Plankton can save the ocean. But who will save the plankton?


Melting ice is far from the only way climate change is altering the oceans. A study published last month found that dissolved oxygen levels in the water are falling. Another suggests that the plankton crucial to maintaining the balance of gases in Earth’s atmosphere are in trouble.


There is good news hiding in the bad. Some researchers think this new information points to geoengineering approaches that could solve the problem of climate-changed oceans. But we can’t be sure they would work; can we risk mucking around with the world’s largest ecosystem? Then again, aren’t we already?

It is well known that a warmer, more acidic ocean is linked to coral and shellfish die-offs as well as the mass migration of fish. But for many years, scientists were divided on the question of how the changing climate would affect phytoplankton.

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