“Ocean mixing -the power of numbers”

Deep ocean mixing analysis studies the movement of fluid surrounding tiny ocean creatures leading to completely revelatory insights on possible mechanisms of global ocean mixing

Scientists from the Dauphin Island Sea Laboratory, Providence College and the University of California traveled to the island of Palau, where they studied the effects animals have on movement of ocean water also called induced drift. Particularly they were looking at jellyfish movement.

jellyfish propulsion

jellyfish propulsion

Florescent “dye in the water in front of the sea creatures, and then watching what happened to that dye or, to be more specific, to the water that took up the dye as the jellyfish swam. And, indeed, rather than being left behind the jellyfish or being dissipated in turbulent eddies the dye traveled with the swimming creatures, following them for long distances.

So it is true that swimming animals can carry bottom water with them as they swim upward, and that movement indeed creates a mixing. of ocean waters like an inversion effect.

So how much impact do these tiny sea critters from the billions of krill in the ocean to the jellyfish and larger sea creatures have on ocean mixing?

After a series of calculations, it was found that these animals in the ocean provide enough energy from their collective movement as much as a trillion watts of energy globally equal to the effects of the winds and tides combined

These figures do not include the combined interactive effects of the organisms which would amplify how far the ocean waters can be pulled upward. Nor does it include the effects of “marine snow ( organic and other fecal debris) falling to the ocean floor which also would pull water with it.

Such models are important for simulations of global climate-change scenarios and carbon sequestration on the ocean floor.

courtesy of Terradaily.com/reports/TinySeaCreaturesLinkedToLargeScaleOceanMixing
Excerpts courtesy of Media.caltech.edu/pressrelease

Image courtesy of  I.livescience.com/images/LS_090729_JellyFish-01.jpg


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