Drought, the river murray and how it’s harming the ocean

Posted on: Mon 11 Dec 2017

With South Australia’s dry climate and long history of harsh droughts, many of the state’s rivers are often left dry.

According to a recent study from Marine and Freshwater Research, droughts specifically effecting the River Murray have a much bigger influence on the health of the ocean and its ecosystems than we previously realised.

Data from historical water flow records and satellite imagery from the past decade show that low flows in the river have reduced the abundance of microscopic marine plants known as phytoplankton. These marine plants ultimately serve as the base of all marine food webs.

Key researcher, Kenneth Clarke, joins Breakfast host Tom Mann to discuss this alarming new study and what this means for the future of the River Murray and South Australia’s oceans.

Produced by Hazel Cameron

Image source: Kaaren Max (Wikimedia Commons) 




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