Save the plankton!

Save the whales? Sure. Save the turtles? Ditto. But if we don’t save the plankton, all ocean species will be  history. Both zooplankton (tiny animals) and phytoplankton (tiny plants) are at the base of the food chain. Not only ocean species, but life on earth including humans depend on phytolankton. We may be able to remove fish from our diet but we can’t breathe without oxygen. One half of our oxygen is produced by the oceans’ phytoplankton.

So why does phytoplankton require saving? It is threatened by the warming of the climate; decline has been correlated with warmer temperatures. The ocean absorbs much of our excess heat, which is good news and bad news.

It is conjectured that the reason that warmer temperatures are harmful to phytoplankton is that like all plants, they require nutrients. Nutrients are much more plentiful at great depths because as animals and plants die they sink. Places where a process called upwelling occurs, the mixing of ocean layers brings nutrients to the top layer where phytoplankton reside. However, since the heat is absorbed in the top layer making the layer lighter, the difference in density between the top layer and lower layes is too great to allow mixing and the phytoplankgon starve.

 

Fortunately, the decline is slow, but must be addressed before it’s too late. I’m ordering a custom-made T-shirt. In fact I ran out and had it made at my local maill as you can see.

 

 

 

 

 

 

One thought on “Save the plankton!

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.