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ScienceWeek.com · Science · Nature · NewScientist · With Mr Duncan

Climate controls on ocean productivity

VLOS: Oranges in Florida, wildfires in Indonesia, plankton in the North Pacific -- what links these seemingly disparate items is that they are all affected by year-to-year fluctuations in global-scale climate. New work describes how such fluctuations, especially in temperature, are connected to the productivity of phytoplankton in the world's oceans. The analyses are based on nearly a decade of satellite data, and for much of the oceans they find that recent warmer surface temperatures correspond to lower oceanic biomass and productivity. Behrenfeld et al argue that these patterns arise because climate-induced changes in ocean circulation reduce the supply of nutrients needed for photosynthesis.

  • Nature is that lovely lady to whom we owe polio, leprosy, smallpox, syphilis, tuberculosis, and cancer. -- Stanley Cohen
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