Video: The krill factor in ocean mixing

February 20, 2019, National Science Foundation

Scientists have long chalked up ocean mixing of salt, heat, nutrients and gases, such as oxygen and carbon dioxide, to wind and tides. New research is investigating another possible contributor: krill. Mixing ocean water may seem like a big job for such a tiny creature, but krill are a force of nature when they migrate in giant swarms to feed at night.

With support from the National Science Foundation, Stanford University engineer John Dabiri and his team are using lab experiments to understand the fluid dynamics of swarm migrations through a stratified water column. If the vertical migrations of krill and other organisms are playing a significant role in , that should impact future calculations about ocean circulation and the global climate.

Explore further: Researchers find that swarms of tiny organisms mix nutrients in ocean waters

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Jeffhans1
not rated yet Feb 20, 2019
The twice-daily migration of krill does as much to mix the atmosphere with the hydrosphere as the wave action does. The earth literally would not be the same without it.

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