Plankton increase may be due to rising carbon dioxide levels

Johns Hopkins University researchers have expressed concern after finding a major increase in the world’s population of plankton, citing rising carbon dioxide levels as a potential cause.

USA (Next Media) – Johns Hopkins University researchers have expressed concern after finding a major increase in the world’s population of plankton, citing rising carbon dioxide levels as a potential cause.

A new study investigating North Atlantic plankton data from 1965 to 2014 found that the amount of Coccolithophore increased tenfold over that time period, Phys.org reported.

According to John Hopkins University news release, Coccolithophore are made of a calcium casing and are a major food source for zooplankton and fish. They absorb carbon dioxide and convert it to oxygen over thousands of years, storing it deep in the ocean.

It is unknown what effects — positive or negative — that this phenomenon may have on the ocean in the long term, Phys.org reported.

“The consequences of releasing tons of carbon dioxide over the years are already here and this is just the tip of the iceberg,” explained Sara Rivero-Calle, a John Hopkins doctoral student.

SOURCES: John Hopkins University, Phys.org

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