What is the role of accumulating ocean algae in global warming?
Ocean Aglae is one of the components of Phytoplankton. one of the three types of Plankton. According to scientists at Melbourne's Monash University microscopic organisms such as Ocean Algae absorb up to 50% of the world's carbon. I'm no expert, but given that figure, if Algae numbers drop in the ocean it would have a devastating effect. More-so than the deforestation of the Amazon.
Not only does the Algae absorb the carbon, there is a knock-on effect. Fish and larger mammals such as Whales, eat the algae as part of the plankton. If the amount of plankton, and therefore algae is reduced due to changes in ocean condtions then it will mean that other species of ocean life will be reduced in numbers or become extinct.
Ocean Reefs, such as the Great Barrier Reef rely on algae is a food source; this is just one example.
Algae is one of the elements in Phytoplankton. As the name suggests, this is plant-based plankton, which uses light as its main source of energy.
- Synchrotron shines new light on algae
A team from Melbourne's Monash University has been using Australia's first synchrotron to shine new light on the role of oceanic phytoplankton and how it reacts to changing environmental conditions.
- Wikipedia's Page on Plankton
- Red Tide or Algal Bloom Wiki Page
"Red tide" is a common name for a phenomenon known as an algal bloom, an event in which estuarine, marine, or fresh water algae accumulate rapidly in the water column, or "bloom"