NASA discovers “an Amazon (phytoplankton) rainforest in the middle of the Mojave Desert” – Must be caused by AGW!

Guest post by David Middleton

NASA Discovers Unprecedented Blooms of Ocean Plant Life

“Part of NASA’s mission is pioneering scientific discovery, and this is like finding the Amazon rainforest in the middle of the Mojave Desert,” said Paula Bontempi, NASA’s ocean biology and biogeochemistry program manager in Washington.

Or maybe it’s more like finding a lot of trees in a part of the Amazon rainforest where you never bothered to look for trees before. Sub-ice phytoplankton blooms are not exactly “unprecedented.”

Dense sub-ice bloom of dinoflagellates in the Baltic Sea, potentially limited by high pH
Kristian Spilling
Finnish Environment Institute, PO Box 140, 00251 Helsinki, Finland
Tvärminne Zoological Station, University of Helsinki, 10900 Hanko, Finland

Received February 27, 2007.
Accepted June 27, 2007.
Final version accepted August 15, 2007

Abstract

The phytoplankton community, carbon assimilation, chlorophyll a (Chl a), pH, light and attenuation and inorganic nutrients were monitored under the ice in the coastal Gulf of Finland, Baltic Sea. Maximum ice and snow thickness was 40 and 15 cm, respectively. Freshwater influence had created a halocline 1–2 m below the ice–water interface, and above this halocline, a dense bloom of dinoflagellates developed (max: >300 μg Chl a L−1). The photosynthetic uptake of carbon dioxide by this “red tide” increased the pH to a maximum of 9.0. The sub-ice phytoplankton community was dominated by the dinoflagellate Woloszynskia halophila (max: 3.6 × 107 cells L−1). The pH tolerance of this species was studied in a monoculture and the results indicate that pH >8.5 limits growth of this species at ambient irradiance. This study shows that primary productivity may raise the pH to growth limiting levels, even in marine, low-light environments where pH normally is not considered important.

INTRODUCTION

The Baltic Sea is a semi-enclosed, brackish ocean where ice is an important element of the ecosystem during winter. In the northern part of Baltic Sea and western part of Gulf of Finland, the probability of freezing is >90% and ice coverage normally lasts for 2–6 months (Mälkki and Tamsalu, 1985). There have been observations of dense, dinoflagellate dominated blooms under the ice in the Baltic Sea, but there is relatively little information about this phenomenon (Larsen et al., 1995; Haecky et al., 1998; Kremp and Heiskanen, 1999). These types of blooms are often called red tides because of the obvious discoloration of the water, but a cold-water red tide is very much in contrast to the main distribution and bloom patterns of dinoflagellates, which typically avoid winter and spring in temperate areas (Smayda and Reynolds, 2001).

[...]

LINK

For an even earlier discussion of phytoplankton blooms under Arctic pack ice, see Gradinger, 1996.

Maybe NASA should stick to Aeronautics and Space.

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About David Middleton

I have been a geoscientist in the evil oil and gas industry for almost 30 years. My favorite hobby is debunking the junk science of the radical environmentalists...Particularly the junk science of anthropogenic global warming.
This entry was posted in Alarmism, Arctic, Climate_change, Sea ice. Bookmark the permalink.

71 Responses to NASA discovers “an Amazon (phytoplankton) rainforest in the middle of the Mojave Desert” – Must be caused by AGW!

  1. All you need to make an underwater bloom of organisms in the ocean is a little fertilization from below, i.e., seepage of methane or oil. Is NASA ignorant to such concepts?
    See for example this http://www.living-Petrol.blogspot.no and http://www.oilonmars.blogspot.no

  2. P. Solar says:

    ” The photosynthetic uptake of carbon dioxide by this “red tide” increased the pH to a maximum of 9.0.”

    I thought usual the cry was neutralisation (falsely called acidification) of the oceans. Looks like another negative feedback in the loop.

  3. Yes….but….climate change caused it, so it’s unprecedented!! I love how the NASA release just races ahead into the conclusion that it’s another consequence of GW.

    Well, we have a Fight ‘O’ Plankton on our hands now.

  4. Steven Mosher says:

    “Sub-ice phytoplankton blooms are not exactly “unprecedented.”

