Adding iron to the ocean does result in phytoplankton growth, potentially taking up carbon in the process. But the future of the method was never very bright, as we can glean from the early history of the concept,which I’ll discuss in an upcoming post.
New research buttresses concerns that have been around from the idea’s inception. A recent report in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, aptly titled “Blooming Algae May Contaminate Ocean” states that
researchers examined water samples obtained during iron enrichment experiments conducted in the subarctic North Pacific Ocean
and found that the scheme
would likely favor the growth of Pseudo nitzschia, a genus of phytoplankton that produces a component of the neurotoxin that causes Amnesic Shellfish Poisoning