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Plankton species reappears (after being extinct for 800,000 years)

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posted on Jun, 28 2011 @ 06:22 PM
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A single-celled alga that went extinct in the North Atlantic Ocean about 800,000 years ago has returned after drifting from the Pacific through the Arctic thanks to melting polar ice. And while its appearance marks the first trans-Arctic migration in modern times, scientists say it signals something potentially bigger.



"It is an indicator of rapid change and what might come if the Arctic continues to melt," said Chris Reid, a professor of oceanography at the Sir Alister Hardy Foundation for Ocean Science in the United Kingdom. Arctic sea ice has been in decline for roughly three decades, and in several more recent summers, a passage has opened up between the Pacific and Atlantic. In as little as 30 years, Arctic summers are projected to become nearly ice free.



"The major thing about this climate change is the rate at which things are happening at this moment. … We had change, we had warming, we had cooling, we had ice ages, but it was always slower than things are going now," said Katja Philippart, a marine biologist with the Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research and a coordinator for CLAMER. "The rate is unprecedented." Life in the modern seas faces added stresses — pollution, habitat loss, acidification and heavy fishing — that did not exist during prior shifts in climate not caused by humans, Philippart said.


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posted on Jun, 28 2011 @ 06:25 PM
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Let me get this right. This stuff came back to life after being frozen in ice for 800,000 years? If so it makes you wonder what else could come back to life.



posted on Jun, 28 2011 @ 06:30 PM
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reply to post by fixer1967
 


There are other creatures that can stay dormant for long periods of time. 'waterbears' are a little micro organism that lays dormant in the desert for decades all dehydrated until the rain comes. There are fish, Pike I believe that freeze every winter. Fascinating stuff!



Just have to be careful!

edit on 28-6-2011 by Domo1 because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 28 2011 @ 06:38 PM
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ex·tinct
   /ɪkˈstɪŋkt/ Show Spelled[ik-stingkt]
–adjective
1.
no longer in existence; that has ended or died out: an extinct species of fish.

I guess it wasn't extinct after all.

— adj
1. (of an animal or plant species) having no living representative; having died out

Wonder why they would use this term? Usually it would be something like "Previously thought to be extinct", but they say "went extinct".

I know, small detail. But interesting nonetheless.

Interesting find tho. Makes me wonder what else is locked in the ice up there?

SnF


edit on 28-6-2011 by jude11 because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 28 2011 @ 06:41 PM
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reply to post by jude11
 


Perhaps you should apply for the editors position!


I actually thought the same thing when I read the article, easy enough to forget to add the 'thought to have been'.



posted on Jun, 28 2011 @ 06:43 PM
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Originally posted by Domo1
reply to post by jude11
 


Perhaps you should apply for the editors position!


I actually thought the same thing when I read the article, easy enough to forget to add the 'thought to have been'.


Actually, it usually doesn't bother me but for some reason this one did.


Really stands out.



posted on Jun, 28 2011 @ 06:55 PM
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The real issue here isn't the existence of an algae that was thought to have died out, its more the connection between the Atlantic and the pacific. And how much cooler both will be if the summers are ice free. This will wreak havoc on the weather systems. Large storms are typically produced on fronts with bigger temperature/pressure/humidity levels on either side. Not only the weather alterations, imagine if that algae carries a virus or bacteria that our species has not come in contact with for 800,000 years. Will we still be able to build immunities, possibly, no.



posted on Jun, 28 2011 @ 06:56 PM
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This is pretty amazing, I wonder if there is anything harmful in the poles that could be defrosted? some terrible microbe, a virus?



posted on Jun, 28 2011 @ 07:03 PM
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shall we be positive a little some time.....

oh no..a virus that turns humans into zombies!!!

zombie doomsday scenario not to ruled out after all



posted on Jun, 28 2011 @ 07:06 PM
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Originally posted by fixer1967
Let me get this right. This stuff came back to life after being frozen in ice for 800,000 years? If so it makes you wonder what else could come back to life.


No, the alga came not back to life after having been frozen for 800,000 years. It is simply an invasive marine species. According to Chris Reid the diatom Neodenticula seminae was able to expand its distributional range from its native habitat in the Pacific through drift into the North Atlantic. According to Reid this migration was possible thanks to melting polar ice. Polar ice poses a natural barrier which limits species distribution.

Wikipedia entries for introduced and invasive species.
en.wikipedia.org...
en.wikipedia.org...

By far most marine species are spread through international sea traffic. When a ships ballast water from a region is changed in another region. This way a species can get a hold in new region. They expand their distribution range. Other possible causes for a distribution expansion are aquaculture, canal construction (like the Suez and the Panama canal) or the trade of living plants and animals like aquarium organisms or live sea food.

See also:
A global review of marine invasive species: where they are, how they are being introduced, and which ones are most harmful. 

conserveonline.org...
edit on 28-6-2011 by Drunkenshrew because: grammar

edit on 28-6-2011 by Drunkenshrew because: added name of the taxon

edit on 28-6-2011 by Drunkenshrew because: invasive species entry added



posted on Jun, 28 2011 @ 07:52 PM
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Here a link to the Sir Alister Hardy Foundation for Ocean Science, which did the original research.
www.sahfos.ac.uk...

Diatoms look quite beautiful both under the light microscope and the scanning electron microscope.

- Type diatom under
images.google.de...



posted on Jun, 29 2011 @ 12:44 AM
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reply to post by Drunkenshrew
 


Wow I'm glad you popped in! It's so nice to find a place where people contribute! I intend to delve into your links and hope you continue to share with us!




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