Heard of phytoplankton? I learned about it, in what seems a lifetime ago, in a high school and/or college science class. Back in those days, before climate change and climate science were hot topics, we just assumed that this tiny, microscopic ocean plant would always be abundant. Not anymore. Phytoplankton is so small that more than one trillion of them exist in a single drop of water. They live at the top levels of the ocean. Unfortunately, they can only survive within a narrow range of temperatures and beyond that range, they die. What I don't remember from my science class, likely due to a different emphasis on what was considered important 30 years ago, is that phytoplankton is such an important plant species that is the basis for all life in the ocean, and it is also responsible for producing 70% of the oxygen of the planet - the very air that we breathe. Phytoplankton is disappearing at an alarming rate. According to the Goddard Space Flight Center and NASA, phytoplankton in the North Pacific have dropped 30% since the 1980s. Life on Earth cannot exist without phytoplankton.
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