iron in the ocean

email excerpt: I can only relay one of the coolest things that happened in class on Wednesday: there are chunks of the ocean that have roughly the right proportion of the major nutrients for life except for iron, and there’s a theory that as there used to be many more whales, the whales used to eat stuff at depth before returning to surface and pooping. This pooping at the surface brought nutrients (and iron in particular, which mostly sinks) up from the depths to be used by other life at the surface, and scientists call this the Whale Pump. I was delighted.

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