Mar 7, 2009
The Christian Science Monitor – Already, scientists are observing shifts in species distribution around the world. After an 800,000-year absence, a species of Pacific diatom, a shell-encased alga, has recently appeared in the North Atlantic. Scientists are unsure of its impact, but they take its arrival as evidence that certain conditions absent for nearly a million years – lack of sea ice, prevailing winds – are reemerging. Northern countries like Norway and Iceland have seen an influx of more southerly fish species. They’re not complaining, because they’re likely to catch more fish. Blue mussels, once found only as far north as Norway’s coast, meanwhile, have colonized the Svalbard archipelago, more than 400 miles from Scandinavia.