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Hungry Shrimps Eat Climate Change Experiment
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Old 26th March 2009, 20:01   #1
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Default Hungry Shrimps Eat Climate Change Experiment

Earlier this month, an expedition fertilized 300 square kilometers of the Atlantic Ocean with six metric tons of dissolved iron. This triggered a bloom of phytoplankton, which doubled their biomass within two weeks by taking in carbon dioxide from the seawater. The dead phytoplankton were then expected to sink to the ocean bed, dragging carbon along with them. Instead the experiment turned into an example of how the food chain works as the bloom was eaten by a swarm of hungry copepods. The huge swarm of copepods were in turn eaten by larger crustaceans called amphipods, which are often eaten by squid and whales. "I think we are seeing the last gasps of ocean iron fertilization as a carbon storage strategy," says Ken Caldeira of the Carnegie Institution at Stanford University. While the experiment failed to show ocean fertilization as a viable carbon storage strategy, it has pushed the old "My dog ate my homework" excuse to an unprecedented level. (src: Slashdot)
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Old 26th March 2009, 20:51   #2
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Ahah! Had just watched a show about this exact carbon sequestering experiment... thank you for the article link!

Interesting to see the before & after side of this, and rather amusing result.
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Old 27th March 2009, 13:35   #3
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Wouldnt this still be a success? I mean the plankton had already absorbed the carbon. Instead of them dieing and bringing it to the ocean floor, something else ate it, then something ate that, then something ate that.. Eventually the last something will die and fall the the ocean floor. Wouldnt that sequester the carbon as expected? Maybe Im missing something..
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Old 27th March 2009, 18:32   #4
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last step in the foodchain, people eat the last fish
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