The Hot Zone

Earlier phytoplankton blooms in Arctic could affect food chain

Tiny phytoplankton are taking to warmer Arctic waters by blooming almost two months earlier in the spring season. A new study published in the April edition of the journal Global Change Biology says that the earlier bloom has consequences for the Arctic food chain and carbon cycling. A phytoplankton bloom larger than the size of Greece in the Barents Sea. Photo: European Space Agency. It may sound like a good thing. Phytoplankton, the nutritive basis for much of ocean life, stimulates the production... [Read more]

Posted by Alison Hawkes on March 11, 2011 No Comments »
Category : Climate Science and Scientists

Oceans away

One of the most disturbing aspects of climate change is the impact on the oceans, which are a tremendous source of nutrients for life on land. Acidification, ice melt, and surface temperature increases are impacting sea life in a myriad of ways. How much can the ecosystems take? An editorial in the September 2010 edition of the  journal Nature Geoscience points out that the oceans may be floundering at their most basic level of the food chain: phytoplankton. The microscopic, photosynthesizing... [Read more]

Posted by Alison Hawkes on September 7, 2010 No Comments »
Category : The Oceans

The table is set

Biologists have it relatively easy studying animal behavior. Sometimes they need the help of binoculars or underwater scopes and they often have to sit in uncomfortable thickets. Studying microorganisms can be a whole lot harder. They certainly say less. But microorganisms are vitally important to the Earth’s processes, both biological and chemical. The atmosphere is the result of their behavior, and in that respect so is the climate. MIT scientists are studying how marine microorganisms feed... [Read more]

Posted by Alison Hawkes on July 22, 2010 No Comments »
Category : Climate Science and Scientists, The Oceans

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