German – Indian CO2 capture experiment

“After just four days, the team observed a significant increase in algae,” said Bathmann. “It was a surprise that they reproduced so quickly.”

In the previous experiments, it took 10 to 14 days for this to happen. The haptophytes had responded to fertilization most.

“Other algae types barely increased or did not increase at all,” he said.

Haptophytes are common in coastal waters and blooms sometimes lead to them washing up on beaches as a foam. Tiny animals, the zooplankton, feed on them.

“Those organisms will eat a large part of the algae,” said the scientist, explaining that the zooplankton would breathe the carbon dioxide back into the surface water, instead of the gas sinking as dead algae to the ocean bottom.

“At the moment, the algae are reproducing faster that than the zooplankton can eat them,” he said. “The exciting question in the next few weeks will be how much of the algae will be left over.

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