Wednesday, 15 September 2021

HAWK, HAWAIIAN

HAWK, HAWAIIAN

RANGE:

Primarily the Island of Hawaii, occasionally seen on Kauai, Oahu, and Maui

HABITAT:

Rainforest, hardwood and guava forest, papaya and macadamia nut orchards, eucalyptus stands and pastureland with scattered large ‘ohi ‘a and/or koa trees.

SIZE:

The male is smaller than the female, the average male weight is 441g; the weight of the average female is 605g. The body length is from 15 ½ to 18 inches.

LIFE EXPECTANCY:

25 to 30 years

REPRODUCTION:

Hawaiian hawks are monogamous, in that a pair will mate and be loyal to each other for one or more years. However, they do not mate for life, they may change mates at the beginning of some subsequent breeding season. They have a regular breeding season even though there may be a great deal of difference in the amount of rainfall in a given year or on different islands. Courtship consists of much soaring, diving, and foot touching. Both the male and the female build the nest and incubate the 1 to 3 eggs that are laid in late April or early May. The young birds hatch in late May to late June after an incubation period of approximately 38 days. The male provides most of the food for the first 4 to 5 weeks, with the female doing all of the feedings of the young. The female begins leaving the nest for short periods of time the 5th week. The young fledge at 9 weeks. Both parents bring prey for the juveniles for 25 to 37 weeks after fledging. If a pair successfully raises young one year, they will probably not breed the following year.

DIET:

Wild: 23 species of birds, 6 species of mammals, 7 species of insects and spiders, 1 species of crustacean, and 1 species of amphibian. Before the arrival of Polynesian and European men, the Hoary bat was the only mammal on the island, so the hawks probably existed mainly on a diet of birds. Zoo: 3 to 4 mice per bird daily except for Sunday when they fast.

BEHAVIOR:

They make a high, squeaking call that sounds like “kee-oh”. This is the only diurnal raptor that is native to the Island of Hawaii. It is very territorial. Most, but not all, mate for life. Soars and swoops, hunts on the wing but does not hover. When perched, the wingtips fall short of the tip of the tail.

POINTS OF INTEREST:

Two-color phases:

The dark morph adults are dark brown on their head, body, covert, and tail, except for silvery undersides of flight feathers and whitish under-tail coverts. Juveniles are very similar to adults but have tawny streaks and bars on the underside. The light morph adults have a brown head and upperparts and whitish underparts with dark streaking while the juveniles have entirely pale creamy heads and creamy underparts with little or no streaking. They have brown eyes, black bills with a bluish base, and greenish-yellow legs and feet.

STATUS:

Endangered: Due to habitat loss. Rodenticides have not yet played a role in their status, but usage should be monitored.


Monday, 22 June 2020

When will the next world war take place?

The whole world has not yet escaped the threat of the coronavirus, which is now another disturbing prediction by experts.

According to the foreign news agency Daily Star, experts have revealed that within the next 10 years, four types of dangerous events (which will affect a large number of human populations), one of them has a 33% chance of happening. ۔

The first of the four is a flu pandemic that will spread globally, killing more than two million people.

The second is the destruction of the earth by a terrible storm rising from the surface of the sun, the third is the eruption of a supervolcano and the fourth is the outbreak of World War III.

According to experts, there is a 33% chance that any one of these events will occur in the next 10 years, while the probability will be 56% in the next 20 years. 

Father's Day

There is paradise under the feet of the mother and the father is the door of paradise. Someone has said that if father burns in the sun and mother burn on the stove, then children grow up. Father's Day comes only once a year, but the source of love for mother and father always flows in my heart. Hardly, anyone, there will be a day when parents are not met in a dream. It is really surprising that some of my loved ones are buried in Lahore and some in Kasur, some in Multan and some in Sahiwal but all the loved ones are often seen together in dreams. 
I already know what wisdom is, but I know that my parents did not leave me even though they passed away physically. Everyone claims to love their mother, but the father is a little harsh. That is why the love of children is more towards mothers. Maybe I am one of those people who love their father twice as much as they love their mother. 
Mohsin Pakistan and I do not forget the statement of Dr. Abdul Qadir, a nuclear scientist, that when my mother scolded us for something, we took refuge in the arms of my father. I had the same situation, but my father was very strict when it was evening. If we had sat down to teach in the light of a lantern, as soon as we made a mistake, their heavy slap would have been received on my cheek. If I looked at my face in the small mirror, the fingerprints of my father's hand would be visible on my cheeks. 
To allay my anger, my father would take me to the sweet shop and take four ice cubes. Give me something to eat. He knew that I like snow very much, so the price of a slap would be four times as much as snow. The world of love for my father was that I could not sleep without him. Once he went to Lahore Medical College. Let me tell you here that as many running staff as there are in Pakistan Railways, they get their eyes checked once a year. 
Sitting in a dark room, the eye specialist checks the level of vision. To pass this examination, poor railway employees used to pay bribes from their limited monthly salary. Without bribes, nothing happens in the railways. The pension money announced by the government is given only to the widow who pays a bribe to the concerned clerk. However, the father would have left for Lahore in the morning car and would have returned in the car at 7 pm. 
I would sit on the platform of the railway station waiting for my father. If my father was ever stopped in Lahore for further examination, I would stay up all night. When my father came back from Lahore, he would bring me an envelope full of ropes. The gift of Lahore ropes would be a real reward for a rural child. Educated up to 4th and 4th class in Radha Ram (Habibabad) Primary School. 
At that time, the first three classes were taken by Master Sahib orally. I had a strange problem when my father was in front of me to be reminded. The questions and the mountains would have been memorized. At the teacher's order, I would have made a fuss and would have passed at the same time. 
In this way, I passed the first and second-grade exams when the day of the third-grade exam came and my father was on duty. But I could not stand on the other side of the mud wall of the school and despite searching, I could not see his face. The teacher started taking exams. The teacher who asked, I would be silent after hearing the question. As a result, he failed. 
When he reached home with his mouth hanging open, his father had also reached home in the evening after finishing his duty. He smiled and asked, "My son has passed." I hung my head and said no, my father has failed me, my father is very angry about this. Aya. The next day he took me with him to the school and told Headmaster Ibrahim Sahib that my son could not fail, you should take his exam in front of me. 
The teacher refused to take the exam saying that now the exam cannot be taken again. The headmaster was a friend of my father. He said, "What is this LLB exam that can't be repeated? Take the exam in front of us now." At the order of the headmaster, the teacher started asking me questions. I would look at my father's face and answer the question. 
In this way, I passed with the best marks. Both the headmaster and the teacher sat down holding their heads and saying this child. He loves his father so much, how can he live without a father. These words of the headmaster still resonate in my ears today. But my love for my father never diminished as long as he was alive. He used to be their shadow. When he passed away 26 years ago, mine was with him Who says I will die, I am a river, I will go down to the sea.

