Nov 16, 2023

Ice Core Insights: A Comprehensive Look at Phytoplankton Trends Over 800 Years

Posted by in category: futurism

A recent study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences examines how marine phytoplankton throughout the North Atlantic Ocean has maintained its stability and numbers based on ice cores dating as far back as 800 years, which contradicts a 2019 study that concluded marine phytoplankton was on the decline by approximately 10 percent. The reason ice cores were examined was due to the methanesulfonic acid (MSA) deposits that fall from the sky and are the airborne products of phytoplankton, with the MSA initially starting off as dimethyl sulfide that is a byproduct of phytoplankton. This study was also presented at the AGU Fall Meeting in December 2022.

“Greenland ice cores show a decline in MSA concentrations over the industrial era, which was concluded to be a sign of declining primary productivity in the North Atlantic,” said Ursula Jongebloed, who is a PhD student in atmospheric sciences at the University of Washington (UW) and lead author of the study. “But our study of sulfate in a Greenland ice core shows that MSA alone can’t tell us the whole story when it comes to primary productivity.”

Leave a reply