2017-03-15. Arabian Sea algae bloom linked to climate change.

posted Mar 16, 2017, 4:02 PM by Alan Gould

By Sam McNeil | AP. For GSS Climate Change chapter 8. Excerpt: BANDAR AL-ROWDAH, Oman — The Gulf of Oman turns green twice a year, when an algae bloom the size of Mexico spreads across the Arabian Sea all the way to India. Scientists who study the algae say the microscopic organisms are thriving in new conditions brought about by climate change, and displacing the zooplankton that underpin the local food chain, threatening the entire marine ecosystem. ...Across the planet, blooms have wrecked local ecosystems. Algae can paralyze fish, clog their gills, and absorb enough oxygen to suffocate them. Whales, turtles, dolphins and manatees have died, poisoned by algal toxins, in the Atlantic and Pacific. These toxins have infiltrated whole marine food chains and have, in rare cases, killed people, according to the U.N. science agency. ...satellite technology has enabled scientists to link the algae to higher levels of air and water pollution in recent decades, but Bontempi said questions remain. “We know that our Earth is changing,” she said. “It may be in a direction we might not like.” Scientists based at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory at Columbia University trace Oman’s blooms to melting ice in the Himalayas. Less ice has raised temperatures in South Asia and strengthened the Indian Ocean’s southwest monsoon. As this weather front moves across the Arabian Sea every year, it churned up oxygen-poor water thick with nutrients that have fueled the rise of a 1.2-billion-year old algae called noctiluca scintillans....  https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/middle_east/growing-algae-bloom-in-arabian-sea-tied-to-climate-change/2017/03/15/01877bbc-0957-11e7-bd19-fd3afa0f7e2a_story.html