Global warming could wipe out the bottom of the food chain.
When you woke up this morning, did you thank [God, your lucky stars, the Big Bang] for plankton? If you didn’t, consider adding it to your daily routine. Sure plankton are teeny-tiny and look like scary aliens, but they’re also moderately important, in that sustaining-life sort of way.
Sadly, global warming could kill them off. The Independent wins my nomination for “Most Sinister Opening Paragraph o’ the Day”:
The microscopic plants that underpin all life in the oceans are likely to be destroyed by global warming, a study has found.
The article goes on to tell how this has “catastrophic implications” and is “potentially devastating,” not just because the little critters are chow for bigger critters, but also because they absorb carbon dioxide in their wee bodies and take it with them when they die and sink to the ocean floor. Thanks for taking one for the team, plankton.
Of course this was entirely expected and scientists have been taking steps to resolve this imminent disaster, right? Uh, no.
Scientists had believed phytoplankton, which survives best at depths of about 100 metres, is largely stable and immune from the impact of global warming.
Without phytoplankton, the oceans would soon because marine deserts.
This is depressing, so I’m going to end this post with an exciting contest! Fun, fun! First person to name the band and song title of the following lyric wins a virtual high five from me!
“The ocean is a desert with its life underground, and a perfect disguise above.”
Get Grist in your inbox