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Matt Drexler

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Affect climate change and carbon dioxide levels by managing the carbon-fixing ability of phytoplankton in the world's oceans.

The best solution for climate change, as it relates to carbon dioxide levels, would be to increase nature's ability to do what it has done for billions of years. The producers of earth have the ability to fix carbon at a rapid rate. Earth has an ocean surface of approximately 70%. Plankton blooms in aquatic ecology often occur in 2-4 week burst during optimal times of the year when Nitrogen and Phosphorus are present at high enough concentration. When nature's fertilizer runs out, the organisms stop their microbial life cycles till the next year. Even with these short burst of activity, plankton bloom annual consumption of CO2 is enormous. We need to study these systems more, extend their productivity, or possibly create our own "managed" blooms of aquatic producers. When the period of growth is over, the organisms die and fall as detritus to the currents or to the ocean floor. We all learned in school that plants need water, carbon dioxide, and sunlight to do photosynthesis. Well, then why isn't the deep ocean green full of producers? We should make them more green with producers by fertilizing them. Unintended eutrophication has been causing problematic dead zones along shorelines, seas, and gulf areas for decades. This overgrowth however is an aid in lowering CO2 levels. We need to take the knowledge we've acquired from studying these phenomenon in rivers, shores, bays, gulf areas, and seas, and take it to the deep ocean where it can be "managed" to be the largest carbon sequestering operation on planet earth.

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