Failure to tackle rising greenhouse gas emissions effectively has led to intensifying debate on geoengineering – deliberate large-scale schemes to slow the rate at which Earth is heating up.
The public debate often mixes opinion with fact so scientists have now released the first summary for policymakers on ocean fertilization, one of the earliest geoengineering proposals.
The authors report that the chances of success of using ocean fertilization to deal with climate change is minimal.
Ocean fertilization involves adding iron or other nutrients to the surface of the ocean to trigger growth of microscopic marine plants. These plants use dissolved carbon dioxide to grow, which led to the idea that deliberate fertilization of the ocean on a large scale would remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.
Lead author of the report Professor Doug Wallace from the Leibniz-Institut f