    That is not what they are claiming is new. read the article more carefully.

  5. oldseadog says:

    This is very exciting.
    If there is lots of plankton under the ice, small marine creatures will eat it.
    That will mean that there will be food for lots of fish.
    Seals can eat the fish. They will have to make holes in the ice to breath through, though.
    Then maybe Polar Bears will learn to wait beside the ice holes and catch the seals and eat them.

    Oh … wait a moment …. .

  6. Disko Troop says:

    The headline on NASA’s article on their site is:
    “NASA Discovers Unprecedented Blooms of Ocean Plant Life”
    That is copied and pasted from their site.
    So what do you think NASA are trying to say with that headline Mr. Mosher?

    In the article they say:

    “”At this point we don’t know whether these rich phytoplankton blooms have been happening in the Arctic for a long time and we just haven’t observed them before,” Arrigo said.”
    Ever heard the word “spin?”, it is used a lot in the UK.
    Ever heard the word “disingenuous”? Think about it.

    Ivor Ward

  7. Chris Whitley says:

    So a thinner ice sheet allows more sunlight. Go figure.

  8. temp says:

    Steven Mosher says:
    September 29, 2012 at 1:20 am

    “Sub-ice phytoplankton blooms are not exactly “unprecedented.”

    That is not what they are claiming is new. read the article more carefully.”

    I don’t know sure sounds like it from these quotes

    “If someone had asked me before the expedition whether we would see under-ice blooms, I would have told them it was impossible,” said Kevin Arrigo of Stanford University in Stanford, Calif., leader of the ICESCAPE mission and lead author of the new study. “This discovery was a complete surprise.”

    Guy says its impossible followed by this much more sane and logical quote

    “At this point we don’t know whether these rich phytoplankton blooms have been happening in the Arctic for a long time and we just haven’t observed them before,” Arrigo said.”

    Followed by religion again

    “These blooms could become more widespread in the future, however, if the Arctic sea ice cover continues to thin.”

  9. Eric Huxter says:

    Amazing what you find when you look for it.

    Blooms are not so uncommon under Antarctic ice apparently.

    http://icb.oxfordjournals.org/content/41/1/57.full

  10. marchesarosa says:

    They found the same huge plankton bloom in the Antarctic when open water appeared following the loss of ice-shelves there. This response of plant life to create a bigger carbon sink after ice disappears from the ocean surface exposing it to air and sunshine is an example, surely, of “negative feedback”. Funnily, I was only discussing this with friends last week.

  11. Terry says:

    Stephen Mosher
    “That is not what they are claiming is new. read the article more carefully.”
    The way I read it that is exactly what they are claiming
    “”If someone had asked me before the expedition whether we would see under-ice blooms, I would have told them it was impossible,” said Kevin Arrigo of Stanford University in Stanford, Calif., leader of the ICESCAPE mission and lead author of the new study. “This discovery was a complete surprise.”
    and
    “Previously, researchers thought the Arctic Ocean sea ice blocked most sunlight needed for phytoplankton growth”

  12. Jas says:

    Mosher should read the article more carefully before telling others to do it. Viz..

    “At this point we don’t know whether these rich phytoplankton blooms have been happening in the Arctic for a long time and we just haven’t observed them before,” Arrigo said.

    Ignore the “could be”s and concentrate on the “we don’t know”s to separate out speculation from actual knowledge.

  13. Otter says:

    Someone please correct me if I am wrong, but, I seem to recall science-fiction stories from the 50s/60s, in which plankton blooms were a Bad thing, a sign of something going wrong…
    And if I am correct, I have to wonder- what happened back then, that enough plankton blooms were taking place, that people were concerned about it enough to write such stories?

  14. grumpyoldmanuk says:

    Bearing in mind that we are told that Arctic Ice is vanishing at an enormous rate, the real discovery surely is the existence of 3′ -thick sea ice?

  15. The content of this report gives the impression that it is the first (recent) such research in this area. The claims made are a leap of faith, the mainstay of alarmist research.

  16. E.M.Smith says:

    Maybe NASA should stick return to Aeronautics and Space.

