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Posts Tagged ‘algae’

Melting Arctic Ice Marks Possible Sea Change in Marine Ecosystems

June 27, 2011 Comments off

livescience

Arctic Sea Ice Extent in 2010
Arctic sea ice reached an abnormal low in summer 2010. Declines like this have made it possible for a long-lost species of plankton to return to the North Atlantic.
CREDIT: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

A single-celled alga that went extinct in the North Atlantic Ocean about 800,000 years ago has returned after drifting from the Pacific through the Arctic thanks to melting polar ice. And while its appearance marks the first trans-Arctic migration in modern times, scientists say it signals something potentially bigger.

“It is an indicator of rapid change and what might come if the Arctic continues to melt,” said Chris Reid, a professor of oceanography at the Sir Alister Hardy Foundation for Ocean Science in the United Kingdom.

Arctic sea ice has been in decline for roughly three decades, and in several more recent summers, a passage has opened up between the Pacific and Atlantic. In as little as 30 years, Arctic summers are projected to Read more…

Global warming could increase diseases originating from water sources

February 20, 2011 Comments off

WASHINGTON (AFP) – Climate change could increase exposure to water-borne diseases originating in oceans, lakes and coastal ecosystems, and the impact could be felt within 10 years, US scientists told a conference in Washington on Saturday.

Several studies have shown that shifts brought about by climate change make ocean and freshwater environments more susceptible to toxic algae blooms and allow harmful microbes and bacteria to proliferate, researchers from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said.

In one study, NOAA scientists modeled future ocean and weather patterns to predict the effect on blooms of Alexandrium catenella, or the toxic “red tide,” which can accumulate in shellfish and cause symptoms, including paralysis, and can sometimes be deadly to humans who eat the Read more…