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Study: Phytoplankton, Plants at Base of Ocean Food Chain, in Decline Due to Warming Seas





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A study has found that phytoplanktons, the base of the ocean food chain upon which everything from whales to humans depend, have declined by as much as forty percent due to the increase in the temperature of the seas.

The comprehensive report, released by Dalhousie University, has determined phytoplanktons are impacted by warming.

Microscopic phytoplankton that form the foundation of the marine food chain are declining, according to a new Canadian study that indicates that the ocean’s ecosystem and fisheries could be changing.

Researchers at Dalhousie University conducted the first global study of the populations of these microscopic organisms in the past century and found the declines – averaging about 1 per cent a year, and approximately 40 per cent since 1950 – are correlated with increases in sea surface temperatures.
Phytoplankton feed the organisms that, in turn, feed everything from whales to humans.  The potential impact on the climate is as troubling. Phytoplankton, which live (and are dying) on the surface of the seas, produce oxygen.  Continued...



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