A yacht is setting sail this weekend on a three-year scientific voyage mapping Charles Darwin‘s trail. The Tara will travel into all the world’s oceans to follow climate change and its affect on the basic marine organisms from which the earth’s life evolved. From the arctic to tropical paradise, this 81,000 nautical mile journey will trace and segue from Darwin’s 5 year voyage of the Beagle in the 1930s which inspired his theory of natural selection.
While Darwin’s trip helped him explain evolution and adaptation amongst species, the Tara’s trip is to study the ocean’s ecosystems at the basic level of the world’s food chain. Scientists aboard the quality motor yacht will be observing small marine life, flora and fauna, that produce half of the planet’s oxygen supply and on which all life depends in order to exist. 90 percent of ocean life is comprised of microorganisms which produce oxygen by absorbing the majority of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
This study involves around one hundred scientists who will be aboard or stationed in land laboratories, analyzing data and samples gathered. Such a large-scale study has not yet been embarked upon. There is much to be learned about the effects of climate change on marine organisms. Some thrive in warmer waters, while others will die out, and plenty of organisms are threatened by pollution.
Being at the base of the world’s food chain, affects that cause a species to die or shrink in population affects the entire ecosystem of the planet, despite those affects going seemingly undetected. Not only do these changes affect the food chain, they also affect the quality of air in the change of levels of oxygen produced.