Thursday, September 20, 2012

Sharks and Phytoplankton - full Circle!

Well well!
I really had to laugh out loud.

But first things first.
Anthony Marr thinks on a different level.
Having personally miserably failed every single physics exam that was ever thrown at me, I'm of the firm belief that a physicist's brain must be wired differently - and he is one of those. I also know that he must be preternaturally smart because I've consulted his YouTube channel and made an honest attempt at understanding his Omniscientific Cosmology and the like, and have come away with a migraine.
But I kinda get the gist - and guess what: once you strip away the New Age, the idea that we could reach a higher level by becoming a planetary unity kinda makes total sense. Never gonna happen - but it's a nice utopia.
Anyway, apart from being a messianic cosmo-philosopher or whatever, Anthony appears to be many other things, among which a respected and awarded animal activist.

And as such, he has posted a piece about the dreaded Phytoplankton.
It refers to this article in the SA which informs us that the Phytoplankton has declined by approx 40% since the 1950ies, possibly caused by the stratification of the upper ocean layers owing to the rise of sea surface temperatures.

And not only that.
Anthony has also regaled us with not one, but several infographics that he is busy disseminating among the sharktivist social media.
Here's one I like.

See the direction of the arrows?
So there you have it: Phytoplankton is the foundation of the entire marine food pyramid (for which it needs to get consumed!) and the production of Phytoplankton declines, all higher trophic levels all the way to the Sharks will be at risk!
No Phytoplankton = no Sharks - a bottom-up, not a top-down effect!
Talk about a total reversal of direction - and if Anthony says so, it must be true and guess what, I totally agree!

And this vital role extends to all the lower trophic levels like e.g. the Forage Fish and the Krill where we are fishing down the food web and further endangering the predators depending on them .
But that's another post for another time!!

PS: still eagerly awaiting Jessica's dissertation!
PS2: Marr vs the Mad Hatter? Now there's a thought...

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