Monday, October 02, 2023

Ocean viruses and carbon sequestration

new bacteria-infesting virus has been discovered in the western Pacific’s Mariana Trench, the deepest part of the world’s oceans. 

Viruses kill 20% of the ocean’s biomass every day, breaking it down into constituents that are then taken up by other bacteria and also helping to form the ‘marine snow’ of particles falling to the ocean floor. 

A link in the above article leads to another that says ‘It is estimated that there are around 10^31 viruses in the world’s oceans accounting for ~94% of all biological entities (nucleic acid containing particles). Despite their small size, the amount of carbon they contain is estimated to be the equivalent of 75 million blue whales.’

This opens a window onto a great area of science and nature of which I was previously unaware.

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