delivering contingent wisdom modeling calibrated insights aggregating predictive wisdom forecasting calibrated futures predicting precise futures mapping the future mapping quantitative forecasts mapping contingent understanding composing critical contingencies aggregating intelligent contingencies aggregating quantitative predictions formulating predictive wisdom crowdsourcing calibrated predictions aggregating quantitative contingencies


Metaculus Help: Spread the word

If you like Metaculus, tell your friends! Share this question via Facebook, Twitter, or Reddit.

Will an ocean be fertilised with at least 50 tonnes of iron, as part of a single geoengineering effort, by the end of 2023?

Iron fertilisation is the introduction of iron to iron-poor areas of the ocean surface to stimulate phytoplankton production to thereby draw carbon out of the atmosphere and into the ocean. Phytoplankton converts some of the CO2 dissolved in the ocean into biomass, which is then transported into deep sea by ocean circulation and gravity; effectively resulting in the long-term sequestering of carbon (Yoon et al., 2018).

Researchers worldwide have conducted 13 major iron-fertilization experiments in the open ocean since 1990 (Tollefson, 2017). All have sought to test whether stimulating phytoplankton growth can increase the amount of carbon dioxide that the organisms pull out of the atmosphere and deposit in the deep ocean when they die. Determining how much carbon is sequestered during such experiments has proved difficult, however, and scientists have raised concerns about potential adverse effects, such as toxic algal blooms.

Will an ocean be fertilised with at least 50 tonnes of iron, as part of a single geoengineering effort, by the end of 2023?

This question resolves positive if a single geoengineering effort to fertilise an ocean with the intention of stimulating biomass growth successfully introduces 50 tonnes of iron into an ocean by the end of 2023.

The fertiliser must contain the equivalent of 50 tonnes of iron, which contains 895335 moles of iron. Hence, fertilisers that contain compounds of iron must also contain at least 895335 moles of iron. For example, 136 tonnes of iron sulfate (FeSO4) contains roughly 895335 moles of iron. In the case the fertiliser is a mixture of different iron-containing compounds, the weight of iron shall be determined by the same method for the individual compounds multiplied by the fraction of its weight to total weight.

A single geoengineering effort is here defined as a project in which the relevant actors act on behalf of various organisations (e.g. national government, research organisation) that coordinate in precise terms on the employed geoengineering methods as well as the the extent to, and the duration for which these are to be deployed.


Metaculus help: Predicting

Predictions are the heart of Metaculus. Predicting is how you contribute to the wisdom of the crowd, and how you earn points and build up your personal Metaculus track record.

The basics of predicting are very simple: move the slider to best match the likelihood of the outcome, and click predict. You can predict as often as you want, and you're encouraged to change your mind when new information becomes available.

The displayed score is split into current points and total points. Current points show how much your prediction is worth now, whereas total points show the combined worth of all of your predictions over the lifetime of the question. The scoring details are available on the FAQ.

Note: this question resolved before its original close time. All of your predictions came after the resolution, so you did not gain (or lose) any points for it.

Note: this question resolved before its original close time. You earned points up until the question resolution, but not afterwards.

This question is not yet open for predictions.

Thanks for predicting!

Your prediction has been recorded anonymously.

Want to track your predictions, earn points, and hone your forecasting skills? Create an account today!

Track your predictions
Continue exploring the site

Community Stats

Metaculus help: Community Stats

Use the community stats to get a better sense of the community consensus (or lack thereof) for this question. Sometimes people have wildly different ideas about the likely outcomes, and sometimes people are in close agreement. There are even times when the community seems very certain of uncertainty, like when everyone agrees that event is only 50% likely to happen.

When you make a prediction, check the community stats to see where you land. If your prediction is an outlier, might there be something you're overlooking that others have seen? Or do you have special insight that others are lacking? Either way, it might be a good idea to join the discussion in the comments.

Embed this question

You can use the below code snippet to embed this question on your own webpage. Feel free to change the height and width to suit your needs.