    There, fixed it for you… (Last I looked we were reduced to hitching rides on Russian rockets…)

    Sidebar:

    An odd thing I’ve noticed. When folks get sucked into the Warmista side of things, they slowly turn grumpy and angry. The “snippy” level goes up and they seem more angry and depressive. We can see that in the nature of comments here, as folks we’ve watched for a few years “made the slide” and now do much more “drive by snapping” and less thoughtful contemplation.

    I don’t know why it is, but it clearly is.

    On the flip side, Skeptics tend to a pleasant curiosity about things. Still having a sense of wonder at nature and hope for the future.

    I wonder if repeating “We’re all GONNA DIE!!!!” too many times does something to folks; especially when they just get snickered at…

    Per Algae:

    So, think maybe fishing megatons of fish out of the oceans might reduce the stocks of things eating the algae? Think maybe thin ice lets more air and sun in? Think maybe lots more agricultural runoff fertilizes the water more?

    And if they think that bloom is extreme, they’ve never seen much of the ocean and have certainly not seen a holding pond south of a cow field…

    To get an astounding algae bloom: Fertilize water, add small amount of sun, make cup of coffee… (Making the coffee consumes some time so the algae can do the exponential ramp).

    Notice I did not say “add heat”. Different algae thrive in different temperatures. Temp is basically irrelevant. Nutrients and sun are what matter.

    Oh, and someone ought to point out all the massive oil found under the North Sea and in the Gulf of Mexico and Gulf of Arabia and Gulf… The classical oil formation theory says it came from algae blooms. Blooms so thick that dozens of feet of compressed algae end up on the ocean bottom, buried for an anaerobic conversion to oil. So I think it’s very clear that algae blooms of immense size are quite natural…

  17. Meyer says:

    This is the problem with NASA. What’s next, the Social Security Administration sending a rocket to Quaoar?

  18. David, UK says:

    Well, blow me sideways and call me Doreen. A project called ICESCAPE – “Impacts of Climate change on the Eco-Systems and Chemistry of the Arctic Pacific Environment” – finds something that it concludes to be an impact of climate change on the eco-systems and chemistry of the Arctic Pacific environment. What a lucky coincidence.

  19. Steve Keohane says:

    Article: “punched through three-foot thick sea ice”, abstract: “Maximum ice and snow thickness was 40 and 15 cm, respectively.” Everything becomes exaggerated with CO2 goggles on, and has no other context, it is very boring actually.

  20. CEH says:

    Again people does not know their geograhpy. The gulf of Finland does not lie in the Arctic, it is at 60N and goes from south of Finland towards St. Petersburgh. Secondly The Baltic sea does not even extend beyond the “Arctic circle” which anyway is a bad definition of the arctic, it only defines the latitude where the sun never sets in the midsummer. The proper definition of the Arctic( and arctic climate) is the July +10C(+50F) isotherm which REP has beautifully laid out on this map in the “Ice reference pages ” on this site . http://nsidc.org/arcticmet/images/arctic_map.gif

    The Gradinger 1996 report references investigations at two stations above 82N,which is Arctic proper .

  21. Gamecock says:

    “Part of NASA’s mission is pioneering scientific discovery”

    Government agency mission creep.

  22. AndyG55 says:

    So what’s new. raised CO2 levels allow plant life to flourish.. even in the oceans.

    THIS IS GOOD !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    This is how it SHOULD be !

  23. Steve Short says:

    I have been a PhD geoscientist in both pure research and the evil minerals and coal mining industry (in Australia) for over 30 years. Despite an advancing age my favorite hobby is (still) debunking the junk science of the lightweight post-modernist ‘graduates’ who, alas, overwhelmingly inhabit our state and Federal environmental regulatory agencies…..

    These are people who will insist, straight-faced, in any forum, that a pH of 9 – 10 in an algal bloom in a freshwater lake surrounded by miles of pristine wilderness must, by definition, be the evil work of some nasty person or mine who discharged a toxic alkali into the lake….

