Reducing Atmospheric CO2 by Iron Induced

The Objective

Iron seeding has been proposed as a solution to global warming. Iron seeding would cause a phytoplankton bloom which would absorb more atmospheric CO2. The objective of this project was to create a computer model to see if the phytoplankton bloom would use up CO2 and if the amount of CO2 removed from the atmosphere would be a substantial amount and if the phytoplankton bloom would cause a bloom in other organisms thus disrupting the ecosystem.

Methods/Materials

The model was created using Starlogo TNG, a graphical programming language.

Results

After a simulated seeding, a phytoplankton bloom was produced that absorbed excess CO2 but realistic parameters could not be found that would produce a bloom as big as that observed in experiments and neither the modeled bloom nor the experimental bloom was large enough to reverse global warming.

Starlogo was not able to directly link the phytoplankton bloom to changes in the ecosystem (e.g. copepod populations).

Separate programs had to be used.

Conclusions/Discussion

My model suggested that iron seeding could not reduce CO2 enough to reduce global warming. However, it was decided that a more complex model would be needed to make accurate predictions on how effective iron seeding is and if it would disturb the fragile ecosystem.

A computer model was created to see if iron seeding in the open ocean could cause a phytoplankton bloom that would fix enough CO2 to reverse global warming.

Science Fair Project done By Beverly S. Levene

 

 

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