Wednesday, November 08, 2006

A link between cloud cover and phytoplankton?

Scientists are reporting that new research suggests that chemical emissions from phytoplankton productivity may be contributing to cloud cover. Thats a pretty big deal. Of course, increaded cloud cover increases the earth's albedo, or reflectivity. More clouds could potentially mean less heat absorbed by the earth, which could help stem global warming to a degree. However, not enough is yet understood about the mechanism by which phytoplankton contribute to cloud cover. Furthermore, it is in the best interests of the ocean to not "encourage" productivity simply to increase cloud cover, because increased phytoplankton productivity leads to an increased carbon flux into the ocean which acidifies the ocean, which could prove more devastating than global warming itself!!!!!
Read the article at UnderwaterTimes.

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