaweed or kelp,and over a larger area.

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#16
In reply to #15

Re: Greening the oceans

03/30/2022 11:13 AM

Seems the experiment has been done already and it was not a great success. Pretty much hypothesis and guess work from what I read.

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#17
In reply to #16

Re: Greening the oceans

03/30/2022 12:17 PM

I would be interested in reading the results of that experiment.

Can you provide a link,or is it something "They" said?

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#18
In reply to #17

Re: Greening the oceans

03/30/2022 2:51 PM

https://news.mit.edu/2020/oceans-iron-not-impact-climate-change-0217

Do a search, there is lots of info and it all suggest its a time waste and has consequences for other seas and oceans.. What you do to one side, screws up the other side, as simple as that. 'We should not tread where angels fear to tread'.

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#19
In reply to #18

Re: Greening the oceans

03/30/2022 3:03 PM

'We should not tread go where angels fear to tread'.

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#20
In reply to #19

Re: Greening the oceans

03/30/2022 4:04 PM

Thank you.

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#21
In reply to #18

Re: Greening the oceans

03/30/2022 5:14 PM

Thanks for the link.I am now enlightened.

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#22
In reply to #12

Re: Greening the oceans

04/01/2022 1:01 AM

Your ideas are very popular. Plastics are all very different, but their molecules are all far too big to pass through the intestinal walls and are not chemically broken down, so are indigestible. What troubles me is the appeal of this image (plastics in blood). Popular images don't become and stay popular for no reason. No matter that this logic says we can have microfibers of onion or beef muscle in our blood after eating a hamburger, which is not a popular belief. The need for illogic is off topic here, but it's a key to understanding the images of plastics and synthetics.

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#23
In reply to #22

Re: Greening the oceans

04/01/2022 5:13 AM

Microplastics are everywhere — but are they harmful?

https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-021-01143-3

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