Tag Archive | "Wired Science"


Swimming sea life stirs the oceans

A crucial part of the planet's ecosystem is the mixing of the oceans. Cold nutrient-rich water brought up from the abyssal depths nourishes plankton, which is then eaten by fish, which is then eaten by bigger fish, and so on, until it ends up battered and wrapped in newspaper on your plate. The plankton also produce half of the world's oxygen.

But how does that oceanic mixing take place? Well, the wind plays a part. When it hits the surface of the sea, it causes stresses on the water, which dissipate the further down you go. Then there's the tides. The moon's gravity causes the ocean to slosh around, and the turbulence generated acts as a mixing force between the warmer surface and the colder abyssal water.

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