Ancient oceans experienced a global surge in biological productivity

BOSTON---In work that could improve understanding of future climate change, University of Michigan researchers have documented a global-scale increase in oceanic biological productivity that occurred between about 6 million and 4 million years ago, during the late Miocene and early Pliocene epochs of geological history.

Graduate student Casey Hermoyian and Prof. Robert M. Owen of the U-M Department of Geological Sciences discovered the "biogenic bloom" by measuring levels of phosphorus in marine sediment cores collected from the Atlantic and Indian Oceans. Hermoyian reported their findings at the spring meeting of the American Geophysical Union.

The waxing and waning of biological productivity in ancient oceans offers insights into climate change, Owen explains. Biological productivity is a measure of the amount of biomass (total living matter) produced in a given time. In oceans, biomass is produced mainly by photosynthesis: microscopic organisms (plankton) capture energy from the sun and use it to convert carbon dioxide and dissolved nutrients, such as phosphorus, into biomass. In the process, oxygen is released into the atmosphere as a byproduct.

By studying patterns of biological productivity, paleoceanographers can make inferences about climate, which is affected by changing levels of atmospheric gases. For example, a long period of high biological productivity could lead to a net loss in carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, which in turn could cause the Earth to cool---an anti-greenhouse effect.

"A basic paradigm of earth science is that the present is the key to the past. But in fact, in many cases the past also is the key to the future," says Owen. "One of the ways in which we try to understand the present-day climate and especially the future climate is by going back in the geologic record to see if we can discern the causes and effects of what occurred. And the more insight we can get from the past, the better we know how processes a

Contact: Nancy Ross-Flanigan
University of Michigan

Page: 1 2 3

Related biology news :

1. Ancient life form may help create newest technologies
2. Ancient brewery discovered on mountaintop in Peru
3. Ancient Greeks help scientists build environmentally friendly nano devices
4. Ancient DNA mutations permitted humans to adapt to colder climates, UCI researchers find
5. Ancient Inca road in desperate need of protection
6. Ancient DNA analysis unveils mystery of historys most horribly deformed man -- The Elephant Man
7. Ancient pollen yields insight into forest biodiversity
8. Ancient defense mechanism may still be protecting us
9. Ancient flower fossil points to underwater origins
10. Ancient supernova may have triggered eco-catastrophe
11. Ancient Chinese folk remedy may hold key to non-toxic cancer treatment

Post Your Comments:

(Date:7/2/2020)... ... July 02, 2020 , ... ... has announced a publication detailing the use of its revolutionary NEXTGENPCR endpoint ... reaction (RT-PCR) in 16 minutes. The article, titled "Ultra-fast one-step RT-PCR protocol ...
(Date:6/25/2020)... ... June 24, 2020 , ... eClinical ... clinical data services that accelerate drug development, is collaborating with Karyopharm Therapeutics (Nasdaq: ... in hospitalized patients with severe COVID-19. This is the first study of an ...
(Date:6/23/2020)... , ... June 23, 2020 , ... In its June ... interview with Dr. James L. Sherley, M.D., Ph.D., founder and director of stem ... company announced on June 16 that starting July 5 it would begin ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:7/10/2020)... LEXINGTON, Mass. (PRWEB) , ... July 09, 2020 ... ... novel approaches to cell therapy, today announced the hiring of Allen R. Nissenson, ... executive team and oversee the clinical development of Sentien’s lead product, SBI-101. ...
(Date:7/7/2020)... ... 2020 , ... Bio-IT World has announced the winners of ... University of Chicago, Massachusetts General Hospital, Mission: Cure, and the Pistoia Alliance were ... outstanding examples of how technology innovations and strategic initiatives can be powerful forces ...
(Date:7/1/2020)... ... 29, 2020 , ... The Interlocal Purchasing System (TIPS), a ... recently named BioFit Engineered Products an Awarded Vendor. Awarded Vendor status ... cafeteria tables, book trucks and carts at discounted pricing without the delay and ...
(Date:6/28/2020)... ... June 25, 2020 , ... The Indoor Lab, a leading provider ... for businesses of all types to ensure cleanliness, distancing and occupancy with its patent ... Safe Space™ enabled business will provide a health performance index system that scores all ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: