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Is Iron the Missing Piece in the Fight Against Global Warming?

Is Iron the Missing Piece in the Fight Against Global Warming?

By on Feb 19, 2020 in Uses of Iron

The world is facing a common enemy; global warming. As the effects of global warming continue to manifest, scientists think iron, the most common mineral on earth could be holding the key to solving this puzzle.

Scientific think tanks have put across proposals, and this could be all we have to slay this enemy. By adding iron into the oceans, scientists say this could help in reducing carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, thereby bringing down temperatures. This idea isn’t new since it has been there for close to four decades but not so much has been done about it. The idea isn’t as complicated as it seems though.

Plants depend on iron to thrive. Ideally, when the iron is dumped into the oceans, the plants in there, which are an essential source of food for marine life, get to feed on the iron, when they flourish, they, in turn, take in carbon dioxide through photosynthesis. This process, therefore, brings down the temperatures, as carbon dioxide has been blamed for the rising greenhouse effect.

The few dumping trials have proved this idea successful. Still, there have been counter-arguments showing that as much as this might be a good thing, it could lead to other challenges.

It is also not clear how long marine plants store carbon dioxide. There are concerns too that dumping iron in oceans could lead to an increase in gases such as methane and nitrous oxide, which are also detrimental to the environment. Some of the marine plants have also been said to produce harmful chemicals which have adverse effects on the ozone layer.