Feeds

Ocean plants like it cold, thanks

NASA links growth with climate

Top three mobile application threats

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. ®

3 Big data security analytics techniques

More from The Register

next story
KILLER SPONGES menacing California coastline
Surfers are safe, crustaceans less so
Opportunity selfie: Martian winds have given the spunky ol' rover a spring cleaning
Power levels up 70 per cent as the rover keeps on truckin'
Liftoff! SpaceX Falcon 9 lifts Dragon on third resupply mission to ISS
SpaceX snaps smartly into one-second launch window
LOHAN and the amazing technicolor spaceplane
Our Vulture 2 livery is wrapped, and it's les noix du mutt
KILLER ROBOTS, DNA TAMPERING and PEEPING CYBORGS: the future looks bright!
Americans optimistic about technology despite being afraid of EVERYTHING
R.I.P. LADEE: Probe smashes into lunar surface at 3,600mph
Swan dive signs off successful science mission
Discovery time for 200m WONDER MATERIALS shaved from 4 MILLENNIA... to 4 years
Alloy, Alloy: Boffins in speed-classification breakthrough
prev story

Whitepapers

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.
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.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.