Thursday, December 07, 2006

NASA Announces Drop in Ocean Plankton

One of the key parts of my interest in Iron Fertilization is the fact that, in addition to sequestering CO2, this technique increases the amount of plankton growing in the ocean, which helps restore fish and marine mammal populations. As one a correspondent from Planktos said: "actually we consider the plankton and sea life restoration to be the most important part of the mission...removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere provides the funds via carbon credits. It's a win-win for everybody." (Note, Planktos is a private firm developing iron fertilization techniques...listed in Ocean Conservancy article highlighted in my past few posts.)

So here's a bombshell yesterday from NASA (quoted from the UK Independant)

Climate change is killing the oceans' microscopic 'lungs'

By Steve Connor, Science Editor

Global warming has begun to change the way microscopic plant life in the oceans absorbs carbon dioxide from the atmosphere - a trend that could lead to a dramatic increase in the heating power of the greenhouse effect.

Satellite data gathered over the past 10 years has shown for the first time that the growth of marine phytoplankton - the basis of the entire ocean food chain - is being adversely affected by rising sea temperatures.

Scientists have found that as the oceans become warmer, they are less able to support the phytoplankton that have been an important influence on moderating climate change

More on this topic:

Boston Globe

SF Chronicle

ABC News

Planktos press release on this topic