Iron is important!

Hi everyone from the James Cook!

A special hello to Ava TS and Anthony W in Miss Dornan’s class who asked me why iron is important to animals and plants

and also a special hello to Ben and Francis in Mrs Brierley’s class who asked me how we measure the strength of the iron

Iron is really important to the plants in the sea, without it they would not be able to grow and the animals that feed on the plants would have nothing to eat!

Plants do not have to eat anything and instead they grow by using the energy of the sun in a special process called ‘photosynthesis’. This means that with enough sun, there is the chance for plants to grow. Iron plays a really important role in photosynthesis and so if there is not enough iron, the plants cannot grow.

On land, there is lots of iron, so it does not really affect the growth of plants so much.  But in the sea things are different and iron is really low. This is why we need to understand how much iron is added by the deep sea volcanoes!

This is the special machine we use to collect bottles of seawater to measure how much iron is there

Because the iron levels are low in the sea, we need to be very careful that we measure them properly. We carry the bottles into a special clean room to collect the water into little bottles.

Scientists carry the bottles from the machine to the clean room (the white box at the end of the deck)

When the little bottles in the clean room are filled they are taken back to the main laboratory. In there we have built a special ‘bubble’ to make sure nothing gets into the water.

The Clean bubble!

Inside the bubble, scientists measure the strength of the iron very carefully!

My friend David, who is measuring the iron. Can you see the little bottles next to his right hand? They contain the seawater collected in the big bottles!

So far the scientists are doing a great job and we already know that some of the volcanoes are adding a lot of iron to the ocean! Great for the plants!!

A nice sunset from Thursday the 18th of January