02 May '11, 7pm

Researchers Defend Study Finding Plankton Decline

We acknowledged at the time our paper was published that the historical dataset we used is under-sampled, as only satellites can provide a seamless global grid of observations. But we reject the view that this limits our knowledge of plankton trends to the satellite era (1979-86, 1997-present). Thousands of seagoing scientists have collected millions of plankton observations that can provide us with a deeper understanding of marine plankton trends. These measurements become sparser as we go further back in time, hence trend estimates become more uncertain; of course we fully accounted for this uncertainty in our analysis. We also acknowledged that since we excluded all phytoplankton data sampled in near-shore and in deep (>20 meters) waters, our findings should not be interpreted as a comprehensive phytoplankton budget. Since the extensive robustness analyses that we have ...

Full article: http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/05/02/researchers-...

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