Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Animals mix up ocean waters

Could all those animals in our planet's gigantic seas - from tiny plankton and krill to mighty (but relatively rare) whales - play a major role in how the waters themselves mix and move? It used to be no one thought so, but researchers studying jellies (a.k.a. jellyfish) report that we've apparently missed something important here. One said, "There are enough of these animals in the ocean that, on the whole, the global power input from this process is as much as a trillion watts of energy — comparable to that of wind forcing and tidal forcing."
COMMENT: Nature and its processes consistently prove to be more subtle and complex than we think - and that's important to keep in mind when we are making decisions on everything from pollution control to climate change.


Loren Alix said...

It would be amazing for the human mind to comprehend the delicate intricate web through which nature functions. The more sentient science becomes the more mysterious nature seems to be. To know that we are all basically bundles of energy held together by cohesive forces is not enough for most to realize that each incantation and rhythm is essential for the evolution of life. Much damage is done and most creatures, including humans, are now in danger of extinction. The irony is that having divorced science from religion took out the factor of love as a primordial force of life. It also removed much dogma so I am not complaining. Yet, when humans get this, it may be too late. We search for the best source of energy, the most desired is perpetual motion harnessed to make our boxes lit and move, while Earth has been in perpetual motion from the get go.

Matt Bille said...

Thanks for the comment. The Earth isn't technically perpetual motion - it "cheats" by getting 170 billion megawatts of solar radition contantly added to the system - but you have a point about the need to phase out oil. It can't be done overnight, but things like more efficient solar energy and a greater effort on fusion are vital.