Thursday, 4 June 2020

Proud to be Pakistani

here have been two world wars in the world, while the third and decisive war is yet to take place for which the field is being prepared. This war will be between Muslims and Jews. If we look, the only two countries in the world at the moment are based on pure religion, one Pakistan and one Israel. Pakistan was built on the ideology of Islam and Israel was founded on the ideology of Judaism. Consider for yourself that the two countries are each other's worst enemies. It is noteworthy that Pakistan and Israel have never fought face to face. 

Israel has beaten Pakistan only once and since then they have fear of Pakistan in their hearts. They will fight this last war. Armageddon, I once said that they themselves do not know Pakistan as much as an Israeli or a Jew would know. It is as clear as day to them why Allah gave existence to Pakistan even though it is our misfortune and incompetence that we do not know but on the contrary, they are harming Pakistan. 

These two powers in the world have come into existence especially on the ideology of religions, so did it happen that the last war will be between Jews and Muslims and here on behalf of Pakistan Islam on behalf of Israel Dajjal then who says that Pakistan is a common country Who can deny its greatness. I will tell you what is Pakistan. Pakistan whose creators were chosen, whose creation was chosen, whose flag was chosen, whose place of creation was also chosen. Happened The purpose of which was stated fourteen hundred years ago. 

In strengthening its foundation, the pure blood of millions of words, in whose war the angels came to fight, whose destroyers themselves perished, whose saviors received the glad tidings of a high place in heaven, a part of which is broken by the beloved of Allah. Beloved, be sad, 1400 years before he was born, cool winds came from the east to the beloved Prophet, may Allah protect his great home, the world's first Islamic.

The state to which Allah has given the best nuclear power. The world's best secret agency ISI, the world's best commandos, the world's best forces, the world's best war and defense system, the world's location is such that the world envies, the river He was delivered by Allah, the sea was delivered by Allah. Blessings like water, lush land, every crop of the world gave him, four seasons of four. He gave such power that his soul trembled at the thought of taking a bad step towards him even though he was his enemy in the world. 

Thousands of miles away from here to protect God's holy house from which God takes. Let the power like Russia be torn to pieces, let the United States and its allies dust off in Afghanistan. Let the cries of India, which has more than one billion people, be heard all over the world. Whose Mujahideen should be ordered to clash with the Bani Khawarij of Kowala. Whose martyr is Afzal Tarin Shaheed, who frightened India with a dove? 

Make him a mental patient, a thief from a neighbor to a president who can't understand who is running this country, whose weapons are second to none. Such technology, such intelligent people and selected engineers and scientists. Not an example. From Israel to every Jew in the world whose name trembles, whose forces, technology, intelligence agencies give examples to the world. Who emerges with new strength after every injury, from drones to atomic bomb technology that God helps. 

You're given Protected by the angels of Allah, who received the glad tidings of the conquest of the Indian conquest fourteen hundred years ago, became the victor of the Third World War before joining, whose existence guaranteed the existence of the East, whose existence was a symbol of fear for the West. From Kashmir to the voice of the heart of Palestine, the axis of hope of all Muslims. Such power betrays such a blessing. Betrayal of such a power. Ungratefulness of such a blessing does not beautify us. 

Even after losing so much, someone Doubt what Pakistan is? Why build Pakistan? Then he should go and ask the Jews what Pakistan is. They will tell you even better what Pakistan is. I believe there is oppression here, there is injustice here, there is unemployment here, there is injustice here, there is obscenity here, there is deception here, there is load shedding here, there is load shedding here, but this is my fault, not yours but Pakistan's. 

Allah has given its existence only and only because it is Pakistan that has to defeat the Dajjal and his followers. From this Pakistan, Israel, America, India, and their followers have come to Patna. By God, the purpose for which Pakistan was created by Allah will surely be fulfilled in every situation, at any cost, whether we live or not. Allah does not need anyone to take his work as our situation was. 

He was only a sign of Allah for us and the enemies of Pakistan that I do not want to erase it, so who are you to erase it. So it was a sign that for the purpose for which I have made it, your presence or absence does not mean anything for the existence of Pakistan, so get well and betray this country, not the land of Pakistan, we will have to pay - Pakistan Allah has made him. He has chosen him in the smallest detail. Allah has chosen him in His great blessings. 

