(ORDO NEWS) — Arctic waters, which used to be under ice, began to bloom. Scientists say that such changes affect the “regime” of the region.
An analysis conducted by researchers at Stanford University showed that over the past two decades, the number of phytoplankton in the Arctic Ocean has increased by 57%. This process occurs due to the active melting of ice, and since phytoplankton is able to absorb carbon dioxide, in this case it replaces sea ice.
At first glance, such an expansion of the photosynthetic part should not be particularly surprising, because everything seems quite logical. Global warming has led the Arctic ice sheets to shrink over decades, providing new places for phytoplankton blooms.
According to researchers, since about 2009, the speed at which places without ice have appeared has significantly decreased. According to calculations, a similar reduction in “landscaping” was to follow. But this did not happen, the number of phytoplankton continued to grow.
Now experts say that algae are so concentrated that they resemble a “thick soup”. It is difficult to understand how good or bad this process is. Scientists say that the facts are too contradictory, since on the one hand phytoplankton can increase food chains and absorb carbon dioxide, on the other, the Arctic should be cold enough to maintain balance on the whole Earth.
“There will be winners and losers. A more productive Arctic means more food for more animals. But for many animals that have adapted to live in a polar environment, it becomes more difficult to live because of the reduction in ice cover, ”concluded Kevin Arrigo, one of the authors of the study.
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