Earth may no longer be 'Pale Blue Dot' in 80 years

February 6, 2019 4:07 PM |

Planet Earth ART

A new study from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology found that, in wake of climate change, surface of the oceans will change color by end of 21st century, leading our blue planet to look visibly altered.

The discoveries showed that climate change has been significantly disturbing phytoplankton (the tiny sea creatures) in the world's oceans, which will lead to the change in color.

Further, a principal research scientist at MIT also stated that a noticeable difference in the color of 50 percent of the ocean by the end of the 21st century will be noticed. It could be potentially be quite serious.

Different types of phytoplankton absorb light inversely, and if climate change shifts one community of phytoplankton to another, that will also change the types of food webs they support.

The study also mentioned that the blue regions, such as the subtropics, will turn into darker shades, reflecting even less phytoplankton and life in general.

Some areas near the poles that are greener now, may turn a deeper hue, as warmer temperatures brew up more diverse phytoplankton. Climate change was already changing the makeup of phytoplankton and by extension it also changed the color of the oceans and the blue planet.

Usually, the oceans appear blue in color because water molecules alone absorb almost all sunlight except for the blue part of the spectrum. But with any organism in the ocean, phytoplankton for instance, the pigment in it will absorb less in the green portions and reflect more green light.

Image Credit: Wikipedia

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