If I continue to write, I may not be able to write in my whole life what Pakistan is. Pakistan will remain inshallah till doomsday. If we don't get well then Allah will wipe us out and bring someone else who will fulfill this great purpose of Allah so it is our duty to love Pakistan so that for this great purpose this country Let's take a look around and see what is happening to the enemies and traitors of Pakistan. I am proud to be a citizen of a state which Allah has chosen for a special and great purpose. Praise be to Allah I am Pakistani. 
Proud to be Pakistani

Friday, 29 May 2020

Why did the fish run away from us, where did they go?

An old fisherman used to bring two small fish to the market. One she would give to the weaver and take a day's ration of flour, sugar, and other items from it, the other she would take vegetable meat and leave. This was her way for years. Now she is worried. She does not know how to calculate money. And Dhootar doesn't look like it anymore, why did it happen to all the fishermen like him and where did the fish leave the shore? They used to go and catch so many fish or prawns till evening that they could make a living. Happily, they were never but they were not poor but now poverty, unemployment, and anxiety have set up camp in the homes of fishermen.

The issue is why the fish have left us and where they have gone. There was a time when there were fish in Lyari and Malir rivers. In the delta of both rivers, there were fish and prawn nurseries. There were mangrove forests on the shores of the sea. A fisherman used to make a living from a small one-man boat under and near the Netty Jetty. Today pollution has destroyed the sea. Mangrove forests are shrinking. Fish breeding would be minimal. Their breeding is closely related to mangrove forests. Oceans, mangroves, prawns, oysters and other aquatic life share each other. Under an ecosystem, everyone helps each other within their own limits.
 
The destruction of one thing is the destruction of the whole ecosystem. Mangrove forests grow along the coastal deltaic waters of rivers. In Pakistan, it is the deltaic region of the Indus River, Sonmiani in Balochistan, They are found in Kalmat and Gwadar areas. The Indus is the sixth-largest river in the world. Prior to the construction of the dam and barrage in 1930, 17 river mouths in the Indus Delta used to discharge freshwater into the sea, of which only one mouth, Khobar Creek, remains. Even less water than mangroves demands during flood days. The sea is found. At that time, eight species of mangroves were found here, now four of them are left, which are lip-smacking. One hundred and ninety thousand hectares of these forests are in dispute. 

Some organizations insist on less than one lakh. The area of ​​these forests has increased in the last few years but much more needs to be done. Mangroves on the coast help a lot in maintaining the ecosystem. Survival depends on them. These include sea insects, ketchup, oysters, snails, snakes, crabs, bees, prawns, fish, earthworms, and many more. Microscopes include organic matter. Each of them is interconnected. These are breeding grounds and shelters for prawns and fish. Wildlife also thrives in them. Migratory birds also come here to nest and lay eggs. Mangroves prevent deltaic soil from accumulating in the ocean. 

It protects the coast from tidal waves and prevents coastal erosion. Eighty percent of the fish caught in coastal areas spend part of their lives in mangroves. Some living organisms are found here that eat microscopic organic organisms. Such organisms are preyed upon by small fish and preyed upon by large fish. A variety of snails, crabs, and oysters are also a favorite food of fish, so the lack of mangroves is destroying the entire ecosystem, leading to not only the birth of fish. A human being needs oxygen from eight trees, which dissolves in seawater and goes into the gills of fish. When mangroves are low, the oceans also get less oxygen. 

Experts say that 1,200 deaths from the heatwave in 2015 were also due to deforestation and rising temperatures. Sindh Forest Department and Environmental Protection Committee respond to this. Unable to say whether anyone was allowed to cut 882 mangroves to build the NLG jetty. The mangroves that were cut to make Port Qasim a port contained four rare species that became extinct. Oxygen will be available, which will reduce fish and other aquatic life. Experts say that the heatwave deaths of 1,200 people in 2015 were also due to deforestation and rising temperatures. 

He is unable to answer whether anyone was allowed to cut 882 mangroves to build NLG's jetty. The mangroves that were cut to make Port Qasim a port contained four rare species that became extinct. Oxygen will be available, which will reduce fish and other aquatic life. Experts say that the heatwave deaths of 1,200 people in 2015 were also due to deforestation and rising temperatures. He is unable to answer whether anyone was allowed to cut 882 mangroves to build NLG's jetty. The mangroves that were cut to make Port Qasim a port contained four rare species that became extinct.

The spill of oil from ships to aquatic life is like Hulagu Khan's attack on land. The marine life found under the sea for miles is suffocated by suffocation. The black oil of the oil tankers on Gadani is secretly thrown into the sea at night while breaking them, so how can the fish come close to the shores and survive. The waves, made by mixing sea sand and oil, are visible on the shore, which can't be cleaned if they get stuck in picnic slippers and shoes. Oil spill started from a Greek ship Tasman Spirit in 2003 and we did not have the technology to stop it. How many days did it continue to leak? Fell victim to How many respiratory, stomach, and skin diseases have spread. Sandspit in May 2017 and oil was found on the shores of Clifton in September 2017 but

The city's 480 million gallons of polluted water, including chemical water from factories, are being dumped into the sea every day. The fish are caught. There it is cleaned and its waste or odor is dumped in the sea. Its quantity is in tons daily. The garbage of the city is being dumped in the sea carelessly. 6 ٫ 4 tons per year, more than half the amount of shopping bags or polythene, which do not dissolve in water or land for a thousand years, the smell of food in it attracts fish and entangles in it. Trapped or eaten, they die in agony. Rare green turtles that adorn our shores come to the shores to lay their eggs. Their favorite food is jellyfish, which feed on their eggs. On our beaches during the season come on, these poor innocent animals eat these shopping bags as jellyfish, as a result of which they die.

