Algae saves life from the deviation of Earth’s orbit

A team of scientists led by researchers showed French National Center for Scientific Research CNRS, in an article published in Nature on December 1, 2021, states that some differences in Earth’s orbit have influenced the evolution of coccolithophores, and microalgae form small sheets of Limestone , called coccoliths, around their single cells.

The results came after measuring and classifying at least 9 million coccoliths, over a period of 2.8 million years, at several locations in the tropical ocean, using automated microscopy techniques and artificial intelligence.

Coccolithophores sink to the ocean floor and their cyclones accumulate in sediments, which accurately record the detailed evolution of these organisms over geological time.

According to the “/ phys” website, the researchers noticed that the “bacilli”, which are unicellular plant algae, underwent cycles of higher and lower diversity in terms of size and shape, at different rates during 100 and 400,000 years, and they suggest a reason for this which is the somewhat circular shape of the orbit Earth around the sun, when the Earth’s orbit is more circular, as it is today (this is known as low eccentricity), the tropics show little seasonal variation and highly unspecialized species dominate all the oceans, and conversely, with increasing eccentricity and seasons More pronounced near the equator, coccolithophores vary into many specialized species, but collectively produce smaller amounts of limestone.

Crucially, due to their global abundance and distribution, these organisms are responsible for half of the limestone (calcium carbonate, partly carbon) produced in the oceans, and thus play a key role in the carbon cycle and in determining ocean chemistry, so it is likely that the cyclical abundance patterns of producers The limestone of these, may have played a major role in changing ancient climates, and may explain Mysterious climate changes Yet, in other words, in the absence of ice, the biological evolution of microalgae could determine the entire pace of Earth’s climate.


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