Related topics: ocean · carbon dioxide

A 'regime shift' is happening in the Arctic Ocean, scientists say

Scientists at Stanford University have discovered a surprising shift in the Arctic Ocean. Exploding blooms of phytoplankton, the tiny algae at the base of a food web topped by whales and polar bears, have drastically altered ...

Seeding oceans with iron may not impact climate change

Historically, the oceans have done much of the planet's heavy lifting when it comes to sequestering carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Microscopic organisms known collectively as phytoplankton, which grow throughout the ...

New threat from ocean acidification emerges in the Southern Ocean

The oceans act as a carbon sink and have already absorbed more than 40% of anthropogenic carbon emissions. The majority of this CO2 has been taken up by the Southern Ocean making these waters hotspots of ocean acidification ...

Tiny phytoplankton have big influence on climate change

As nations across the globe negotiate how to reduce their contributions to climate change, researchers at Penn are investigating just how the coming changes will impact the planet. What's clear is that the effect extends ...

Warming Antarctic seas likely to impact on krill habitats

Antarctic krill are usually less than 6 cm in length but their size belies the major role they play in sustaining much of the life in the Southern Ocean. They are the primary food source for many species of whales, seals, ...

Key biological mechanism is disrupted by ocean acidification

A team led by scientists from Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California San Diego and the J. Craig Venter Institute (JCVI) has demonstrated that the excess carbon dioxide added to the atmosphere ...

The end of Darwin's nightmare at Lake Victoria?

Lake Victoria, which came under the spotlight in 2004 by the documentary "Darwin's Nightmare," is not only suffering from the introduction and commercialisation of the Nile perch. A study lead researchers from the University ...

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Phytoplankton

Phytoplankton are the autotrophic component of the plankton community. The name comes from the Greek words phyton, or "plant", and πλαγκτος ("planktos"), meaning "wanderer" or "drifter". Most phytoplankton are too small to be individually seen with the unaided eye. However, when present in high enough numbers, they may appear as a green discoloration of the water due to the presence of chlorophyll within their cells (although the actual color may vary with the species of phytoplankton present due to varying levels of chlorophyll or the presence of accessory pigments such as phycobiliproteins, xanthophylls, etc.).

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