The canal discharges Sam Thor water into the sea, including chemical water from factories. Contaminated water from both Punjab and Sindh is discharged into the sea at Badin without any treatment. All the waste and all the dung of the buffalo colony is dumped in the water and dumped in the sea. Is. The color of the land on the beach has also become strangely discolored with golden sand. The sea in ​​this area is also getting polluted. 

There are water and sewage board treatment plants in Karachi but either their number is low or their efficiency is low, they are not working properly. I saw people fishing in the river. The banks of this river were paved and sewage water was falling into the river. I was surprised to see that when I got the information, I found out that this river belongs to sewage water, all the water in it comes from the treatment plant. It has fish in it, it is used for boating, it is used for ferries and its water is used for farming in the low lying areas. It is called arrangements, facilities.


The Marine Pollution Control Department has been established since 1996. If you look at its scope, it seems that all the sea pollution is just over here. Its steamers will circle the sea twice a day so that there are ground and water surveillance. Oil cleaning, an inspection of ships, protection of sea from garbage, prevention and rehabilitation of mangroves, environmental monitoring of oil facility area, cleaning of the port, monitoring of oil tankers, environmental audit, etc. But like other government agencies, the box of daily papers and reports seems to be full, but if you look at the performance, you can see some or some shortcomings.

Prohibited fishing nets are so deadly nets that no fish can escape from them. And there are much fish that are small in size, their production is very high. These ditches are reduced, in fact, they are used as food for big fish in the ecosystem, they are the food of all the fish in the sea. They are being hunted so badly that they are becoming extinct. Their extinction is like weeding out a forest. They are caught and used to make tons of chicken feed daily, which is leading to their genocide. It is banned. The reasons for not complying are more than just consolation. This is a million-dollar question.


The sea fish left our shores affected by water pollution, destruction of ecosystems, bribery of illicit nets, the illegal flow of oil, poaching, etc., or we massacred them. Even freshwater fish are not safe from us. The largest lake in Pakistan is Lake Manchar, 330 km from Karachi, beyond the Seon area, an ancient lake that has existed since before the Mohenjo-Daro era. It is located at a higher level than the Indus River, so when the level of the Indus River rises in the flood, it fills up with water, some rainwater and some Himal Lake water comes from the Nara Canal. 

There were 200 kinds of fish in it. Thousands of families whose profession was fishing, whose tribe was sailors, used to earn their livelihood from it. They have been living in this lake in boats for thousands of years. Marriage, birth and death, the purpose of their life in this lake And only fish. Since the formation of Pakistan, the fish production in this lake has been reduced to 10%. Its destruction started in 1982 with the water of Sam Thor coming from Nara Valley Drain, for which the top brass of WAPDA said that The coming Sam Thor will not harm the Kapani Lake and they tricked the lake dwellers into pouring Sam Thor water into the Nara Canal. 

The water destroyed the lake's ecosystem. The water has become toxic. 14 species of fish have become extinct. The water of the lake is no longer drinkable. But the people here are forced to drink it. Betrayed, he poured Sam Thor's water into the Nara Canal. The water destroyed the lake's ecosystem. The water has become toxic. 14 species of fish have become extinct. The water of the lake is no longer drinkable. But the people here are forced to drink it. Betrayed, he poured Sam Thor's water into the Nara Canal. The water destroyed the lake's ecosystem. The water has become toxic. 14 species of fish have become extinct. The water of the lake is no longer drinkable. But the people here are forced to drink it.

If a person takes advantage of any ecosystem to a reasonable extent, then that system is maintained. If it is put under too much pressure, it is destroyed. As long as the local fishermen were earning their livelihood from all the lakes and rivers of Pakistan, things went well. A few families on each shore would catch fish from the net, sell it, and make a living. Fish would also be caught in such quantities that the ecosystem would be maintained. When the rulers began to reward their slaves, lakes, and rivers began to be given on contract, poor families were subjected to the contractor. 

Now they do not catch fish themselves. They can be sold. They have to be caught and given to the contractor at the price stated by him. Earlier, if he had caught ten kilos of fish and sold it, he would have made a living. Yes, it destroyed the whole ecosystem and natural fish are now rare in lakes and rivers. That the famous Diya fish of Manchar Lake is currently taken from a fisherman for Rs. 10 to 20 per kg, which is at least Rs. 100 per kg in the market. Similarly, the marine ecosystem is catching more fish than it can handle. 

Foreign trawlers have made life difficult for marine life. Until 2005, there were no trawlers in our seas. It is not wise to sell your resources to earn foreign exchange instead of earning foreign exchange. There is a lot of kickback in this game or not but marine life is being lost. According to international organizations, the number of fishing boats in our fisheries is double our maritime capacity, which is constantly increasing. The concerned agencies should stop this. A two-month ban is required during the fish breeding season, whenever it wants. The ban is lifted in the best interest of the fishermen. 

Thursday, 14 November 2019

What is Life Efficiency?

