We observe declines [of phytoplankton] in eight out of ten ocean regions, and estimate a global rate of decline of ~1% of the global median per year. Our analyses further reveal interannual to decadal phytoplankton fluctuations superimposed on long-term trends. These fluctuations are strongly correlated with basin-scale climate indices, whereas long-term declining trends are related to increasing sea surface temperatures. We conclude that global phytoplankton concentration has declined over the past century;I can just picture how the majority of the world's mammals will suffocate in the next one hundred or two hundred years, and how only a fraction of all humans will survive by artificially produced oxygen.
Oceanic regions use to estimate phytoplankton abundance.
Rates of phytoplankton biomass change, measured by total chlorophyll pigment concentration (‘Chl’).
And as if a reduction in atmospheric oxygen wasn't bad enough all on its own (I do so think it is), that's of course not the only effect the drop in plankton abundance will have:
These results provide a larger context for recently observed declines in remotely sensed Chl, and are consistent with the hypothesis that increasing ocean warming is contributing to a restructuring of marine ecosystems, with implications for biogeochemical cycling, fishery yields and ocean circulation.Are we doomed yet?
Boyce, D., Lewis, M., & Worm, B. (2010). Global phytoplankton decline over the past century Nature, 466 (7306), 591-596 DOI: 10.1038/nature09268