Some scientists were already skeptical about adding iron to the oceans due to the unknown impact the process could have on the ocean and the thought that it may only decrease carbon-dioxide levels temporarily. In 2007, another chemist at WHOI said, “While there is still no agreement on the efficiency of [carbon-dioxide] reduction or its environmental impacts, some scientists are willing to consider further experiments to address these remaining uncertainties, given that future policies and carbon-offset markets may emerge with or without a sound scientific basis,” and this recent study did just that.
Now I am going to stand on my soap box. I think we as humans have a responsibility to interfere when we are deliberately hurting the environment but it can be prevented (such as poaching, overfishing, deforestation, etc.); however, sometimes I think we need to just let nature do its thing. The earth has an ebb and flow of heating and cooling, productivity and sterility, a series of highs and lows trying to create a balance. For some reason humans think we can affect the balance for our benefit but what says by pumping the oceans full of iron to reduce something bad we don’t actually end up producing something worse when nature tries to compensate for our actions. Humans don’t think in an earthly timescale, they think in a humanly timescale. The productivity boom after the ice age was produced over hundreds of years. I’m sure the people who want to pump the oceans with iron aren’t thinking of that kind of a timeline. They are thinking they will see results they’ll see immediately, which there may be A result immediately but THE result may not be for another hundred or thousand years. The statement by the WHOI chemist saying “future policies and carbon-offset markets may emerge with or without a sound scientific basis” is a perfect example of how politics are manipulating people who want to do good for the planet into doing things that may not be. If only we could just keep politics out of it.