geoengineering explained: the benefits and challenges of ocean fertilization

Ocean fertilization is an untested carbon dioxide sequestration (CDR) technique that involves dissolving nitrates or iron into the water which will encourage an increase in carbon uptake by phytoplankton. After the plankton blooms, it dies and then sinks to the ocean floor where the carbon will be stored as sedimentary rock.



  • Relatively safe
  • Will slow the rate of ocean acidification
  • Does not directly change the actively changing climate, rather it slows future climate change
  • Will alter marine systems creating new potential problems
  • Will cause and/or accelerate ocean eutrophication


see also:

Question: What is geoengineering?

Albedo Enhancement

Space Reflectors
Stratospheric Aerosols

Ambient Air Capture
Bioenergy Capture and Sequestration
Ocean Fertilization
Enhanced Weathering
Ocean Alkalinity Enhancement

The Editors of Encyclopædia Britannica. (2014). Ocean Fertilization. Retrieved from
LePage, M. (2012, September 20). The pros and cons of geoengineering. Retrieved from