Carl Zimmer of the NY Times has written an interesting article on researchers who have confirmed that there is a very thin film of microbes covering the ocean surface. They claim that the top hundredth-inch of the ocean is an ecosystem all unto its own.
Michael Cunliffe, a marine biologist at the University of Warwick in England "and his colleagues have identified bacteria in the microlayer that devour important chemicals like methane and carbon monoxide. The microlayer is also crucial to the ocean’s ability to absorb carbon dioxide, a potent greenhouse gas."
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