Increased carbon dioxide level in ocean causes rapid growth of coccolithophores: Study

Increased carbon dioxide level in ocean causes rapid growth of coccolithophores: Study

According to a new study, environmental changes like the riseof carbon dioxide levels in water have resulted into the rapid growth of a microscopic marine alga in North Atlantic. John Hopkins University researchers have discovered that there is a 10 times rise in the number of coccolithophores, single-celled algae and protists that are present in the oceans across the world, from 1965 to 2010.

In the past 50 years, these small calcifying plants that are part of the marine ecosystem foundation have significantly increased from 2% to over 20% in 2010, with spikes noted in the 1990s.

An associate professor in the Morton K. Blaustein Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences at Johns Hopkins, Anand Gnanadesikan said, “Something strange is happening here, and it's happening much more quickly than we thought it should”.

Researchers studied Sir Alister Hardy Foundation (SAHFOS) Continuous Plankton Recorder survey data since the 1960s in North Atlantic Ocean and North Sea, and discovered that the level of carbon dioxide in the ocean has led to the fast rise in population of coccolithophores.

The scientists have mentioned that they are not sure whether the fast rise in marine alga may pose an advantage or harm to Earth. The increase could benefit the creatures that feed on small plants but its negative impact on the ecosystem of oceans has not been determined so far.

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