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What is the role of accumulating ocean algae in global warming?

Updated on July 28, 2009
Green Anemone - Algae lives inside this plant
Green Anemone - Algae lives inside this plant
An ocean Algae bloom. Blooms have many causes including pollution and changes in ocean conditions.
An ocean Algae bloom. Blooms have many causes including pollution and changes in ocean conditions.

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.


Submit a Comment
  • Hovalis profile imageAUTHOR


    9 years ago from Australia

    Thanks! :-)

  • RKHenry profile image


    9 years ago from Neighborhood museum in Somewhere, USA

    This is a really great hub!

  • Hovalis profile imageAUTHOR


    11 years ago from Australia


    I think too much algae in the oceans woulld do more than just produce another iceage. Algae blooms would radically change the ocean conditions. A lot of ocean flora and fauna would be lost completely.

    I've seen on of the films you're talking about with life on the sea vents. It's extrordinary to watch. Life can adapt to almost any situation, even living on top of a volcano.

  • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

    Patty Inglish MS 

    11 years ago from USA. Member of Asgardia, the first space nation, since October 2016

    Amazing colors and information in addition to other answers. Thanks very much for this Hub. If algae can absorb so much CO2, then its is a good reuslt. In the 1990s, some researchers thought too much algae could lead to climate change (hot then cool) that would eventually lead to another ice age. This all seems to be reversed now.

    Keep scuba diving and enjoing those reefs.

    I've seen some film of the dedepest sea life that produces food through using the heat from deep sea hot temperature vents and that should produce some useful info as well.

    Thanks again for a great Hub.

  • Hovalis profile imageAUTHOR


    11 years ago from Australia


    I have a thing for coral reefs. My first scuba dive was onto a coral reef in Vanuatu, and I've never seen anything as beautiful in my life. I'd hate to see reefs destroyed by global warming.

  • MrMarmalade profile image


    11 years ago from Sydney

    Those colours are vibrant.

    Great hub


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