Phytoplankton Blooms

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    • Huge blooms of phytoplankton — microscopic algae floating on the ocean’s surface — have become larger and more frequent along the world’s coastlines.

    About

    • Marine animals such as fish and whales eat phytoplankton.
    • It can also prove toxic in large amounts, starving the ocean of oxygen and leading to “dead zones” that wreak chaos on the food chain and fisheries. 

    Reasons behind the boom

    • Warmer sea surface temperatures.
    • Changes in climate can also mess with ocean circulation, affecting mixing between ocean layers and how nutrients move around the ocean.
    • Human development also plays a role. Fertilizer runoff from agriculture can spike nutrient loads in the ocean, leading to blooms.

    Source: TH