    Seems none of these dolts can retain the simple fact that all cyanobacteria abstract CO2 and bicarbonate from water and ‘excrete’ oxygen…..and have been doing so for (choke) a mere 3 billion years or so……

    Given this week is the 50th anniversary of the publication of Silent Spring by Rachel Carson I claim that foul volume did not spawn any ‘great awakening’ of deep environmental wisdom. Rather, it sparked a great green religion from whose bone-headedness and diverse sophistries we suffer to this day……

  24. Tom in Florida says:

    Dr Svalgaard has warned us many times about NASA’s exaggerated headlines. This appears to be another example.

  25. Jack Simmons says:

    There really is nothing like looking for finding things.

  26. Randy says:

    “Part of NASA’s mission is pioneering scientific discovery, and this is like finding the Amazon rainforest in the middle of the Mojave Desert,”

    I guess don’t trust the thinking of someone that comes up with such a simile.

  27. Louis Hooffstetter says:

    The money quotes from the article:

    1. “Fast-growing phytoplankton consume large amounts of carbon dioxide.”
    2. “The microscopic plants, called phytoplankton, are the base of the marine food chain.”
    3. “These growth rates are among the highest ever measured for polar water.”
    4. “…scientists will have to reassess the amount of carbon dioxide entering the Arctic Ocean through biological activity if the under-ice blooms turn out to be common… ”
    5. “At this point we don’t know whether these rich phytoplankton blooms have been happening in the Arctic for a long time and we just haven’t observed them before,”

    Or in other words, the authors admit:

    1. CO2 is plant food.
    2. The combination of increased CO2 and sunlight powerfully stimulate the marine food chain.
    3. The models don’t account for this.
    4. We have no idea of the significance of this phenomenon.

    It’s all good!

  28. Sparks says:

    So.. Did they rule-out the possibility of the phytoplankton being moved under the Sea-Ice by ocean currents, or rule-out that this type of phytoplankton grows around vents on the Ocean floor and float to the surface during the summer melting season? It actually looks bright enough for a phytoplankton bloom under the sea-Ice for it to be a normal occurrence.

  29. Jack Simmons says:

    Steve Short says:
    September 29, 2012 at 4:47 am

    Given this week is the 50th anniversary of the publication of Silent Spring by Rachel Carson I claim that foul volume did not spawn any ‘great awakening’ of deep environmental wisdom. Rather, it sparked a great green religion from whose bone-headedness and diverse sophistries we suffer to this day……

    Silent Spring was filled with scientific errors and led to the death of literally millions due to the ban of DDT.

    Steve you are absolutely correct. Thank you for your posting.

  30. Chris B says:

    The, “….this is like finding the Amazon rainforest in the middle of the Mojave Desert,” analogy is more suited to the deep ocean life found around the extreme heat vents emanating from numerous ocean floor sites. But, that would bring attention to a natural heat source, with oceanic life forms thriving at extremely high temperatures with NO light from the sun.

    I would be surprised if any marine biologist or oceanographer would not expect to see aquatic algal blooms wherever the suns rays go from the darker winter months to the long days of summer. They might also expect species that prefer colder temperatures. I hope they didn’t spend a lot of money or burn a lot of fossil fuel on this one.

    More “news” items equate to more funding, hence an unprecedented number of “unprecedented” findings.

  31. sunsettommy says:

    LOL,

    I read about such blooms way back in the 1970’s!

    From Nature is this from June 2012:

    Huge phytoplankton bloom found under Arctic ice

    http://blogs.nature.com/news/2012/06/huge-phytoplankton-bloom-found-under-arctic-ice.html

    He he…

  32. Chris B says:

    Steve Short says:
    September 29, 2012 at 4:47 am

    …..These are people who will insist, straight-faced, in any forum, that a pH of 9 – 10 in an algal bloom in a freshwater lake surrounded by miles of pristine wilderness must, by definition, be the evil work of some nasty person or mine who discharged a toxic alkali into the lake….

    Seems none of these dolts can retain the simple fact that all cyanobacteria abstract CO2 and bicarbonate from water and ‘excrete’ oxygen…..and have been doing so for (choke) a mere 3 billion years or so……

    Given this week is the 50th anniversary of the publication of Silent Spring by Rachel Carson I claim that foul volume did not spawn any ‘great awakening’ of deep environmental wisdom. Rather, it sparked a great green religion from whose bone-headedness and diverse sophistries we suffer to this day……
    __________________________________________

    Great comment.

