Iron in Sahara dust shown to produce massive Bahama carbon sink with similar effects proposed in ocean regions around the world.
A great mystery about how CO2 in ocean water is converted into solid carbonates is solved which in turn explains the formation of vast regions of carbonate geology on the world’s seabeds.
This post was inspired by a terrific new and important paper that speaks to the role of Saharan dust, the iron and other mineral micronutrients it carries to the ocean, and how this results in a new explanation of the power and potency of ocean photosynthesis in regulating global CO2.
The dust that blows from land to the oceans proves to have yet another powerful mechanism through which in partnership with ocean pastures and their phyto-plankton it works to manage global CO2. This time the cyanobacteria/blue-green algae are stimulated to fix nitrogen which fuels plankton blooms and directly causes the precipitation and sinking of carbonate minerals sending vast quantities of CO2 to the seabed.
However dust reaching the oceans and the iron it carries is in dramatic decline!
To make matters worse (from the oceans point of view) our high and rising CO2 improves plant growth on land producing much improved “ground cover” around the world which in turn by covering the ground is preventing dust from blowing out to sea where missing dust and minerals especially iron is the death knell for ocean pastures and their plankton blooms.
The solution to our own and Mother Natures deadly dilemma is of course for us to simple do the right thing. We must and we can restore and revive vital ocean pastures and their phyto-plankton by giving back to them the dust we are denying them. This is amazingly effective, immediately deployable, inexpensive, proven in real ocean large scale work, methodology and technology comes with the bonus that it begins with the fact that it BRINGS BACK THE FISH, billions of fish to feed our children (feeding the kids, that’s proven too!)
There is a fine write up in FORBES magazine 27 July 2014 about the iron clad proof of CO2 sequestration for geologic time and about my work in this field.