Do Marine Phytoplankton Influence Global Climate?
The oceans have a major influence on the climate of the earth through effects on the global solar radiation budget, on meridional heat transport, and on the trace gas composition of the atmosphere. The climate of the ocean-atmosphere system is sensitive to variations of the solar constant and the orbital characteristics of the earth. However, the properties of surface ocean waters and of the marine atmosphere are modified also by the optical and biochemical properties of marine organisms, in particular, the phytoplankton. It is generally recognized that the global climate would have been quite different through geological time in the absence of life in the sea.
KeywordsParticulate Organic Carbon Marine Phytoplankton Cloud Condensation Nucleus Aeolian Dust Emiliania Huxleyi
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