    I’ve observed the same sort of bloom in the pond on my property every year. The first time I observed the bloom it was, “unprecedented”, for me at least.

    I prefer Aldo Leopold’s, “A Sand County Almanac” to the leftist ideologyl environmental literature of late.

  33. fhhaynie says:

    These tiny creatures are probably consuming over ten times the amount of atmospheric CO2 than we will ever produce by burning fossil fuels. When the sun is shining, they will eat up dissolved CO2 as fast as it is made available. Under the ice that CO2 has to be transported from open sea where it is being absorbed by cold water. That rate process is limited by how fast the air containing the CO2 is delivered to the surface. pH is not limiting phytoplankton growth. The high pH shows us that under the ice the phytoplankton is running out of dissolved CO2 to consume.

    Another factor to consider is the fractionation process these creatures perform and how it effects the observed 13CO2/12CO2 index. With the Arctic Ocean being the major sink for CO2, we should expect this frationation process to be a major factor in changing this observed atmospheric index.

  34. TimTheToolMan says:

    Mosher writes “That is not what they are claiming is new. read the article more carefully.”

    From the paper “the most likely explanation for the decreased carbon assimilation with increasing pH for W. halophila was changes in membrane transport processes and regulation of the intracellular pH.”

    You’re right. They do appear to be implying the bloom acts as a kind of buffer between the atmospheric CO2 dissolving at the ocean interface and descending to the ocean depths by maintaining growth rates until sufficient CO2 has been “captured” by the bloom thus effectively sequesting CO2 at the surface.

    But we’d never have thought life could flourish beneath the ice like that, they think! They have a lot to learn about life I’d say. Most of the AGW scientists’ assumptions about how life works seems to focus (incorrectly) on the chemistry alone.

  35. Chris B says:

    Eric Huxter says:
    September 29, 2012 at 1:58 am
    Amazing what you find when you look for it.

    Blooms are not so uncommon under Antarctic ice apparently.
    ___________________

    Maybe the same phenomenon that allows for record high ice extent in the Antarctic while the globe is heating catastrophically makes “unprecedented” algal blooms commonplace down there.

    /sarc

  36. Chris B says:

    “phenomenon”

  37. Ric Werme says:

    CEH says:
    September 29, 2012 at 3:29 am

    Again people does not know their geograhpy. The gulf of Finland does not lie in the Arctic, it is at 60N and goes from south of Finland towards St. Petersburgh.

    The NASA report was from research involving “Arctic waters in the Beaufort and Chukchi seas along Alaska’s western and northern coasts onboard a U.S. Coast Guard icebreaker.”

    The other reference in the main post was to “Sub-ice phytoplankton blooms are not exactly unprecedented.” Thank you for clarifying that the ocean can ice over outside of the Arctic.

  38. Willis Eschenbach says:

    Steven Mosher says:
    September 29, 2012 at 1:20 am

    “Sub-ice phytoplankton blooms are not exactly “unprecedented.”

    That is not what they are claiming is new. read the article more carefully.

    Yes, that is in fact what they are claiming is new. Read the article more carefully yourself. They not only thought sub-ice blooms are unprecedented, they thought they were impossible.

    “If someone had asked me before the expedition whether we would see under-ice blooms, I would have told them it was impossible,” said Kevin Arrigo of Stanford University in Stanford, Calif., leader of the ICESCAPE mission and lead author of the new study. “This discovery was a complete surprise.”

    See that part about how under-ice phytoplankton blooms are a “complete surprise” to the leader of the study? How is that not a claim that sub-ice blooms are “unprecedented”?

    w.

  39. Gunga Din says:

    Maybe these unprecedented algal blooms will attract some whales. It’s so rare to spot them in polar waters.
    (sarc)

  40. JJ says:

    Steven Mosher says:

    “Sub-ice phytoplankton blooms are not exactly “unprecedented.”

    That is not what they are claiming is new. read the article more carefully.

    Thats is precisely what they are claiming is new:

    “Phytoplankton were thought to grow in the Arctic Ocean only after sea ice had retreated for the summer. Scientists now think that the thinning Arctic ice is allowing sunlight to reach the waters under the sea ice, catalyzing the plant blooms where they had never been observed. ”

    &

    “If someone had asked me before the expedition whether we would see under-ice blooms, I would have told them it was impossible,” said Kevin Arrigo of Stanford University in Stanford, Calif., leader of the ICESCAPE mission and lead author of the new study. “This discovery was a complete surprise.”

