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Articles on Phytoplankton

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Ocean carbon storage is driven by phytoplankton blooms, like the turquoise swirls visible here in the North Sea and waters off Denmark. NASA

Tiny plankton drive processes in the ocean that capture twice as much carbon as scientists thought

Microscopic ocean phytoplankton feed a "biological pump" that carries carbon from the surface to deep waters. Scientists have found that this process stores much more carbon than previously thought.
A phytoplankton bloom stretching across the Barents Sea off the coast of mainland Europe’s most northern point. European Space Agency

Ocean ecosystems take two million years to recover after mass extinction – new research

Populations of plankton are in decline. If we push this critical foundation of the marine food chain to extinction, we could cripple ecosystems for millions of years.
Furious winds keep the McMurdo Dry Valleys in Anarctica free of snow and ice. Calcites found in the valleys have revealed the secrets of ancient subglacial volcanoes. Stuart Rankin/Flickr

Volcanoes under the ice: melting Antarctic ice could fight climate change

Melting ice from Antartica could feed vast plankton blooms, trapping carbon in the ocean. To understand this complex mechanism, researchers looked at volcanoes deep under glaciers.
The idea is to come up with better alternatives to this. Australian Customs and Border Protection Service

Could ‘whale poo diplomacy’ help bring an end to whaling?

Japan's fleet is on its way to the Southern Ocean for more "scientific" whaling. But a new resolution pointing out the importance of whale poo could help remove Japan's rationale for lethal research.
A mass proliferation of Noctiluca scintillans, a red tide forming dinoflagellate at Clovelly Beach, NSW. It can form dense aggregations that deplete oxygen and produce ammonia. Gurjeet Kohli

Collecting data to help protect Australia’s waters from toxic algal blooms

They give us part of the air we breathe but microscopic phytoplankton can also be toxic. They are also on the move thanks to climate change so a new Australian database hopes to monitor any changes.

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