Feeds

Ocean plants like it cold, thanks

NASA links growth with climate

SANS - Survey on application security programs

A warmer climate could disrupt the marine food chain, new research from NASA suggests, potentially damaging fisheries and other marine ecosystems.

The space agency's researchers tracked temperature and marine plant growth over a period of nine years, beginning in 1997 when the OrbView-2 satellite was launched. Their research has revealed a link between higher global temperatures and lower production of microscopic phytoplankton, the primary oceanic food supply. Conversely, cooler weather saw the phytoplankton thrive.

Phytoplankton are hugely important in regulating the amount of carbon in the atmosphere - they account for as much photosynthesis as all land plants combined.

Naturally, if fewer of the microscopic marine plants can grow, photosynthesis is less, and the plants take in less carbon. This, NASA researchers say, means more carbon is left in the atmosphere to contribute to the overall process of global warming.

"Rising levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere play a big part in global warming," said lead author Michael Behrenfeld of Oregon State University.

"This study shows that as the climate warms, phytoplankton growth rates go down and along with them the amount of carbon dioxide these ocean plants consume. That allows carbon dioxide to accumulate more rapidly in the atmosphere, which would produce more warming."

The team explains the link by analysing the changes to the ocean that go hand in hand with changes in atmospheric temperature.

As the climate warms, so do the upper layers of the ocean. The warmer, lighter water floats on top of a much denser layer of cooler water below. This stratification effectively cuts the surface layer off, and in so doing, prevents the phytoplankton from accessing the nutrients they need to thrive. ®

Top three mobile application threats

More from The Register

next story
Red-faced LOHAN team 'fesses up in blown SPEARS fuse fiasco
Standing in the corner, big pointy 'D' hats
KILLER SPONGES menacing California coastline
Surfers are safe, crustaceans less so
LOHAN's Punch and Judy show relaunches Thursday
Weather looking good for second pop at test flights
Discovery time for 200m WONDER MATERIALS shaved from 4 MILLENNIA... to 4 years
Alloy, Alloy: Boffins in speed-classification breakthrough
Curiosity finds not-very-Australian-shaped rock on Mars
File under 'messianic pastries' and move on, people
Elon Musk's LEAKY THRUSTER gas stalls Space Station supply run
Helium seeps from Falcon 9 first stage, delays new legs for NASA robonaut
Top Secret US payload launched into space successfully
Clandestine NRO spacecraft sets off on its unknown mission
New FEMTO-MOON sighted BIRTHING from Saturn's RING
Icy 'Peggy' looks to be leaving the outer rings
Melting permafrost switches to nasty, high-gear methane release
Result? 'Way more carbon being released into the atmosphere as methane'
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a defence for mobile apps
In this whitepaper learn the various considerations for defending mobile applications; from the mobile application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies needed to properly assess mobile applications risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.