So Is All The Plankton In The Ocean Really Gone Or Not? - For the past few days, it has been hard to look at social media without coming across a scary-looking report from the Scottish newspaper The Sunday Post. "Scots team’s research finds Atlantic plankton all but wiped out in catastrophic loss of life," reads the breathless headline. The article claims that a survey of plankton in the ocean found that "evidence... suggest[s] 90% has now vanished." The article then goes on to predict the imminent collapse of our biosphere.

There's just one problem: The article is utter rubbish.

So the post up above has been going viral all over Instagram the past few days. And for good reason. 

What the fuck man? We can't lose the plankton! Everybody learns at a wicked young age that plankton are a key component in the circle of life. 

The tiny fish eat the plankton, the small fish eat the tiny fish, the medium fish eat the small fish, the large fish eat the medium fish, and man overfishes the fuck out of the large fish and eats some of them. 

Whales also eat the plankton which always threw a wrench in the whole thing but the bottom line is, everybody knows plankton are a big fucking deal.

So seeing a scientific study claim that 90% of the plankton population in the Atlantic Ocean is now gone is cause for major fucking alarm.

There's just one teeny tiny problem with that study. Actually, there are a few. 

For starters, it's just in reference to the plankton in and around the waters on the equator. Not a great thing to hear, but much better news than the ENTIRE Atlantic. 

Also, turns out the study was never peer-reviewed. Kind of a big deal when it comes to science.

The Sunday Post uses as its source a preprint manuscript—meaning it hasn't been peer-reviewed yet—from lead author Howard Dryden at the Global Oceanic Environmental Survey. 

There's no denying that our oceans are in trouble—the study notes in its introduction that they have lost 50 percent of all marine life over the past 70 years, and that number is rising at around 1 percent per year. But the Post's article goes further than the preprint, citing plankton counts collected by 13 ships with 500 data points.Specifically, the article claims that the survey "expected to find up to five visible pieces of plankton in every 10 liters of water—but found an average of less than one. The discovery suggests that plankton faces complete wipe-out sooner than was expected."

Five hundred data points collected from 13 vessels sounds impressive, but David Johns, head of the Continuous Plankton Recorder Survey, describes it as "a literal drop in the ocean." Johns would know—the Continuous Plankton Recorder Survey has been running since 1958 and has accumulated more than 265,000 samples.

The Continuous Plankton Survey has indeed cataloged a loss of plankton over the years—but nothing close to the 90 percent loss claimed by Dryden.

I've never understood the hostility that comes with discussing the topic of climate change. I personally think it's really fucking sad that the subject has become a political football used as yet another tool to divide everybody, possibly the saddest. I mean it's the fucking Earth we're talking about. Our home. Home to wildlife and ecosystems long before us, and long after we're gone. I think you have to be blind, senile, or just a total asshole to deny humans have done unspeakable damage to this place and the other living creatures we share it with over time. To think none of that shit adds up and has zero consequences makes zero sense to me. But what do I know? I'm a stupid dj/blogger. 

All that said, Chief and Eddie did a pretty good deep dive on micro-plastics and just how big of a fucking disaster they are and the havoc they are wreaking on the environment, wildlife, and our own bodies.

To think that they are now also killing off plankton and fucking up the food chain is just reason number 2 million they should be done away with and permanently banned. 

Either way, we must protect the whales at all costs. If that means you can't have microbeads in your body wash, then so be it. We lived with bar soap just fine for years and years, we'll be fine.

------- UPDATE -------

Turns out the Sunday Post misquoted Howard Dryden "on accident" (and definitely not to sensationalize the report wink wink).

Howard Dryden reached out to me to express his dismay at having been misquoted by the Sunday Post, which should have reported a "90% reduction in marine plankton in the Equatorial Atlantic, not the whole Atlantic."

p.s. - speaking of whales, they've been having quite a week off the coast of the Cape