Ocean Drifters - a secret world beneath the waves

How have plankton shaped life on Earth? What role do they play in our lives? This resource explains how plankton underpins the marine food web, created our oil and gas, and shaped the landscape around us. Plankton contribute to the global carbon cycle, creating 50% of the oxygen in the air we breathe. Rising sea temperatures due to climate change are altering the abundance, distribution, and seasonality of these remarkable creatures with ramifications for the ecology of the planet.

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1. Ocean Drifters Video Resource

This 16 minute video narrated by David Attenborough provides a wonderful way for students to apply and relate their learning about photosynthesis and the carbon cycle. It provides important prior understanding for work on the evolution of the atmosphere.

Subject: Biology and chemistry
Curriculum link: Photosynthesis, Carbon cycle, evolution of the atmosphere
Resource type: Video
Ages: 14-18


Find out more

Further information about the plankton can be found at the Ocean Drifters website and in the popular book about plankton also titled "Ocean Drifters, a secret world beneath the waves" (see Amazon, Amazon Kindle and Apple Itunes).