Can sea monkeys stir the sea?

September 30, 2014 7:50 PM

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The tiny swirls created by brine shrimp and other minuscule aquatic creatures could mix the seas’ upper layers as well as winds and waves do, a new study suggests. Such “biomixing” could play an important role in redistributing heat, salt, and nutrients in the upper layers of the ocean. However, some researchers question how effectively biomixing blends the waters of the wave-thrashed sunlit surface with those from the cool, calm depths.

Winds, waves, and tides are crucial for mixing the surface waters of lakes and seas, transporting heat downward and simultaneously bringing nutrient-rich waters up to the surface where light-harvesting phytoplankton need them to thrive. But small marine creatures help such processes as they migrate ...

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