There’s been stuff around for years about how we might beat climate change with iron fertilisation of the oceans. The only argument has ever been over how expensive/efficient it would be.
Now there’s been the work done to look at another potential addition to the ocean:
Sprinkling billions of tonnes of mineral dust across the oceans could quickly remove a vast quantities of climate-warming carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, according to a new study.
The oceans already dissolve billions of tonnes of silicate minerals which flow into the oceans in the sediment carried by rivers. Adding more silicate would alter the species of plankton that grew in the oceans, said Köhler. “Silicate is a limiting nutrient for diatoms, a specific class of phytoplankton. The added silicate would shift the species composition within phytoplankton towards diatoms.”
Indeed it is and when it does dissolve it forms silicic acid.
You are absolutely correct. There are only certain parts of the oceans where iron is the one missing nutrient. So this can only be done in certain parts of the oceans.
The next necessary experiment is to look at adding silicic acid as well. Another missing nutrient for diatoms in certain parts of the oceans.
Who knew, eh? The comments section at Forbes is 6 months ahead of Environmental Research Letters.