Profits, pollution, and politics all will play roles in ocean iron fertilization
Debating the idea of fertilizing the ocean with iron can feel a little like riding a seesaw.
On the up side is iron's eye-catching potential to set off enormous plankton blooms, triggering large reductions in atmospheric carbon dioxide. But further investigation reveals that marine ecosystems tenaciously recycle much of the carbon back into the air, rather than sequestering it in the deep ocean. Other inefficiencies and damaging side effects cut enthusiasm even more. Fertilizing the vast tracts of ocean required would be hard to achieve, making the prospect even less attractive.