What is Life Efficiency? We now have a scientific overview of how an ecosystem works. Green plants share out the space available to the ecosystem among themselves and on professional lines. Each kind of plant has a separate niche, specializing in living on good soil or bad, being early in the season or late, being big or little. And these green plants trap some of the energy of the sun to make fuel. Some of this fuel they use, some are taken by animals, much goes to rot.
The fuel taken by the animals at the bottom of the Eltonian pyramid is mostly burned up by the herbivores themselves, but a portion is taken by their predators, and so on for one or two more links up the food chains. At each level in the pyramid, there are many species of animals, the numbers of each being set by its chosen profession or niche. All the animals and plants use much of their fuel to make as many babies as possible, and many of these babies are used as fuel by other animals.
Every animal and plant in this ecosystem have an appointed place defined both by its level in the pyramid and by its niche. All these living things are tied together in a great web of eating and being eaten, and an ecosystem is a complex community of energy-consumers, all straining to get the most and do their best with it. The result of all these individual efforts is the self-perpetuating mechanism of nature at which we wonder.
But how good is that mechanism really? It certainly works, and it undoubtedly is long-lasting, but is it efficient? This question has more than academic interests because the future of our human population depends on the fuel-gathering efficiencies of ecosystems. So, we ask whether the plants and animals of wild ecosystems are efficient converters of energy, and whether the agricultural ecosystems on which we depend are better or worse than the wild ones.
Once we know the answers to these questions, we want to know what sets the limits to efficiency and whether we can do anything to improve upon whatever it is. We first look at the plants, because they perform the most important task of subverting the sun to make fuel and ask how efficient they are as factories of fuel.
The plants that now exist must be “fit” plants, they must be able to leave more offspring than have plants that might have been, which in turn means that they must be able to win more food than could the might have been which means that they must be more efficient at trapping the sun than were the might-have-been. Thus, a Darwinian ecologist expects all plants to be superbly efficient.
We see that the green receptors and transducers of energy that we call “leaves” are indeed stacked up on the face of the earth in the formidable array. So far so good. But we expect the chemistry and thermodynamics of those green transducers to be as efficient as the leaves are abundant.
We hear engineers talk about the efficiency of automobiles or steam engines, by which they mean how much of the energy supplied as fuel is converted to useful work. They often talk of efficiencies of 20 or 30 percent. With these thoughts, we turn to the practical measurements of what plants and animals can really do.
The efficiency of plants were first determined by a fine piece of armchair scholarship. It was done by Nelson Transeau in an office of an old building of The Ohio State University in Columbus when he was seeking material for a presidential address to the local academy of sciences.
The plant on which this scholar mused was the humble com plant, so suitable for armchair scholarship because anything measurable about com can be found out from the library. No one had thought before how to measure its efficiency, but they had measured everything an ingenious man might need to calculate it.
A crop of com begins with the bare, ploughed ground, a place of zero production, zero efficiencies. The corn then grows, zealously defended by the farmer from browsing animals and pests, until maturity. During the intervening weeks, the com plants have been receiving sunlight and converting it first to sugar, then to all the other ingredients of the plant’s structure.
Every calorie these com plants trapped had one of two possible fates: either it was burned by the plant itself to do the work of growing and living or it was still there at harvest time, dormant as potential energy in that standing crop. Com plants have been weighed often enough, and an agricultural handbook readily gives average figures for the yield of grain, leaves, stem, roots, everything.
Also known is how many calories are in a gram of grain, leaves, roots and the rest; just as the number of calories in a gram of sugar or ice cream is known. So, one can add up the calories in a field of corn. Finding out how many calories the plants have burned during their lives is trickier, but, as we shall see, this can be discovered too.
Transeau mused about an acre of land in the state of Illinois, a good place to begin because someone had measured how many calories came onto the land of that state from the sun on a typical summer's day. A nice crop of good corn growing on that acre would constitute a population of ten thousand plants. These grew from germination to harvest, as it happened, in exactly one hundred days.
Now it was necessary only to go to the handbooks to find out how much poundage was represented by ten thousand well-grown com plants. Transeau did this, then did a little calculation to convert all the cellulose, protein, and other chemicals they represented back into the sugar from which they had originally been made. In his mind's eye, Transeau saw not a field of ten thousand yellowing, rustling plants but a beautiful pile of glistening white sugar. The sugar weighed 6,678 kilograms.
Now Transeau needed only to know how much sugar these ten thousand plants had burned in their hundred days of life, and his own notebooks gave him this figure. Transeau had pioneered the measurement of breathing in plants, and by the time of that presidential address of 1926 he had all the figures he needed. These had come from com plants that Transeau had grown in glass chambers to which he could control the air supply.
He measured the carbon dioxide going into the chambers and the carbon dioxide coming out. In total darkness his experimental plants would respire as an animal does, burning sugar to give them calories for work, disposing of the combustion gases into the air.
The excess carbon dioxide coming out of the glass chambers was thus a measure of the combustion, a measure of sugar burned. Transeau’s notebooks told him how much sugar typical com plants of varying ages would bum in a day.
It was simple now to work out how much sugar would have been burned by ten thousand plants in one hundred days, and soon Transeau could see a second glistening white pile beside the first, a pile of sugar the plants had first made and then burned. This the second pile weighed 2,045 kilograms, so the two piles combined weighed 8,723 kilograms.
This was all the sugar made by the cornfield that summer. Now the end was in sight. 8,723 kilograms of the sugar glucose represents 33,000,000 calories, but the man who had measured the sun streaming onto Illinois had found that one acre in a hundred days of summer received 2,043,000,000 calories, more than fifty times as much.
If you put one of these figures over the other and multiply by a hundred you get Transeau’s the result, which was that corn plants, on prime land in Illinois, where they were given every care and attention, were only 1.6 percent efficient.
And so, to our amazement we find, not the 20 or 30 percent efficiency of a steam engine, not some super efficiency suggested by ideas of survival of the fittest or the marvelous workings of nature, but a miserable 1.6. Could the scholar in his armchair have got his sums wrong? People have made all Transeau’s suggested measurements on real crops, not only com but other high-yielding plants such as sugar beets, and they have come up with the same general answer: about 2 percent.
They also measured the rates of sugar production in photosynthesis more directly, by monitoring the flow of raw materials and waste products to and from the plants, and numerous studies have confirmed the estimates from crops. Our rich productive crops on rich productive soil are only 2 percent efficient.
Perhaps there is something wrong with agriculture. Perhaps it is only planted, grown in unnatural conditions that are so abysmally inefficient. But there is no escape this way either. It is harder to measure the efficiency of wild plants than of crops, but it can be done.
You cannot harvest a field of wild plants all the same age, as you can with com plants, but it has proved to be not beyond the wit of computer-minded man to make samples and calculate the potential wild crop. We now know that wild plants do about as well as tame plants. A very rough figure of 2 percent describes the efficiency of them all when they grow in very favorable circumstances.
