Plankton is spreading in the North Atlantic much faster than global warming models have predicted. This appears to be due to a much faster than expected "loading" of carbon dioxide into ocean waters from the CO2-laden atmosphere. Normally, carbon dioxide is absorbed into the oceans, which has been reducing the amount in the atmosphere.
When this loading stops, the amount in the atmosphere could rise quickly, but it’s not yet clear whether the plankton growth is good or bad for the planet. Published Thursday in the journal Science, a new study details a tenfold increase in the abundance of a type of floating phytoplankton between 1965 and 2010, and a particularly sharp spike since the late 1990s.