Ocean 'Blob' Caused Dangerous Algae Bloom
Tiny water plants called phytoplankton serve as food for many sea creatures, including whales, shrimp, jellyfish and snails.
Phytoplankton do well in cold water. But if water temperatures rise by only two degrees Celsius, the phytoplankton struggle. That is what happened in the last three or four years in the northern part of the Pacific Ocean.
Researchers say an unusual area of warm water spread throughout the Northern Pacific. Scientists called the warm water "the blob," as if it were a character in an old science fiction movie.
At its largest, the blob stretched 1,600 square kilometers and reached depths of 91 meters.
This large mass of warm water had a damaging effect on the ocean food chain. Many fish that depend on phytoplankton swam away from the area. As a result, sea birds and sea lions that eat those fish starved.
Scientists from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the University of Washington have found that the warm ocean "blob" caused a harmful algae bloom. That fast growth in algae hurt fishing grounds along the U.S. West Coast and Canada's British Columbia.
The researchers recently published their study in the journal Geophysical Research Letters.
They looked at the algae, called P. australis. The researchers found that the algae can grow much faster than normal if it is exposed to warm water.
The higher levels of algae also produced more of a poisonous chemical that can cause problems for everything from shellfish to dolphins to sea lions. It also causes problems for humans if too much of the chemical builds up in their blood.
Researchers say algae blooms like this one will continue as ocean waters warm. The algae will hurt sea animals, birds, and fish. It may damage food resources for humans all over the world, the scientists say.
I'm Dan Friedell.
1.serve as 担任；作为
He volunteered to serve as the manager of our department store.
2.sea creatures 海洋生物
I've mainly searched for fossils and deep sea creatures.
3.food chain 食物链
The whole food chain is affected by the overuse of chemicals in agriculture.
4.water plants 水生植物
An aquarium is a place where water animals and water plants are kept.
1.Phytoplankton do well in cold water.
do well in 在某方面做的好
She is a very clever girl; she will do well in life.
He will do well in that work because he has a lot on the ball.
2.It also causes problems for humans if too much of the chemical builds up in their blood.
build up 增进；加强
Slowly a thick layer of fat builds up on the pan's surface.
The writer builds up a clever contextual picture of upper class life.
浮游生物可在冷水中存活 。但是如果水温升高仅2摄氏度，浮游生物就难以存活 。过去三四年里，太平洋北部海域就出现了这一问题 。
研究人员称，一片异常的暖水区正沿着北太平洋扩散 。科学家称其为“温水区”，就像古老科幻影片中的角色一样 。
大片温水区会扰乱海洋食物链 。以浮游生物为食的大量鱼群离开海域 。最终导致以鱼群为生的海鸟和海狮失去食物来源 。
美国国家海洋与大气管理局和华盛顿大学的科学家们发现，“温水区”会引发有害藻类大量繁殖现象 。藻类的大规模繁殖导致美国西海岸与加拿大英属哥伦比亚省沿岸渔业受损严重 。
研究人员对名为“芦苇”的藻类进行研究 。他们发现，有害藻类在温水区中繁殖地更快 。
藻类过度繁殖还会释放出更多的有毒化学物质，影响贝类、海豚及海狮等海洋生物的生存 。如果人类血液中积累过多化学物质也会引发疾病 。
研究人员称，随着海水变暖，有害藻类会继续繁殖 。藻类会伤害海洋动物、鸟类和鱼类 。科学家认为，它还可能会破坏全人类的食物资源 。