Most wild plants achieve nothing like the 2 percent of agriculture because they do not have it so good. So, it is ours to reason why. What curious circumstance prevents 98 percent of the sun’s energy from getting into the living things staked out to wait for it in such an eager array?
What we know of these things has been told us by laboratory people. A plant is grown in a glass chamber, with rigid controls on all the conditions of its life so that it is comfortable and not disturbed; like a baby in an incubator. The breathing of the plant is monitored by measuring the gases it takes and gives to its chamber.
When it is busy converting energy by making sugar from carbon dioxide and water, it releases the oxygen that sensors can detect; when it is respiring in the dark it releases carbon dioxide. You can do wet chemistry on samples; you can make a plant use a radioisotope of carbon then measure activities, or you can wire the container to the fine expensive electronics of a modem analyst’s laboratory.
But, whatever way the measurements are taken, one can infer the rate at which the laboratory plant makes the sugar “glucose,” and hence the rate at which it fixes energy. Using a water-plant, such as a tiny green alga, makes things easier because the water simplifies the chemistry. Then you shine lights of known intensity into its glass incubator, recording precisely what it does.
First startling discovery is that half the kinds of light shone on the plant have no apparent effect on its chemistry. Half the total energy of sunlight is in the red end of the spectrum; what we call infrared light. We cannot see this light, but it floods down on us as warm rays, of low intensity it is true, but together adding up to half the energy getting to us from the sun. If red lamps are shone on the plant in its water bath, the chemistry of the water does not change. Plants cannot trap the energy of the far-red wavelengths any more than we can see them. Plants use only “visible” light.
We have obviously found one of the reasons for the inefficiency of plants, but we give a Darwinian biologist a curious question to answer while we are at it. Why should plants be made like people’s eyes so that they only make use of “visible” light? Plants must operate according to the rules of our Darwinian game, striving to wrest the largest possible number of calories from their surroundings so that they can turn them into babies.
They have been refined by natural selection to do this for a few thousand million years and should be very good at it. And yet they seem incapable of using half the energy pouring down on them. When this discovery was first made, an ingenious idea was put forward to explain it.
Plants, it was noted, had all first evolved in the sea, and red light does not penetrate very far through water but is rapidly absorbed. Any skin diver knows that everything looks blue down below the surface. A plant growing in an underwater place never has the redder rays shining on it and must do all its work of living with the bluer half of the spectrum.
So, it was argued, the ancestors of all plants evolved to be able to use only the energetic rays that penetrate water, essentially the visible light. Plants, however, have now lived on the land for several hundred million years, and it is very difficult for a biologist to believe that in all that time they could not adapt to this new brighter world with its red light. Fortunately for our peace of mind, modem physical chemists have come up with a better explanation.
The process of fixing energy (what we call “photo-synthesis,) involves violent disturbance to electrons as they spin in their orbits around atoms, and it takes a fierce pulse of energy to do this. The radiations of visible light are intense enough to fix energy, but the radiations of the red are not. Life, not for the only time, bows before the harsh reality of physical laws and does what it can with only half of the energy coming from the sun.
The red light can warm plants and does; it also evaporates water from them; helping drive the plants' circulation systems, but that is all. Since the laws of physics let plants use only half the sunlight, we ought to amend our efficiency calculation accordingly. We double the calculated efficiencies of wild vegetation and crop plants alike; bringing them up from a miserable 2 percent to nearly as miserable 4 percent. Steam engines and automobiles still manage 20 percent or better, and the greater part of our question about the inefficiency of plants remains.
The next enlightenment to come from laboratory science is that the efficiency of plants depends on the strength of the light. If one shines a very dim light into the laboratory bottles containing the plants, say the light of the dawning or twilight, the plants do amazingly well.
If one calculates the the efficiency with which they are using the meager resource of light, one may well find that they are doing as well as 20 percent efficient or even more. This does not compare so unfavorably with steam engines and automobiles, particularly when one reflects that a plant must do its own maintenance as it works, whereas steam engines are made and looked after by others.
So, we learn that in dim light the efficiency of plants compares quite favorably with the efficiency of man-made machines. They are not very productive in dim light, of course, because the total energy available is so slight. Twenty percent of very little is still very little, and dim light means poor production of sugar.
But plants in dim light yet use what energy there is available to them with tolerable efficiency. Why then do they not maintain this high efficiency when light is abundant and the potential riches in sugar to be won are very large? If brighter and brighter lights are shone into the plant incubators, the rate of sugar production goes up. This we would expect.
But the efficiency progressively falls until it levels off, not at 2 or 4 percent, but at about 8 per cent. It is still at about 8 percent when the very highest rates of photosynthesis, of making sugar, are reached. Eight per cent of an optimum amount of light gives the highest flow of energy into living things that the bottled plants can be made to achieve.
If the plants are given still more light, both their efficiency and the rate of production fall, and a time comes when production ceases altogether. That too fierce a light should stop the plant working completely is not surprising. Presumably, the plant is being cooked. It is the low efficiency with which light of optimum brightness is used for which we must find an explanation.
At this stage in the research, our original problem has been compounded rather than solved. We began by asking why crops and vegetation were so inefficient at handling the sunlight with which Providence provided them, and we have not got an answer yet.
What we have done is to show that plants are much more efficient at handling dim light than they are at handling the noonday sun and that algal cultures in laboratory incubators may be twice as efficient in bright sunlight as is a field crop (8 percent as opposed to 2 percent or 4 per cent depending on the wavelengths supplied).
Why are all plants comparatively inefficient in bright light? Why are all plants more efficient in dim light? Why are algal cultures in laboratory incubators twice as efficient as wild vegetation? The last question is the easiest, and we will take it first.
An algologist once taunted his colleagues, and tempted the public, with the figures from laboratory experiments with algae. See! These plants are 8 per cent efficient—far, far better than the com and the other plants we eat! It is foolish to grow inefficient crops when we could all fatten on green algal scum instead! This theme recurs in newspaper articles about the world food crisis.
It is a myth that is probably as impossible to eradicate as the myth that Tyranosaurus rex was a ferociously active predator. But myth it is. Algae are not more productive than other plants. The catch about the algal culturing is that it is the culturing that leads to higher average efficiencies, not the algae. Any actively growing plant that can be introduced to one of the small laboratory cultures will do as well as the algae.
A whole seedling can be put in a small laboratory container, made comfortable, and it will convert the energy of light to the energy of glucose with an efficiency of 8 percent or so, depending on the wavelengths supplied. A piece cut out of a leaf can be made to do the same on its own in the nutrient solution, away from its parent plant. When conditions are the same, algae are no more and no less efficient than the crop plants with which they were so favorably compared.
We now know that any healthy young plant, com included, which grows in a well-watered field with enough fertilizer, does as well as the algae (or any other plants) in the incubators. Its efficiency is that same rough 8 percent of the laboratory cultures. But the special thing about the plant in the field is that it grows old. When it is old it feels its age and does not work very well. So, the average efficiency over its lifetime has to be much less than the 8 percent efficiency of its youth.
