The Ocean/Climate Connection
Stephanie Dutkiewicz, researcher
Michael Follows, faculty
Phytoplankton anchor the ocean’s food chain, supply more than half the world’s oxygen, and shape the global carbon cycle. Yet with 5,000-plus species in our oceans, phytoplankton and their effects are maddeningly hard to represent in global climate models. Follows and Dutkiewicz, who head MIT’s Darwin Project, have created a virtual ocean in which a diverse set of microorganisms interact to form realistic communities and shape their environment.