Human beings, flora and fauna, and each organism living on the face and in the depths of this planet form an intimate connection with each other. An imbalance in any one of the layers of life shakes the ecological balance and impacts all the other interrelated layers. The same can be valid for the connection between phytoplankton and human lives. The typical person would not believe the different ways phytoplankton impact our lives and would only accept when made to confront the same. Keeping to these lines, we will cite some of the top scientific and proven reasons to establish that phytoplankton are a blessing in disguise for man on earth!
The impact of phytoplankton on climate change
Phytoplankton reduces atmospheric CO2 levels. The phytoplankton performs this miracle by absorbing the CO2 deposited in the oceanic water when the organic and inorganic matters sink to the ocean’s depths. The dynamics of the phytoplankton are consequently affected and changed by global warming. The elevated temperatures of the seawater and the reduced pH levels readily metamorphose the composition of the plankton, geography, and biomass in the oceans.
The temporal shifts of the annual blooms of the phytoplankton resulting from the potential consequences of the temperature increase impact their composition, amplitude, and duration between the trophic levels. On the one hand, the increased atmospheric temperatures will experience more stratified surface waters in the sultry summer months with reduced amounts of nutrients trapped inside, sustaining low phytoplankton biomass at lower latitudes. On the other hand, when the temperature increases, it leads to handsome growths of phytoplankton with increased CO2 uptake from an atmospheric stratum of the higher latitudes.
Climate changes have been associated with gusts of powerful winds and torrential downpours in some coastal ecosystems, positively impacting the phytoplankton biomass due to a nutrient load. With the upheavals caused by global warming, the phytoplankton communities have traveled poleward. And all these are surely affecting human lives.
Phytoplankton are a boon to humans
Through the previous paragraphs, we have touched upon the most important contribution of the phytoplankton i.e. to absorb the CO2 from the depths of the ocean, thus, reducing the ill effects of this gas on the lives of men. The trapped CO2 is removed from the phytoplankton with the implementation of the carbon removal technology by only a handful of companies. The extracted CO2 is later used for several industrial purposes in abundance. But before we move on to that aspect, let us delve a little further into why phytoplanktons are a boon to humans.
CO2 is a harmful gas that we exhale. When CO2 increases in the human body, it leads to health hazards like breathing trouble, carbon accumulation in the lungs, etc. Besides, the atmospheric impacts are also massive. With a steep rise in the presence of CO2 in the air, temperatures begin to soar higher, sea levels rise, oceans become more acidic and rainstorms and droughts become common and humans are left at the mercy of nature.
In such a situation, phytoplankton come to our aid. Phytoplankton absorb the CO2 from the atmosphere and the ocean kingdom and spare the humans from facing unnatural environmental havoc and chaos.
Phytoplankton must be preserved and with the shift in the ecological balance, they must be kept intact. Different technologies are undergoing the litmus test where the companies need to prove that they can preserve the phytoplankton and at the same time, use the carbon sequestration technology to extract the trapped CO2 from the phytoplankton on the ocean beds. Humans can be relieved from the threats of CO2 spread in the air by doing so.