    Yet another drive-by fail by the wholey unjustified arrogance of Mosher.

  41. I propose that Steven Mosher be required to conclusively demonstrate that he, himself has read the article in question before posting another one of his inane comments.

  42. Dajake says:

    Has any one ever entertained the idea that Rachel Carson was going deaf?

  43. phlogiston says:

    Arctic plankton are under strong competitive pressure to grow fast during the short spring. So it makes good sense to have a “seed” population under the ice, to get a head start in numbers when the ice melts and the intense spring growth starts.

  44. Gerald Machnee says:

    When I was in the Arctic in the 1970’s, the scientists diving under the ice said they were surprised by the amount of life under the ice.
    They referred to sewage in the as “enriched”. It did result in more growth in the water.

  45. atheok says:

    Willis:
    You’ve spent time in the commercial fishery world, so check me if I’m not following this correctly. Am I crazy or are they trying to say green water (inshore water) is supposed to be as sterile as blue water (deep blue sea, away from the influence of land)? The normal pic above is blue water, pretty but not full of food. The greenish pic above is called green water by fisherpeople and is very prolific water.

    The introduction to the paper identifies the water as being ‘brackish’. Brackish water is less saline than ocean water. Brackish water is also where abundant life occurs, e.g. estuaries, bays, fjords, etc. and is the reason these systems are spawning/feeding grounds for many species.

    Surprise surprise surprise, (Gomer Pyle style), They never checked before, so they’re astonished that they found it. Sure doesn’t give them the right to speculate wildly. Of course, they included AGW since that is the guarantee the feed trough will fill for next few years.

  46. Pieter Folkens says:

    Meanwhile, the population of Bowhead Whales continues to increase and an unexpected rate, thanks largely to plentiful food supplies of Zooplankton supported by Arctic Phytoplankton blooms.

  47. During the July 2011 Chukchi Sea leg of ICESCAPE, the researchers observed blooms beneath the ice that extended from the sea-ice edge to 72 miles into the ice pack.

    …These extensive but shallow melt ponds act as windows to the ocean, letting large amounts of sunlight pass through the ice to reach the water below,…

    …. Researchers estimate that phytoplankton production under the ice in parts of the Arctic could be up to 10 times higher than in the nearby open ocean.

    Fast-growing phytoplankton consume large amounts of carbon dioxide. The study concludes that scientists will have to reassess the amount of carbon dioxide entering the Arctic Ocean through biological activity if the under-ice blooms turn out to be common.

    Extending 72 miles into the ice pack… Is that as far as they looked or is that where it ended as they looked farther? It is not surprising that there is more light under thin ice. However the presence of a melt pond might be acting to trap light that refracts through the water’s surface. Since low angle sunlight is refracted into a steeper ray in the liquid water, the light then has a shorter path through the ice to the water below.

  48. TomC says:

    And people wonder how the arctic got to be so oil and natural gas rich. Where ever there’s vast phytoplankton blooms with regularity there’s going to be vast hydrocarbon deposits.

    The fact there’s huge hydrocarbon deposits in the arctic regions simply bares out this process of phytoplankton blooms being as ancient as the Arctic Basin itself.

  49. Richard G says:

    …”in contrast to the main distribution and bloom patterns of dinoflagellates, which typically avoid winter and spring in temperate areas (Smayda and Reynolds, 2001).”
    This is poorly written.
    How, pray tell, do any organisms “avoid” winter and spring in temperate areas? Just asking. Anthropomorphizing in science writing is one of my pet peeves.

  50. Louis Hooffstetter says:

    atheok says:
    “Am I crazy or are they trying to say green water (inshore water) is supposed to be as sterile as blue water (deep blue sea, away from the influence of land)? The normal pic above is blue water, pretty but not full of food. The greenish pic above is called green water by fisherpeople and is very prolific water.”

