Climate effects in the Plankton revealed by a long-term monitoring program
from 11:30 AM to 01:30 PM
The marine plankton are central in global ecology and underpin the marine food chain. Living in the surface of the sea, the plankton are sensitive to changes in sea surface temperature. The Fourth Assessment Report of the Inter Governmental Panel on Climate Change predicts that the global average sea surface temperature will increase in the coming decades. Over 70 years ago, Alister Hardy designed a machine to study the plankton to help understand variability in fisheries. The machine Hardy invented has now been deployed on a monthly basis along several routes in the North Atlantic and North Sea since the late 1940’s and more recently in other oceans. The long-term spatially extensive time series of plankton samples that has resulted reveals how the communities react to changes in their environment, which may help us predict future changes and their influence on marine ecology.