At the start of Transeau’s hundred days, his Illinois acre was bare of plants and there was no production. At the end of a hundred days, there were ten thousand senile individuals who were not doing very much. Somewhere in the intervening time the field was nicely covered with fresh green leaves turning in their 8 percent, but the average for the whole hundred days had to include the beginning and the end, which brought the average efficiency down to 2 per cent. Wild vegetation in temperate latitudes faces the same harsh reality: a spring without leaves,  autumn with pretty colors but diminishing green.
The great deception concerning algal culture came very largely from the accidental circumstance that it was convenient for plant physiologists to use fresh-water algae in their experiments. Such cultures are not good ways of producing food (even if we wanted to eat green scum) because culturing requires massive amounts of work and energy compared with conventional crop husbandry.
If these inputs of the energy was fed into the efficiency equation, we would find that the calculated efficiency was drastically lowered. Algae are no more efficient than any other kind of plant. The answer to our third question is that crops and wild vegetation is less efficient “over-all” than cultures or growing seedlings because of the physical vicissitudes of life, of bare ground in spring, of old age before the winter, of shortage of water and nutrients, of the debilitating presence of neighbors.
Now we must solve the mystery of the dim-light efficiency and the failure of even the favored young to do better than 8 percent. We can find a plausible answer to both questions by pondering the supply of raw materials a plant uses in the essential chemistry of photosynthesis. Plants make sugar out of carbon dioxide and water.
When water is in short supply the plants grow miserably, as we all know. But when water is abundant it is available to plants in virtually unlimited amount. The other raw material, carbon dioxide, however, is always scarce, even though it is always present.
Carbon dioxide is a rare gas. It is present in the atmosphere at an average concentration of about 0.03 percent by volume, a quite tiny proportion. And carbon dioxide is the essential raw material out of which plants must make sugar. Plant leaves are thin and pierced with multitudes of tiny breathing holes (stomates) for they must suck in carbon dioxide from as many directions as possible if they are to keep their sugar factories going.
Even so the rate at which they can soak up the precious gas is strictly limited. It seems reasonable to suggest that it is this shortage of raw material that sets a limit to the sugar-producing powers of plants growing on even the most favorable sites. Plants are inefficient as machines for converting sunlight because they face a shortage of raw materials.
When a plant is grown in dim light, its energy factories cannot work very fast, this being the simple consequence of lack of their light ‘‘fuel.” In dim light they have carbon dioxide to spare, and only considerations of thermodynamics and plant chemistry inhibit the rate of photosynthesis. The plants in this case turn out to be highly efficient.
But as such plants are given lighter, their demand on the carbon dioxide supply quickly grows, until they soon are using it as fast as it can be extracted from the air. At this moment plants are working as fast as their factories can be made to run. They are then about 8 percent efficient. If they are given more fuel still, as by shining the noonday sun on them, they can only waste the surplus, degrading it to heat, pouring it away.
We can test our the hypothesis that carbon dioxide limits the productivity of plants by pumping a little extra into our plant incubators and seeing what happens. If we do this, the rate of sugar-production goes up and the efficiency of energy conversion in bright light is slightly increased.
If we give the plants too much carbon dioxide, we suffocate them; but this need not disturb us. Plants have evolved in a world in which carbon dioxide is scarce, and their chemistry has adapted accordingly. Yet the dependence of sugar production on the carbon dioxide supply is clearly shown by these experiments.
It is well to insert a small word of caution about the generality of this result. The logic that so scarce a commodity as carbon dioxide ought to limit the rate of production is sound, and the experimental data are convincing demonstrations that we are on the right lines. But some of the consequences of a shortage of carbon dioxide are very complex and may impose second-order restrictions on photosynthesis.
Plants must “pump” large volumes of gas as they extract their carbon and this pumping may introduce its own restraints. Flooding the plant tissues with oxygen in the flux of air will have its own consequences for reactions dependent on chemical oxidations and reductions. Opening the stomates must result in the escape of water.
And so on. All operations that boost production in the plant factories must involve their own constraints and we can expect many fresh limits to appear as plants evolve to make the most of the carbon dioxide supply in different circumstances.
These possibilities are reflected in many modem debates about alternative “pathways” of chemical synthesis in plants. But with this bit of mealy-mouthing we can yet say that plants are generally inefficient as converters of energy because carbon dioxide is a rare gas in the terrestrial atmosphere.
This finding is of great significance to practical people for it means that there is a very narrowly defined limit to the possibilities for growing human foodstuffs. Our ultimate yields are set by the carbon dioxide in our air, and there is nothing we can do to push plants to do better. Our so-called high yielding strains of wheat and the rest are in fact no more efficient than the wild plants they replace, whatever the gentlemen of the green revolution may claim.
All that the agriculturalists have done is to make plants put more of their total capital of sugar into parts that people like to eat. A high-yielding wheat makes more grain at the expense of stalk, roots, and the energies to defend itself against pests and weeds. The finest efforts of science have not made any plant one jot more efficient than those nature made.
To a biologist brooding on the great conundrums of life, the inefficiencies of plants have a different message. The fuel supply for all life is restricted to some small fraction of what comes from the sun. A theoretical upper limit is about 8 percent, but this will be reached only for very short periods in very small places. All plants face youth and senescence, and virtually all face the changing seasons.
All suffer at times from a shortage of water or nutrients; none works at full efficiency for long. When we think of the average condition of life on earth, we think of deserts, mountainsides, and polar ice caps, as well as fertile flood plains. The average productivity of the earth must be very low, certainly much lower than that of 1.6 percent of Transeau’s cornfield. Probably only some fraction of 1 per cent of the solar energy striking the earth gets into living things as fuel for plants and food for animals.
When we try to explain the numbers and kinds of plants and animals, we must remember this great restriction in the fuel supply. Plant-eating animals, for instance, can get only a small portion of the sugar made by the plants on which they feed.
This is hard to measure, but practical people generally accept an upper estimate of about 10 per cent. We may think, therefore, that on good pasture land, herbivores get 10 percent of 2 percent of the sun. A tiger hunting those herbivores might theory get 10 percent of 2 percent of the sun. And so, on up the food chains.
We come then to the proposition that the numbers of the different kinds of plants and animals on earth are set by the amount of carbon dioxide in our air. Carbon dioxide sets the rate of plant production and is hence the ultimate arbiter of the food supply of all animals. If our earth had been forged with more carbon dioxide at its surface, the plants would have delivered more food and the opportunities for animals would have been greater.
We might even have had tiger-hunting dragons then, and the ferocious tyranosaur would have been less mythical. But the chemistry of the earth’s surface keeps the concentration of carbon dioxide low, by mechanisms quite out of reach of plants and animals. And so, the answer to many general questions about the numbers of animals as well as to the inefficiency of plants becomes, “Because it is very little carbon dioxide in our air.”
Related Reading: Why is Sea Blue
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Wednesday, 13 November 2019

