” plankton in the North Atlantic where it had not existed for at least 800,000 years.”
Whales, plankton migrate across Northwest Passage
Sun Jun 26
AMSTERDAM – When a 43-foot (13-meter) gray whale was spotted off the Israeli town of Herzliya last year, scientists came to a startling conclusion: it must have wandered across the normally icebound route above Canada, where warm weather had briefly opened a clear channel three years earlier.
On a microscopic level, scientists also have found plankton in the North Atlantic where it had not existed for at least 800,000 years.
The whale’s odyssey and the surprising appearance of the plankton indicates a migration of species through the Northwest Passage, a worrying sign of how global warming is affecting animals and plants in the oceans as well as on land.
“The implications are enormous. It’s a threshold that has been crossed,” said Philip C. Reid, of the Alister Hardy Foundation for Ocean Science in Plymouth, England.
“It’s an indication of the speed of change that is taking place in our world in the present day because of climate change,” he said in a telephone interview Friday.