The foundation of the ocean food chain, phytoplankton, is declining at a much faster rater than expected. Phytoplankton are down 40 per cent since 1950 and disappearing at a rate of one per cent yearly. Scientists don’t know what the effects will be, but clearly it’s not looking good.
Sorry, this is another global warming story.
“We had suspected this for a long time,” Boris Worm, the author of the study for Dalhousie University in Halifax, Canada, told SPIEGEL ONLINE. “But these figures still surprised us.” At this point, he said, one can only speculate as to what the repercussions might be. “In principal, though, we should assume that such a massive decline is already having tangible consequences,” said Worm. He said that the lack of research on the food chain between phytoplankton and larger fish in the open ocean is a hindrance to knowing the extent of the damage.
Check out a map of the decline below. No, this wasn’t caused by BP. Yes, this is incomparably more severe.
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