Indianapolis Edition
Bookmark and Share Email this page Email Print this page Print Feed Feed

Too Blue

Algae Loss Colors Ocean

The world’s oceans may be getting bluer, thanks to climate change. The effect is more likely to be detected by satellites than Earthbound people, and is caused by the depletion of marine phytoplankton as seawater warms. A new study from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology published in the journal Nature Communications predicts that more than 50 percent of the oceans’ collective 140 million square miles of surface area will likely be affected by 2100. Marine ecologist and leader of the study Stephanie Dutkiewicz says, “These microscopic organisms live in the water and are the base of the marine food chain. If there are less of them in it, the water will be slightly bluer.” Phytoplankton serves as a food source for small sea creatures that are eaten by fish, squid and shellfish. If phytoplankton populations dip too low, vital fisheries in certain areas could be decimated.


This article appears in the July 2019 issue of Natural Awakenings.

Edit ModuleShow Tags

More from Natural Awakenings

Floating Solar

Installing floating solar panels on only a quarter of U.S. manmade reservoirs could generate about 10 percent of national energy needs.

Wonder Weed

Hemp, the no-buzz industrial variety of cannabis, is cleaning nuclear radiation, cadmium, lead and mercury from toxic sites.

Dangerous Dozen

Strawberries head the latest list of the Environmental Working Group’s “Dirty Dozen” fruits and vegetables with high levels of pesticide residues; avocados top the clean list.

Alarm Sounded

Following the UK governments of Wales and Scotland, the Republic of Ireland has declared a climate emergency that may lead to limits on oil and gas exploration and other measures.

Action Alert

When carbon dioxide in the atmosphere hit the highest levels ever recorded in human history in May, the networks’ nightly news devoted less than two minutes to climate change versus almost 18 minutes to the birth of the royal baby.

Add your comment: