Posted on October 20, 2013 by Bob Berwyn
A new study suggests some cold water plankton species are not adapting to warming ocean temperatures. Photo courtesy NOAA.
Impacts to be felt up the food chain
By Summit Voice
FRISCO — After studying a 50-year record of plankton populations, scientists from the UK and Australia said a key cold-water plankton species in the North Atlantic shows no sign of adapting to warmer ocean temperatures. The findings could spell trouble for important commercial fisheries in the region, including cod and hake, which rely on the tiny plankton as a primary food source.
“There is overwhelming evidence that the oceans are warming and it will be the response of animals and plants to this warming that will shape how the oceans look in future years and the nature of global fisheries,” said Graeme Hays, professor of marine science at Deakin University (Warrnambool, Australia). (more…)
Filed under: climate and weather, Environment, global warming | Tagged: Environment, global warming, North Atlantic, oceans, Plankton | Leave a Comment »
Posted on September 18, 2013 by Bob Berwyn
Plankton is a crucial ingredient in the soup of life.
Volunteers needed to help assess distribution of tiny ocean organisms
By Summit Voice
FRISCO — With the world’s plankton facing an uncertain future, researchers want to use citizen scientists to expand their knowledge of the ocean’s tiniest, but vitally important lifeforms.
A new project will enable people to explore the open ocean from the comfort of their own homes, diving dive hundreds of feet, and observing the unperturbed ocean and the myriad animals that inhabit the earth’s last frontier.
Plankton are a key food source at the base of the ocean food chain and play a crucial role in the global carbon cycle. Some recent studies suggest that the warming and increasing acidification of oceans will result in big changes to plankton populations. (more…)
Filed under: biodiversity, Environment, Marine biology, ocean conservation | Tagged: biodiversity, Citizen science, marine biology, oceans, Plankton | Leave a Comment »
Posted on September 14, 2013 by Bob Berwyn
Evidence is growing that increasing levels of CO2 are going to have a fundamental impact on ocean plankton.
Changes likely to reduce oceans’ capacity to absorb carbon dioxide
By Summit Voice
FRISCO — In the great global warming experiment there will be winners and losers, and it looks like some of the tiniest plankton species will be among the winners — probably at the expense of larger species higher up the food chain.
Research off the coast of Svalbard, Norway in 2010 showed that the smallest plankton groups thrive at elevated carbon dioxide levels.
This could cause an imbalance in the food web as well as a decrease ocean CO2 uptake, an important regulator of global climate. The results of the study have been published in Biogeosciences, a journal of the European Geosciences Union. (more…)
Filed under: Arctic, climate and weather, Environment, global warming | Tagged: Arctic, carbon dioxide, ocean acidification, Plankton, Svalbard | 1 Comment »