diel migration

Nightly Plankton Migration Cools Our Blue Planet

Every night the greatest migration on our blue planet takes place.

When darkness falls a nearly infinite multitude of tiny ocean organisms swim up from cold abyss to feast on the days growth of phytoplankton.

The kicking of trillions upon trillions of tiny fins, flippers, and feet stir the ocean as much as its’ mighty winds and currents.

Read on to learn about our planet and it’s ‘bottom up’ as opposed to ‘top down’ reality and how life cools the planet 6 ways from sundown!

But there is trouble in our Blue Planet’s paradise as the ocean pastures of the surface ocean and their vital plant life are in terrible decline and with that collapse like any pasture where there is less grass there is less animal life, aka swimmers.

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As the multitudes of tiny ocean life is declining so is work they do that cools our planet. Note water has ~1000 times the cooling capacity of air so the tiny bit of cool water each tiny plankton life stirs to the surface multiplied by their countless numbers is a powerful cooling mechanism.

The reason for the observed decline of powerful and vital plankton cooling is uncomplicated and it is us. We are starving the oceans to death all for the want of a little dust in the wind.

diel migration cartoon plankton cools the planet

Diel migration is very basic learning taught in plankton elementary school. Your food (phytoplankton) grows at the surface, in daylight fish that want to eat you can see you there, lesson #1 don’t go there in daylight, stay safe in the dark! (Note, these plankton kinders are not on this planet just to eat and be eaten, they work hard to take care of the joint for themselves and everyone else.)

Plankton Politics

While it may be ‘politically correct’ amongst the “humans are most important crowd” to give our patronage exclusively to the climate change debate; no matter which side of that debate you are on regarding ‘climate change’ wrought by our fossil fueled/fooled CO2 emissions the truth is far different than what pop science and social media report. In fact it is our CO2 that is the problem but NOT via its ‘warming’ role, aka radiative forcing. Rather it is the more immediate and fundamental role of CO2 acting as the principal component/resource in green plant photosynthesis, aka life.

CO2 makes plants grow more and bushier and since our Earth is a planet covered mostly with grass not trees more grass = more ground cover. But on this blue planet while the largest part, that part covered with grass, covers perhaps only 10% of the globe, but that 10% regulates growth on the 70% of our blue planet that is ocean. Just as the grass and trees of this world depend on water that comes from the ocean in the form of rain to sustain those terrestrial plant kingdoms the ocean is not just a big empty blue expanse it is a collection of vast blue-green ocean pastures. The plant life of those ocean pastures, it’s phyto-plankton, depends almost entirely on the ‘rain’ that the land gives it in the form of mineral dust blowing in the wind.

The crisis of our CO2 is that it makes the grass grow and what that means is:


Now for the Bad News

Our CO2 has and is resulting in a vast diminishment of ocean plant life, you know the ocean plant plankton that once filled our surface ocean pastures. The diminishment is neither disputed nor debated it simply is very clearly measured as being a cataclysmic decline well recorded since the 1950’s.

To put it into a human/terrain context the amount of ocean pasture, or ocean forest if you prefer, that has and is disappearing due to our human caused drought of dust in the wind can be thought of like the deforestation of the Amazon Rainforest. Everyone seems to know and sympathize or at least empathize with the demise of the Amazon Rainforest. The loss of about 20% of the Amazon in modern human history is universally reported and mourned.

Amazon decline - plankton cools the planet

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In the same time frame as the 20% of the Amazon has been cut down, let’s say since the 1950’s, vastly more ocean plant life has been eradicated. The loss is staggering, in every 5 year span of time over those decades an amount of ocean pasture/forest plant life equal to the entire, yes 100% of the Amazon, has been eradicated.

Not less than 10 entire Amazon’s worth of our vital blue planet’s plant kingdom has been eradicated by us in just 50 years!

The results of this incredible diminishment of ocean pasture plant life are many. Let’s consider just the role of the reduction of the trillions of tiny swimmers that every night once stirred the ocean bringing cold deep water to the surface with every stroke of fin, flipper, and foot. The impact on the vital ocean, and thus atmospheric, cooling is more than astronomical.

One of the best kept secrets is the cooling capacity of the oceans.

In the world of ‘climate change science’ a bit of attention is paid to the heat uptake by the oceans, you know that ‘top down’ mechanism. But strangely there is no attention for the cooling capacity of the vast amount of cold ocean that lies below. The cooling effect of the cold water of the world’s oceans is huge. Keep in mind that the oceans are on average about 10,000 feet, aka 3,600 meters, deep. Only the top 100 meters or so is warm, the rest is very cold, aka cooling.

phil nuytten

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Because cold water is denser than warm water the ocean is divided by a boundary layer where warmer surface water floats upon deep cold water. My friend, Phil Nuytten, the legendary deep diving submersible inventor once regaled me with a wonderful story of how he loves to go deep in one of his deep diving mini-subs and lingers to play at the deep ‘thermocline.’

‘When we get to the deep thermocline’, Phil reports, ‘we have to make a substantial adjustment to our buoyancy to get across into the deep cold water. When we hit the thermocline we bounce off the dense cold water just like we were jumping on a trampoline. We always linger there and play on the trampoline while we make our sub heavy enough to get through. Of course we are not the only ones there as all manner of sea life rests on the same trampoline where they can just sit without expending any energy to swim to keep from sinking.’ 

Climate Science is exclusively a ‘top down’ science it ignores the ‘bottom up’ real world.

A dominant and domineering ruling climate class of atmospheric scientists runs roughshod over any and all who might encroach on their lock on the politics of ‘climate change.’ They fight dutifully to sustain the problem like a pharmaceutical company focusing on treatments instead of cures as their priority products. No one can deny that ‘climate change’ has become far more of a political business debate than a scientific pursuit, Eisenhower once opined on such threats, today he’d speak of the ‘climate industrial complex‘. Trillions of dollars in annual climate taxes are the prize and with those trillions political power.

As always in human history the crisis that has begun the political battle is spin mastered becoming more political science than science. Worse the topic has expanded outside of simple political wrangling and has taken on the nature of religion and even more ominous sport by millions of faithful and fans.

Meanwhile we ignore and eschew the power Mother Nature has bestowed on life on our blue planet. We do so at our peril.

We must and we can restore the food supply for the swimmers!

In restoring ocean pastures, we might even call it our stroke of genius, we will enlist countless legions of tiny swimmers to restore their planet cooling and life sustaining work. All that we need to help them is replenish that which we have taken away, all they and we need is a little dust in the wind.

This blog is filled with reports on the power and potency of ocean life and how as we do our part to repair the havoc we are wreaking and restore our ocean pastures they will do their part to take care of us.

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