Journal Star, Peoria, Monday, Sept. 12, 1994 SciTech Briefs, Study: Ocean iron helped boos

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Journal Star, Peoria, Monday, Sept. 12, 1994 Sci-Tech Briefs, Study: Ocean iron helped boost climate NEW YORK -- Results of an experiment that added iron to a 25-square-mile patch of the Pacific Ocean bolster the hypothesis that oceanic iron supply influenced ancient climate, a researcher says. The iron increased the amount of photosynthesis by tiny floating plants called phytoplankton, Kenneth Coale and other scientists report in the Sept. 8 issue of the journal Nature. Photosynthesis consumes carbon dioxide, a so-called greenhouse gas that promotes warming. In the past, the hypothesis suggests, iron blowing continually into some parts of the ocean in dust from deserts or volcanoes encouraged photosynthesis, leading to drawdowns of atmospheric carbon dioxide that, in turn, led to colder climate. Previous research shows that ice ages were associated with more arid regions, more windblown iron, higher amounts of ocean photosynthesis and lower carbon dioxide levels than warmer periods were, said Coale, of Moss Landing Marine Laboratories in Moss Landing, Calif. The new experiment was conducted about 300 miles south of the Galapagos Islands, in one of several large ocean areas where scientists suspected that photosynthesis was being hindered by lack of iron. Coale said the work was not intended to support a proposal to dump iron in the ocean to head off global warming, an idea he called irresponsible and infeasible. END OF TEXT I thought this might give some new perspective on the Earth's previous Ice Ages. An interesting article in my view, so I hope people find it provocative. Stan Zaske Peoria, IL.

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