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(8 Dec 2010 18:02 GMT) - Researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology in Bremen, Germany and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (M.I.T.) in Cambridge, Massachusetts have found a remarkable effect while studying how marine particles sink, which could affect the way scientists assess global carbon fluxes. Their question - How fast does organic material and debris clumped together forming porous particles settle to the sea floor? Microbes colonising these particles degrade the organic matter and release carbon dioxide back to the water. The downward velocity of the particles determines the amount of carbon exported to the deep sea. The results from this study are now presented in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences…
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