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Old 04-20-2010, 07:18 PM   #1
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Default What Causes the North Atlantic Plankton Bloom?

What Causes the North Atlantic Plankton Bloom?
Scientific American
April 14, 2010
By David Biello

What Causes the North Atlantic Plankton Bloom?: Scientific American
excerpt from above:
Quote:
Six days from now, every one of the billions of phytoplankton alive today will be dead—eaten by zooplankton or having drifted to the bottom of the sea. In fact, some of these microscopic plants, which collectively perform as much as photosynthesis as all of Earth's land-based plants, live for just two days.

But these microscopic plants have an outsize effect on the levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere—both by sucking it up during photosynthesis and by helping to drive the natural circulation of the ocean that lets denser, cooler water that has absorbed CO2 drop to the bottom of the sea in places like the North Atlantic. This natural sink is one of the largest ways that CO2, the most abundant greenhouse gas responsible for climate change, exits the atmosphere...
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