Polluted dust can impact ocean life thousands of miles away

Discussion in 'Earth Science' started by Plazma Inferno!, May 17, 2016.

  1. Plazma Inferno! Ding Ding Ding Ding Administrator

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    A new modeling study conducted by researchers in Georgia Tech's School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences shows that for decades, air pollution drifting from East Asia out over the world's largest ocean has kicked off a chain reaction that contributed to oxygen levels falling in tropical waters thousands of miles away.
    In the report, the researchers describe how air pollution from industrial activities had raised levels of iron and nitrogen - key nutrients for marine life - in the ocean off the coast of East Asia. Ocean currents then carried the nutrients to tropical regions, where they were consumed by photosynthesizing phytoplankton.
    But while the tropical phytoplankton may have released more oxygen into the atmosphere, their consumption of the excess nutrients had a negative effect on the dissolved oxygen levels deeper in the ocean.
    The study was published in Nature Geoscience, and it was sponsored by the National Science Foundation, a Georgia Power Faculty Scholar Chair and a Cullen-Peck Faculty Fellowship.

    http://phys.org/news/2016-05-polluted-impact-ocean-life-thousands.html

    Study: http://www.nature.com/ngeo/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/ngeo2717.html
     
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  3. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    Which directly bears on fertilizing large areas of the ocean to sequester carbon dioxide.
     
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