The Moose in the Marine Life Challenge Is Assisted in Adapting to the Arctic

The Moose in the Marine Life Challenge Is Assisted in Adapting to the Arctic ...

Climate change will engulf many of the processes that sustain life around the globe, but new research led by Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences shows how microscopic ocean life that drives the carbon cycle in the Atlantic is adapting to warmer conditions. However, the news does not mean the end of the planets concerns, but it may assist researchers better forecast the future.

Despite climate change, the study, published inNature Communications, examined 30 years of data from the Sargasso Sea and discovered that biological systems that regulate carbon maintained vital processes. This suggests that the surface ocean may adapt better to climate change than the current scientific models take into account.

We often think the response of ocean carbon cycling to global warming as an on-off switch, but these results suggest it''s a dimmer switch and has some flexibility to take care of itself, according to Mike Lomas, a senior research scientist at Bigelow Laboratory and lead author on the study. It will however reach its limits, and we shouldn''t use these findings as an escape clause for the consequences.

Carbon fuels all life and ecosystems throughout the water column as it gets pumped from the surface to deeper water. Phytoplankton are one of the primary vehicles for this carbon sequestration and transport. However, climate changes puts them and the process, at danger.

Phytoplankton live in surface waters, but they depend on nutrients from the deep ocean. These nutrients rise through water that are separated like a cake. This gives the nutrients greater freedom to reach phytoplankton, which can reduce their populations and stop the biological process that sequesteres carbon and sends it to the deep ocean.

Except our research has revealed that ocean life responds, takes up carbon dioxide, and continues to function even when there are few nutrients, according to Lomas.

From 1990 to 2020, a new study examined key metrics like carbon production and cycling, phytoplankton activity, and nutrient availability. Carbon export was maintained as phytoplankton populations decreased because other small organisms that grazed on them enacted the need. Ecosystems also adapted by becoming more efficient and using less nutrients to export carbon.

These data give insights into how ocean ecosystems respond to climate change and how they should be evaluated. They underscore the importance of research to replace estimates with a deeper nuanced understanding of nature''s complexity.

The success of this research underscores the need for these kinds of long-term research, according to Lomas. How long can we give phytoplankton the ghost before they even stop fixing carbon? It is vital to understand how these processes continue to work in the face of climate challenges, and when they will fail.

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