    Indeed! While on a field trip to the Bahamas, several geology professors stressed that the reason the beautiful water was so crystal clear was because it was sterile. It contains almost nothing: almost no plankton that forms the base of the food chain, and not enough nutrients to support their growth. One, who had studied the effects of fertilizing the oceans with iron, opined that some scientific administration (like NASA) should study how to use effluent of our coastal cities to enhance the fertilization of the oceans. The others agreed, but realized that given the current political climate, it was unlikely to happen.

  51. Richard G says:

    The Biosphere is a riotous orgy of opportunism. Increased bio-productivity is presumed to be a bad thing? False premise fallacy.

  52. Steve R says:

    So just to be clear……No rainforest was discovered in the Mojave?

  53. zbcustom says:

    A NASA-sponsored expedition punched through three-foot thick sea ice ….

    How much of this sort of thing is going on? Forget your Arctic cyclones, Albedo altering soot and the other usual culprits. I look forward to a research paper on the effects of research expeditions on the breakup of the Arctic ice cap. Perhaps Lewandowsky can be co-opted to assist with the necessary statistical analysis.

  54. CRS, Dr.P.H. says:

    “If someone had asked me before the expedition whether we would see under-ice blooms, I would have told them it was impossible,” said Kevin Arrigo of Stanford University in Stanford, Calif., leader of the ICESCAPE mission and lead author of the new study. “This discovery was a complete surprise.”

    Uh…say WHAT? Prof. Arrigo, you have all the ingredients for under-ice blooms including inorganic (carbon dioxide) and organic carbon sources, macro-and micro-nutrients, sunlight at all sorts of wavelengths (algae prefer red) and conditions to support heterotrophic, mixotrophic and autotrophic metabolism. Why would this discovery constitute a “complete surprise”?

    They hand out tenured faculty positions much too quickly these days. Massive Fail.

  55. lurker passing through, laughing says:

    I distinctly recall something very much like this from last year.
    It is questionable that finding out plankton can grow in the Arctic, as it does in the Antarctic, as a great scientific discovery. However, it is fascinating that the AGW obsessed orbit around such a small menu of issues. And they seem to rely on some sort of amnesia to permit them to revisit the same topics time after time and to claim they are new and *proof* of AGW

  56. Ian L. McQueen says:

    @E.M.Smith September 29, 2012 at 2:59 am
    To get an astounding algae bloom: Fertilize water, add small amount of sun, make cup of coffee… (Making the coffee consumes some time so the algae can do the exponential ramp).
    Different algae thrive in different temperatures. Temp is basically irrelevant. Nutrients and sun are what matter.
    Oh, and someone ought to point out all the massive oil found under the North Sea and in the Gulf of Mexico and Gulf of Arabia and Gulf… The classical oil formation theory says it came from algae blooms. Blooms so thick that dozens of feet of compressed algae end up on the ocean bottom, buried for an anaerobic conversion to oil. So I think it’s very clear that algae blooms of immense size are quite natural…
    **********

    Early settlers in Australia found a bituminous material around one or more lakes. Thinking that the material had come from underground they spent considerable time and money drilling, fruitlessly. In the end it was realized that the bituminous material was the accumulation of years / centuries of algal mat that had been blown to shore, where most of the organic material decayed away, leaving the bituminous material.

    Numerous schemes for growing algae have been proposed from time to time, but nothing has come from it beyond identifying the kinds of algae that offer the best combination of growing conditions and hydrocarbon yield.

    Ian

  57. u.k.(us) says:

    Who started this nonsense about the fragility of life forms, anyway.
    All they need is a niche they can exploit.

  58. wayne Job says:

    Solyent green for our future, it is good protein apparently.

  59. John F. Hultquist says:

    Steve Keohane says:
    September 29, 2012 at 3:22 am
    “Everything becomes exaggerated . . . ”

    The first depth (3 feet) is from NASA. The second depth reference (40 and 15 cm) if from Kristian Spilling of the Finnish Environment Institute.

    Or did I miss something?

  60. John F. Hultquist says:

    Jack Simmons says:
    September 29, 2012 at 7:10 am
    Steve Short says:
    September 29, 2012 at 4:47 am

    You might like to read what Luboš Motl on ‘the reference frame’ had to say:

    http://motls.blogspot.com/2012/09/fifty-years-after-silent-spring.html?m=1

  61. phlogiston says:

    In breaking research news just in, evolutionary anthropologists from Oregon state university announce the alarming finding that humans NOW have an average of 10 fingers and toes, five on each hand and foot.

