Tag: cycle

Tiny Plankton Drive Processes in the Ocean That Capture Twice as Much Carbon as Scientists Thought

May 21, 2020 By Ken Buesseler The Conversation
The ocean plays a major role in the global carbon cycle. The driving force comes from tiny plankton that produce organic carbon through photosynthesis, like plants on land. When plankton die or are consumed, a set of processes known as the biological carbon pump carries sinking particles of carbon from the surface to the deep ocean in a process known as marine snowfall. Naturalist and writer Rachel Carson called it the “most stupendous snowfall on Earth.”

Shedding New Light on the Nitrogen Cycle in the Dark Ocean

May 6, 2020 By Jon Kelvey Eos
Every year, the Mississippi River dumps around 1.4 million metric tons of nitrogen into the Gulf of Mexico, much of it runoff from agricultural fertilizer. This nitrogen can lead to algal blooms, which in turn deplete oxygen concentrations in the water, creating hypoxic dead zones. The nitrogen cycle is a phenomenon environmental scientists would really like to understand better.