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The air we breathe

Summary:
Most of the earth’s oxygen doesn’t come from forests or jungles but from ocean plankton. A recent survey found an alarming drop in Atlantic plankton levels likely due to increased atmospheric carbon dioxide and resulting ocean acidification.“Plankton is a blanket term for the billions of tiny sea organisms living close to the surface of the oceans, which are eaten by krill, small crustaceans, which are in turn eaten by fish and whales. No plankton, little or no marine life.“And while trees hog all the credit, plankton generate 70% of our oxygen.“Howarth reports that the GOES team just sampled the ocean water surface along the French and Portuguese coasts before heading across the Atlantic to Colombia. They and volunteers gathered 500 data points.“They

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Most of the earth’s oxygen doesn’t come from forests or jungles but from ocean plankton. A recent survey found an alarming drop in Atlantic plankton levels likely due to increased atmospheric carbon dioxide and resulting ocean acidification.

“Plankton is a blanket term for the billions of tiny sea organisms living close to the surface of the oceans, which are eaten by krill, small crustaceans, which are in turn eaten by fish and whales. No plankton, little or no marine life.

“And while trees hog all the credit, plankton generate 70% of our oxygen.

“Howarth reports that the GOES team just sampled the ocean water surface along the French and Portuguese coasts before heading across the Atlantic to Colombia. They and volunteers gathered 500 data points.

“They expected to find five patches of plankton in every ~2.5 gallons (10 liters) of ocean water.

“They found an average of one.

“So in 1982 there would have been 10 patches of plankton in every 2.5 gallons of surface ocean water, and now there is one. That isn’t a 50% reduction.

“If Dryden and his team’s survey is borne out by the scientific community, that is a 90% reduction.”

“Climate: Scientists Stunned to Find Atlantic Plankton 90% Gone; Marine Life, our Oxygen Imperiled,” Informed Comment, (juancole.com)

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