    This raises new concerns that polydactyly might be one more in a growing list of adverse impacts on the biosphere of warming temperatures due to anthropogenic CO2 increase.

    As lead researcher Tim Troughsnout explained, “computer modeling of the effect of temperature during development on the expression of the hox gene complex responsible for limb segmentation, shows a clear trend for increasing temperatures resulting in more digits”.

    Humans in past ages with pre-industrial CO2 levels may have had fewer fingers and toes. Archaelogical digs of humans from previous centuries and millenia, explained Gary Gravytrain, a post-doc in Troughsnout’s team, “often turn up remains of folks where less than 10 fingers or toes can be found”.

  62. son of mulder says:

    So my model now says that as the oceans become less alkaline, and sea level rises there will be a bloom spiral of algae leading to the oceans taking on the form of pea soup and all other life on the planet will die, engulfed by a tidal wave of goo (;>)

  63. En Passant says:

    For the effect of microbes when given any food source it is worth reading part-1 of the following at Viv Forbes Carbonsense website:
    http://carbon-sense.com/2010/08/23/oil-spills/

    Nothing new to see here folks ….

  64. Lee says:

    Another ‘UNPRECEDENTED’ finding that has been found several times before; another case of the press release writers sexing up mundane science.

  65. Tom Davidson says:

    There is nothing discussed here that could not have been reasonably anticipated by any scientist familiar with the opportunistic genius of life, or of the Malthusian self-limiting nature of biochemical processes. This ‘news’ seems to be of the nature of a “Gee Whiz! We looked someplace we have never looked before and we found something we hadn’t seen before!” report.

  66. G. Karst says:

    Life, both micro and macro, modifies climate, on both micro and macro scales. Yep, no doubt about it. GK

  67. Robert A. Taylor says:

    Bobby Taylor here. Does anyone remember books? Does anyone remember nuclear submarines transiting under the Arctic icecap? I have no way to prove this, but i didtinctly remember one (or more) photos taken from a submarine showing algae growing to many feet depth beneath at least 12 feet of ice. The comment was something like (not a quote) “We were surprised the sunlight penetrated that thickness of ice, and the unexpecetedly rich biota produced.”

  68. Gary Pearse says:

    Oho! So NASA is up punching holes in the arctic ice before the September low! (sarc) but I have wondered about all the ice breaking that went on with research ships during the two-year Arctic scientific blitz of a few years ago.

  69. David Middleton says:

    CEH says:
    September 29, 2012 at 3:29 am
    Again people does not know their geograhpy. The gulf of Finland does not lie in the Arctic, it is at 60N and goes from south of Finland towards St. Petersburgh. Secondly The Baltic sea does not even extend beyond the “Arctic circle” which anyway is a bad definition of the arctic, it only defines the latitude where the sun never sets in the midsummer. The proper definition of the Arctic( and arctic climate) is the July +10C(+50F) isotherm which REP has beautifully laid out on this map in the “Ice reference pages ” on this site . http://nsidc.org/arcticmet/images/arctic_map.gif

    The Gradinger 1996 report references investigations at two stations above 82N,which is Arctic proper .

    Where did I say that the Gulf of Finland or the Baltic Sea were in the Arctic?

    I wrote, “Sub-ice phytoplankton blooms are not exactly ‘unprecedented.’”

    And, “For an even earlier discussion of phytoplankton blooms under Arctic pack ice, see Gradinger, 1996.”

  70. David Middleton says:

    lurker passing through, laughing says:
    September 29, 2012 at 3:16 pm
    I distinctly recall something very much like this from last year.
    It is questionable that finding out plankton can grow in the Arctic, as it does in the Antarctic, as a great scientific discovery. However, it is fascinating that the AGW obsessed orbit around such a small menu of issues. And they seem to rely on some sort of amnesia to permit them to revisit the same topics time after time and to claim they are new and *proof* of AGW

    You might be thinking of this post:

    The Incredible Voyage of Neodenticula Seminae.

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