What Affect Will Arctic’s Early Blooming Phytoplankton Have on Marine Food Chain?Email this post to a friend.
Phytoplankton in the arctic has bloomed 50 days earlier than expected. Warm weather and melting ice are apparently to blame. So what affect (if any) will that have on marine life? In reality this early blooming has been progressing steadily for the last 10 years.
Organic carbon introduces itself to the ecosystem as a side effect of the photosynthesis of the blooming phytoplankton; this converts carbon dioxide to organic matter. The blooming in question encourages zooplankton production. Zooplankton are tiny, little, microscopic, marine animals. And these little guys are responsible for feeding the marine life in the arctic. So the question here is, will the marine life that feasts on the tiny little creatures be able to adapt to the unexpectedly early ringing of the dinner bell or will it have long-term effects on their developing larvae or their hatching eggs (these things are critical to the marine life cycle).
How, you may ask, do these researchers know that the phytoplankton has bloomed early; or for that matter, has bloomed at all? Satellites. Yup. By analyzing satellite data researchers can evaluate the color of the ocean floor. So the satellite guys hookup with the oceanography scientists who all draw a bunch of really complicated looking maps with numbers and symbols and lines; and then they make their announcement of the world. That announcement being, of course, the early blooming of the phytoplankton and how it may affect marine life.
This is definitely fodder for the global warming people. This is the kind of thing that they’ve been warning us about. I understand that this is a serious concern of the utmost importance, but I live in Wisconsin where the winters are hideous. Global warming is something I have a really hard time getting my head around.