Australian bushfires trigger massive phytoplankton bloom in ocean: study

SYDNEY: Researchers said smoke from Australia's 2019 to 2020 bushfire season triggered a massive phytoplankton bloom in the ocean betwee...


SYDNEY: Researchers said smoke from Australia's 2019 to 2020 bushfire season triggered a massive phytoplankton bloom in the ocean between South America and New Zealand.

The study was published in the Nature journal on Wednesday, and lead researcher Peter Strutton from the University of Tasmania said they found the links between the phytoplankton bloom and the smoke triggered by the bushfires.

In the summer beginning in 2019, the Australian state of New South Wales experienced bushfires of unprecedented extent and intensity.

The fires burnt through an estimated 5.3 million hectares or 6.7 percent of the state's total land area, realizing an estimated 715 million tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) into the atmosphere -- more than Australia's total annual emissions.

Using satellite imagery, the researchers observed the smoke cover vast distances through the earth's stratosphere before settling above the Southern Ocean thousands of kilometers off Australia's east coast.

"The phytoplankton bloom in this region was unprecedented in the 22-year satellite record and lasted for around four months," said Strutton.

The bloom was shown to spread across an area of the ocean larger than the entire Australian continent.

"What made it more extraordinary is that the part of the season when the bloom appeared is usually the seasonal low point in phytoplankton, but the smoke from the Australian bushfires completely reversed that," said the researcher.

One of the seemingly positive consequences of rapid growth of the microscopic marine algae, phytoplankton, is its natural process that absorbs CO2.

While it is estimated that the huge levels of absorption were enough to offset the CO2 released in the fires, Strutton warned that conclusions should not be jumped to in terms of the phenomenon's greater implications.

"We need a far more comprehensive representation of wildfires in climate models and targeted studies to understand their influence on marine ecosystems. Our capacity to adapt to future climate change depends on it."

Strutton said further research would be needed to determine if the sequestered CO2 is released back into the atmosphere or stored deep in the ocean after the event passes.

Weighing in on the subject, international expert Dr. Chris Mays from the Department of Palaeobiology at the Swedish Museum of Natural History, lauded the importance of linking algal blooms to wildfires but warned of its impact on marine ecosystems.

"Explosive blooms of plankton can be deadly to animals. A single bloom event can wipe out countless thousands of animals in a few days, and leave 'dead zones' in freshwater lakes and coastal areas," he said.

He said that human activity is making such events more frequent and devastating.

-News Feed

COMMENTS


*

Name

AROUND THE GLOBE,608,business,58,BY READERS,425,FEATURE,235,GLOBE,16,KERALA,12,Movie,310,SPECIAL STORY,353,TAMILNADU,2,TOP STORY,1267,TRAVEL,8,
ltr
item
Local Glob: Australian bushfires trigger massive phytoplankton bloom in ocean: study
Australian bushfires trigger massive phytoplankton bloom in ocean: study
https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-LGvkVeeEy-E/YULgIzAvb8I/AAAAAAAAzoo/1IuLE42wZ8I2mFUxYmRrFP9vbEJUPn1DwCLcBGAsYHQ/s320/bush%2Bfire%2Baustralia.png
https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-LGvkVeeEy-E/YULgIzAvb8I/AAAAAAAAzoo/1IuLE42wZ8I2mFUxYmRrFP9vbEJUPn1DwCLcBGAsYHQ/s72-c/bush%2Bfire%2Baustralia.png
Local Glob
https://www.localglob.com/2021/09/australian-bushfires-trigger-massive.html
https://www.localglob.com/
http://www.localglob.com/
http://www.localglob.com/2021/09/australian-bushfires-trigger-massive.html
true
8255692317570297677
UTF-8
Loaded All Posts Not found any posts VIEW ALL Readmore Reply Cancel reply Delete By Home PAGES POSTS View All RECOMMENDED FOR YOU LABEL ARCHIVE SEARCH ALL POSTS Not found any post match with your request Back Home Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat January February March April May June July August September October November December Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec just now 1 minute ago $$1$$ minutes ago 1 hour ago $$1$$ hours ago Yesterday $$1$$ days ago $$1$$ weeks ago more than 5 weeks ago Followers Follow THIS CONTENT IS PREMIUM Please share to unlock Copy All Code Select All Code All codes were copied to your clipboard Can not copy the codes / texts, please press [CTRL]+[C] (or CMD+C with Mac) to copy