Nope not in the solar system, a little closer to home. Without a hint of nepotism I am very pleased to announce that one of our newest visiting fellows, a certain Dr Robert Strzepek, is this moment in Auckland as part of the team accepting the Prime Minister’s Science Prize. As part of a collaboration between the University of Otago and NIWA (National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research), the team have for the past decade been at the forefront of research on the effect of iron fertilization on ocean productivity, and subsequent CO2 drawdown.
Their large scale field experiments have not only been seen from space, they have demonstrated that phytoplankton can indeed contribute to the large swings in atmospheric Co2 (See Biological Pump) seen through geological time. However, they have also demonstrated that iron fertilization is NOT a geoengineering solution. In fact, the production of more harmful greenhouse gases like nitrous oxide, means that the solution could end up being a cause. Personally I think it is wonderful that for once, the ocean sciences have been recognised above the more anthropocentric disciplines…..our science matters too you know.
Okay I’ve remained composed, can I gush now?