Phytoplankton is incredibly important for life on Earth. These microscopic life forms are a type of algae that inhabit the world’s oceans, and through photosynthesis, they use sunlight and carbon dioxide as energy and end up creating oxygen in the process. Though they are unicellular and cannot move on their own, once they bloom simultaneously in large congregations they become visible from outer space. Phytoplankton help mitigate the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and have helped reduce the negative impact of climate change, but climate change has still been harming communities of phytoplankton. Because climate change has warmed different parts of the oceans, phytoplankton has started to drift in different habitats due to changes in currents. These now out-of-place phytoplankton can significantly harm their new environments, so phytoplankton needs to be properly monitored.

Key Takeaways:

  • Phytoplankton is a type of unicellular, green algae that thrives in the ocean.
  • Phytoplankton helps the planet mitigate the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
  • Climate change is causing phytoplankton to move away from their typical habitats, and this could have negative impacts on other life forms.

“These tiny organisms have been producing oxygen for the world for hundreds of millions of years. But most people know very little about them, what they do for the rest of the world and the threats they are facing.”

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