Change in climate can change color of oceans

Don’t expect the oceans to look the same in future. Don’t worry as it will not turn pink or anything that is radically different, but the change is expected to be more apparent through optic sensors than through a human eye. However a new study has said that it is also an early warning sign that global warming is significantly altering the ecosystems of the planet.

A change in the climate will make the blue portions of the ocean bluer and the green portions greener. This was figured out by the scientists by creating a global model that stimulates the growth of a tiny creature that lives in the oceans and affects the color that we can see. The recent research was published on February 4, 2019 in the journal Nature Communications. For the human eye, the ocean looks blue or green due to a combination of how the sunlight interacts with the water molecules and with whatever that lives in the water.

The molecules in the water absorb everything but the blue part of the spectrum of the sunlight and the water reflects the blue color back. That is the color that is seen by the human eyes. In the same way the water seems green when it has more phytoplankton, tiny, micro organisms which are like plants and use chlorphyl to capture mostly the blue portions of the spectrum of sunlight. The photosynthesis is used to create the chemical energy that they need to live. In presence of more of such creatures in the water absorbing sunlight, it makes the water look greener.

On the other hand if there are few phytoplankton, the water looks bluer. The growth of the creatures depends on how much sunlight , nutrients and carbon-di-oxides are around. A change in climate is altering the ocean currents which means there will be fewer nutrients for phytoplankton to feed on in some areas.

Photo Credits: Pixabay

Artificial soil from lava rock can help to grow food in space

A new research has looked in to the chances of how plants respond to low levels of gravity and a particular hormone that can help the plants to grow in the challenging conditions of space. The research has succeeded in growing plants in high-tech planters that make use of artificial soil that is made from lava rock. The focus of the research is to find a way for plants to grow directly in water and the nutrients supplied through water instead of the soil.

Since there is a short of soil in the space it is important to find a way to get nutrients to the plants without relying on earth. A team at the Centre for Interdisciplinary Research in Space which is a part of the Norwegian University of Science and Technology Social research department (NTNU), has collaborated with the researchers from France and Italy to find new ways to grow and cultivate plant-based foods in space. The Centre for Interdisciplinary Research in Space has been testing the high-tech planters that are made by the NTNU’s technical workshop.

The planter helps to regulate water, nutrients, gas, and air that the plants require. The tests are conducted in the climate-regulated chambers in Netherlands, where the team has been investigating how the plants use nitrogen in particular and how the levels of nutrients that are available affect the amount of water that the plants consume. Silje Wolff, a plant physiologist at the Centre for Interdisciplinary Research in Space had explained, “We found that plants can, in a way, ‘smell’ the amount of nutrients available to them”.

Wolff added that when the nitrogen concentration is too low the plant will absorb more water and thus more nitrogen until it reaches an optimal level. The plant also has a mechanism that turns on when the nitrogen level is adequate. It then adjusts the nitrogen as well as water absorption down.

Photo Credits: Digital Trends