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Jellyfish can influence ocean temperatures

Last Updated: Thursday, November 3, 2011 - 13:40

Washington: Small marine creatures like jellyfish can influence global climate. But how?

They help mix warm and cold water in oceans and, by increasing the rate at which heat can travel through the ocean, may influence our climate.

Kakani Katija Young and her team at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute had formed the hypothesis on the basis of observations in 2009 with the help of a Self-Contained Underwater Velocimetry Apparatus (SCUVA), the Journal of Visualized Experiments (JoVE) reports.

SCUVA is used underwater at night to light up animals like jellyfish and particles around the marine animals, showing how they move the water around them when they swim, according to a Woods Hole statement.

The combined effect of all ocean life swimming in concert may have an impact on ocean climate in the same magnitude as wind.

Though the apparatus was used in the original research, Young is publishing the experimental technique now in the hope that other scientists will use it to gather more evidence supporting her theory.

"We felt that it is such a powerful tool that isn`t being used in the community. And I feel that people learn so much better from visual material than they do from just reading text," said Young.


First Published: Thursday, November 3, 2011 - 13:40
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