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Oct. 7, 2009 -- The red dust storm that dumped thousands of tons of soil across eastern Australia two weeks ago has caused an explosion in microscopic life in Sydney Harbor and beyond.
Researchers analyzing the impact say the finding validates plans to increase fish stocks to feed some of the world's poorest people using ocean fertilization.
Measurements taken at the Sydney Institute of Marine Science on the harbor's north shore show a tripling of microscopic plant life, or phytoplankton, at the Chowder Bay site and in samples taken 10 kilometers off shore.
The scientists measure the presence of phytoplankton using remote sensing technology that can detect chlorophyll in the plants, which form the base of the ocean food chain.
Jones said phytoplankton needs nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphate to grow, nutrients that are scarce in what he calls Australia's "desert" ocean waters, but were abundant in the topsoil that blew across the country.
Originally posted by OzWeatherman
reply to post by Aggie Man
The dust storm wasnt due to global warming
Its started just west of here...guess where I live? In the desert...deserts are supposed to be dry
Nice thread though, very interesting on how the dust has increased marine life
They want to inject 2.5 tons of urea into the ocean to increase the amount of phytoplankton in a controlled area.
He said a continuously nourished patch of water about 20 kilometers in diameter could double the income of artisan fishermen in countries such as Morocco, and provide a constant source of protein to local people.
"All this while storing 10 million tons per year of carbon dioxide in the deep ocean," he said.