Related topics: ocean · carbon dioxide

Vast phytoplankton blooms may be lurking beneath Antarctic ice

Until now, it's been a common belief that the packed sea ice of the Southern Ocean blocked all light from reaching the sea beneath, preventing phytoplankton—tiny algae that are the base of aquatic food webs—from growing ...

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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