The Iron Wedge and a Climate on the Edge: The potential for artificial iron fertilisation of the Southern Ocean as a viable carbon dioxide mitigation strategy
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree LevelPostgraduate Certificate
Degree NamePostgraduate Certificate in Antarctic Studies
Although it still remains a misunderstood concept amongst the majority of the world’s population, ‘climate change’ is a term which sticks in the minds of people from all walks of life. Scientists have proven that CO2 levels in the atmosphere are increasing due to anthropogenic activity, although it remains uncertain just how much of an effect this increase may have in the future, due to the lag time associated with the increase and the consequent response. Countless mitigation schemes have been put forward that could be used either to cut down the amounts of CO2 entering the atmosphere, or alternatively remove significant amounts of CO2 using the worlds natural carbon sinks. Terrestrial ecosystems are thought to be the largest sink, fixing 1 – 2 tonnes of carbon per km2 annually through photosynthesis (Myers and Kent 2005). In the past, it has been assumed that oceans have a minor role to play in the carbon cycle, contributing only to small carbon fluxes. It has since been proven that the ocean has the potential to hold up to sixty times more inorganic carbon than the atmosphere (Bathmann et al. 2000). The ocean’s role in the carbon cycle is illustrated below.