Barren oceans

A news snippet from the NYT:

Relatively barren stretches of the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans around the tropics have expanded about 15 percent since 1998, according to a new satellite study. The study’s authors said that the change could be temporary given the short period of observations but that it matches a slight but steady warming trend in the affected ocean regions and matches a pattern scientists have predicted would occur under global warming. The study’s authors, from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the University of Hawaii, said warm surface waters tended to block upwellings of deeper, nutrient-filled water necessary to support plankton and other marine life. The Indian Ocean has seen similar changes but with a less measurable trend, they said.
That's particularly worrisome. Aside from being the base of the marine food chain, plankton produces somewhere between 50-90% of the global oxygen supply, according to NASA estimates. It's a wide-ranging estimate, but the number is large on either end of the spectrum.



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