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`Cyclone Phyan may have benefited marine life`

Last Updated: Monday, August 22, 2011 - 16:55

Panaji: Cyclone Phyan which hit the Konkan-Goa shore in 2009 and had caused large-scale destruction may have benefited the marine life in Arabian Sea, say researchers.

A recently-published study by researchers at Goa-based
National Institute of Oceanography (NIO) on the impact of
Phyan shows that it gave a boost to marine life.

"Cyclones are known for destruction of life and property
on the land, but they often augment life in the ocean through
upward pumping of nutrients," according to the study by
scientists Byju P and Prasannakumar S.

Cyclones lead to thriving marine life in upper layers of
the sea, they claim.

The researchers studied Phyan`s impact on the ocean
biology and carbon dioxide exchange over the Eastern Arabian
Sea, using remote-sensing data sets.

The surface temperatures cooled down immediately after
the cyclone hit. Subsequently, the peak chlorophyll-a, which
is essential for photosynthesis, and `Net Primary Production`
(NPP) of organic compounds from atmospheric or aquatic
carbon-dioxide (CO2) showed increase.

"The chlorophyll-a showed an average enhancement of 0.5
mg per cubic metre, while NPP showed a two-fold increase," the
researchers say.

Statistics show that only seven percent of tropical
storms form in the north Indian Ocean (Bay of Bengal and
Arabian Sea), and frequency is less in the Arabian Sea.

But though the number is small, cyclones cause severe
damage and misery to the people living in the low-lying
coastal plains of Asia, they say.


First Published: Monday, August 22, 2011 - 16:55
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