Global Atlas of Marine Plankton for the First Time in History

Global Atlas of Marine Plankton for the First Time in History

In a bid to find how much oceanic plankton can be found around the globe, a team of international researchers have compiled a global atlas for the first time ever. The global atlas catalogued marine plankton, and its size ranged from bacteria to jellyfish

The atlas has been named as the Marine Ecosystem Biomass Data. It is the beginning of a comprehensive inventory of the marine biota that depends on counts of individual cells or organisms. Researchers will use it to gain insight into marine biodiversity for conservation and monitoring.

The study was possible because of combine efforts made by scientists at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, the University of East Anglia, ETH Zurich, University of Manchester, Universite d'Angers and CNRS, the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and many other scientific institutions across the world.

"One of the more surprising findings from the study is that phytoplankton and zooplankton biomass are roughly the same size in the upper ocean", said WHOI Senior Scientist and Marine Chemist Scott Doney.

It took a period of three years to compile the first edition of the MAREDAT global plankton atlas. It has the information taken from half a million data points.

The data will help scientists develop computer models to figure out the effects of climate change and ocean acidification.

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