Swimming marine animals, such as jellyfish, influence Earth's climate by mixing cold and warm ocean water and by boosting the rate heat travels through the seas, according to Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute researchers.
Bioengineer Kakani Katija Young, who studied this controversial idea as part of a California Technical Institute team in 2009, is leading new research to provide more supporting information to the original paper using a Self-Contained Underwater Velocimetry Apparatus (SCUVA), and has published a video-article explaining how to use the apparatus in the Journal of Visualized Experiments (JoVE), in hopes more scientists will join her in gathering supporting evidence for the theory (she discusses in this video) that the combined effect of all undersea life swimming affects climate as much as wind.
The SCUVA lights up swimming marine animals and the particles flowing around them at night, showing how they move the water. Young explained,
"We felt that it is such a powerful tool that isn't being used in the community. And I feel that people learn so much better from visual material than they do from just reading text."
ScienceDaily reported in July that another team from the Marine Biological Laboratory at Woods Hole, Massachusetts used the SCUVA to assess the effects of swimming jellyfish on their ecosystem.