Take this quiz and learn more about SDG 14 - Life Below Water.
Plankton are an essential component of life on Earth. Marine plankton, found in all ocean ecosystems, play a critical role in maintaining the health and balance of the ocean and its complex food webs. The oxygen, nutrients, and biomass they produce also sustain terrestrial life—from the food we eat to the air we breathe.
The number of marine phytoplankton, the microscopic organisms that gobble greenhouse gases and directly or indirectly feed every animal in the ocean, has been declining by about 1% of the global average per year, according to a new study. If the trend continues, it could decimate ocean food chains and accelerate global warming.
The loss of phytoplankton is a huge problem for marine food chains because every creature in the ocean either eats phytoplankton or eats other organisms that depend on it. If their numbers start to decrease, the populations of these species would drop as well.