Rapid Plankton Growth In Ocean Seen As Sign Of Carbon Dioxide Loading
(Click to enlarge) A ferry crewman works with gear used in the Continuous Plankton Recorder survey, an ongoing study of plankton in the North Atlantic and North Sea launched by a British marine biologist in the early 1930s.
(Credit: Sir Alister Hardy Foundation for Ocean Science)
A microscopic marine alga is thriving in the North Atlantic to an extent that defies scientific predictions, suggesting swift environmental change as a result of increased carbon dioxide in the ocean, a study led a by Johns Hopkins University scientist has found.
(From Science Daily) — What these findings mean remains to be seen, however, as does whether the rapid growth in the tiny plankton’s population is good or bad news for the planet. Published in the journal Science, the study details a tenfold increase in the abundance of single-cell coccolithophores between 1965 and 2010, and a particularly sharp spike since the late 1990s in the population of these pale-shelled floating phytoplankton. “Something strange is happening here, and it’s happening much more quickly than we thought it should,” said Anand Gnanadesikan, associate professor in the Morton K. Blaustein Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences at Johns Hopkins and one of the study’s five authors.
Read the full article here: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/11/151127101724.htm