Snow in the Ocean? Myth or Fact?

Well, believe it or not, it is true as can be. But it is not the same type of snow you see on land. Snow in the ocean is called Marine Snow. Even I did not know this existed until I wrote the blog on Vampire squid. So, I had to do a lot of reading and not confuse myself. But I did my best in explaining it.


What is marine snow?

- Marine snow is a continuous shower of mostly organic detritus (detritus is dead particulate organic material which comes from the dead decay of living organisms. ) is actually falling from the upper layers of the water column. (water column is an abstract column of water from the surface of a sea, river or lake to the bottom sediment).

In short, Marine snow is shower of organic matter falling from top to deep oceans.

What is marine snow made up of?

- It is made up of a variety of organic materials and other inorganic dust particles.

Marine snow often forms during algal blooms (algal blooms is

the increase in population of algae in aquatic ecosystems.)

Why is marine snow important?

- It can be an important food source for organisms, particularly for organisms which live very deep in the water column.


Climate change as a great effect on the snow because the production of marine snow decreases with the increase in water temperatures due to the enhancement of stratifications (Water stratifications is when water masses with different properties like salinity, pressure, density, oxygen levels, etc. forms that act as barriers to water mixing which could lead to anoxia or euxinia, which is when the oxygen levels in the water get depleted resulting in toxic waters) in the water column. Imagine what would be the effects when the water gets toxic.


Stayed tuned for more blogs in the future. Hope you have learnt something from the past blogs and expanded your knowledge. Protect and Save animals. -Kara

(water column)


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