Wednesday, November 24, 2021

Factor of 10 ...

 Ocean life could recover by 2050 with the right policies, study finds | E&T  Magazine

Seems there's a factor of 10 regarding all life in terms of size. The smaller the organism, the greater the number and the factor of 10 regarding the numbers of the life forms in question, rules.

Life in the ocean, they discovered, followed a simple mathematical rule: The abundance of an organism is closely linked to its body size. To put it another way, the smaller the organism, the more of them you find in the ocean. Krill are a billion times smaller than tuna, for example, but they are also a billion times more abundant.

What was more surprising was how precisely this rule seemed to play out. When Sheldon and his colleagues organized their plankton samples by orders of magnitude, they found that each size bracket contained exactly the same mass of creatures. In a bucket of seawater, one third of the mass of plankton would be between 1 and 10 micrometers, another third would be between 10 and 100 micrometers, and the final third would be between 100 micrometers and 1 millimeter. Each time they would move up a size group, the number of individuals in that group dropped by a factor of 10. The total mass stayed the same, while the size of the populations changed.

This applies to all life, land or sea but thanks to man, the factor of 10 goes away. 

But now humans seem to have broken this fundamental law of the ocean. In a November paper for the journal Science Advances, Galbraith and his colleagues show that the Sheldon spectrum no longer holds true for larger marine creatures. Thanks to industrial fishing, the total ocean biomass of larger fish and marine mammals is much lower than it should be if the Sheldon spectrum was still in effect. “There was this pattern that all life seems to have been following for reasons that we don’t understand,” says Galbraith. “We have changed that over the last 100 years or even less.”

But if we change how we do business on planet earth, nature recovers.

By 2050, we can turn things around if we have the will and vision to make it happen.

Nature finds a way if we let it.

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