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Dramatic decrease in cold-water plankton during industrial era


There has been a dramatic decrease in cold-water plankton during the 20th century, in contrast to thousands of years of stability, according to a new UCL-led study.

The research, published in Geophysical Research Letters, analysed the fossilised remains of plankton, sampled from the Northeast Atlantic Ocean, south of Iceland. The scientists uncovered a striking change in the types of species that inhabit these waters.

Lead author of the study, Dr Peter Spooner (UCL Geography), said: “The Northeast Atlantic is of crucial importance for the global climate system and marine ecosystems. In this study, we provide the first evidence that Northeast Atlantic circulation in the 20th century was unusual compared to the last 10,000 years. MORE

Header image: UCL.

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