Plankton poo could be the key to understanding how much carbon dioxide our oceans can store according to Tasmanian researcher Dr Karin Beaumont.
The greenhouse effect is arguably humanity’s greatest environmental threat. “We need to understand where and how carbon dioxide is stored in the oceans. Part of the answer lies in the poo of microscopic zooplankton: does it float or does it sink?” said Karin. “Heavy poo that sticks together and sinks to the ocean floor is good. It locks up carbon dioxide for thousands of years.”
“Other poo that breaks up and floats near the surface is not good. The carbon dioxide in this poo can be re-released to the atmosphere, adding to the Greenhouse Effect,” says Karin, who conducted her research as part of a PhD with the University of Tasmania and the Australian Antarctic Division.
Niall Byrne | alfa
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