Bonney Upwelling and blue whales: annual visitors from the deep

The blue whale is the largest animal to ever live on the planet.The blue whale is the largest animal
to ever live on the planet. Photo: MR1805

In celebration of an ocean tide that occurs but once a year, along a small stretch of Australia’s coast…The Bonney Upwelling, a sort of miracle beyond the end of the Great Ocean Road…Each year around end of Oct and beginning of Nov, cold water from great depths funnels through underwater canyons, welling up and spilling across the continental shelf clear to the shores of what is known as the Bonney coast between towns of Portland in south-west Victoria and Robe in south-east of South Australia…The upwelling of Antarctic water drops the surface temperature by several degrees and turns those waters frantic with life…The chill tide, packed with nutrients, hits the surface in a wild flourish of photosynthesis, microscopic phytoplankton exploding and feeding great clouds of krill…Fish swarm, seabirds wheel and dive, penguins and dolphins fly beneath the waves, crayfish scuttle and seals frolic…And all those billions of krill, tiny crustaceans, prove irresistible to the greatest creatures that have ever lived upon the the Earth: blue whales.

A single adult blue whale, so big its tongue can weigh as much as an elephant, its heart the size of a Volkswagen, eats three or four tonnes of krill every day off the Bonney coast during the upwelling.

Here is a rhythm that renders the restless doings of humans insignificant.

Note – here’s hoping the warm water layer continues to be breezed away, equally to balance upwelling, flow needs to be down at Antarctic, also a worry because of warmer and deeper surface water

>more> SydneyMorningHerald

>more> RedMap

About groundswellbasscoast

This is on behalf of local climate change group. Material is selected by Bernie McComb and does not necessarily represent opinion of whole group.
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