Mountains can’t be created without lubricant, and 2 billion years ago that lubricant was graphite produced by the carbon broken down from layers of dead plankton on the ocean floor.
Lake Windermere, in England’s Lake District, experiences different mixing processes in its water column.
Studies of Lake Windermere show how organisms moving in lakes help keep water layers fresh and reduce greenhouse gas production.
Seabirds journey vast distances across the Earth’s seascapes to find food and to breed. This means their biology, particularly their breeding success, can reveal what’s happening in our oceans.
Javarman / shutterstock
How Pacific winds interact with the sea to bring colder waters up from the depths.
Fluorescence images of Crocosphaera.
In the ocean, phytoplankton helped by diazotrophs play an outstanding role in withdrawing CO₂ from the atmosphere. But climate change is disturbing this delicate balance.
A major war between the United States and Russia could make global fish catches fall by as much as 30 per cent.
Marine fish could serve as a crucial global emergency food supply in times of crisis, if marine ecosystems were in a healthy state to start with.
Oskari Porkka / shutterstock
Cold-water plankton is being replaced by warm-water species.
How did whales that feed on tiny prey evolve into the largest creatures on Earth? And why don’t they get even bigger?
A phytoplankton bloom stretching across the Barents Sea off the coast of mainland Europe’s most northern point.
European Space Agency
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.
Researchers investigated how acidic oceans affect plankton in Prydz Bay, East Antarctica.
Daniel A. Nielsen
Acidic oceans are disrupting a major part of the carbon cycle, slowing how seas absorb carbon from the atmosphere. This could massively speed up the effects of climate change.v
Fire consumes an area near Jaci Parana, state of Rondonia, Brazil, Aug. 24, 2019.
AP Photo/Eraldo Peres
If the Amazon rainforest functions as our planet’s lungs, what do raging wildfires threaten? An atmospheric scientist explains why the fires, though devastating, won’t suffocate life on Earth.
outdoorsman / shutterstock
Algae at the bottom of the Arctic food chain relies on sea ice.
Katvic / shutterstock
Plankton in the world’s oldest and deepest lake are being disrupted by exceptionally warm waters.
From the largest whales to the smallest plankton and microscopic life, we’re all tightly connected to planet Earth.
Although often separated as two unique subjects in science, geology and biology have been intricately intertwined since life on Earth first evolved billions of years ago.
Sustained ocean warming could greatly reduce catches of fish like these herring photographed off Norway.
Fish are a key food source for millions of people worldwide. But a recent study finds long-term warming over the next 200 years could starve tiny plankton, with impacts that would ripple up food chains.
Michael Bogner / shutterstock
Plankton has a chemical fingerprint that reveals where it came from. Scientists have now used this to track sharks at the opposite end of the food web.
Salting streets in Milwaukee.
A recent study shows plankton that have adapted to road salt have disrupted circadian rhythms. This finding suggests that environmental pollutants could also affect human circadian clocks.
Great white photobomb.
George T. Probst/NOAA/Flickr
The world’s oceans are home to innumerable life forms, from sponges to sea lions, and scientists have many creative ways of studying them.
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.
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.
Watch out, there’s a mixotroph about.
They ‘engulf living prey, suck out their innards, poison them, harpoon them, make them explode, and steal and reuse body parts’. And we ignore them at our peril.