Why is the water of Sea Blue?

Why is Sea Blue? This is a very odd thing because the sea is also wet and spread out under the sun. It ought to be green with plants as is the land, but it is not. There are murky coasts and estuaries, the green hard waters of stormy channels, the fog-covered silvery- grey of ocean banks. But the deep sea, the open sea, most of the sea, is blue. This strange blueness of the sea can tell us many things.
An explanation for the color of the sea is simple enough. There are not enough plants in the sea to make it green, so we are left with the color of pure water under the sun. The light that passes through perfectly clear water is absorbed bit by bit, it's the energy dissipated as heat as it travels until at last all of it has flowed into the sink of heat and there is utter blackness.
But the colors of white light go progressively, one at a time. The low-energy wavelengths that we call “red” go first, then, in turn, the more intense parts of the spectrum orange, yellow, green and finally the various shades of blue. Only blue light reaches a few hundred feet down, and it follows that any reflected light that has made a double journey from the surface to the depths and back is blue. And so, the sea is blue.
But the real reason that the sea is blue is that there are not enough plants in it to make it green. And this is one of the oddest of the odd things about our world. Why are the great oceans not green with plants? We can get a first hint of where to look for our answer by reflecting on those few places in the sea that in fact are green, the shallow banks such as the Dogger Bank or regions of great upwellings such as those on the Peruvian coast.
These are the sites of the great fisheries, and the waters are murky green with plant life. The fisheries themselves attest to the rich productive qualities of these scattered places, and the green murk bespeaks high fertility. Indeed, high fertility, in the simple chemical sense, is the explanation of both the fisheries and the green murk.
The waters of banks and upwellings are well-supplied with chemical nutrients so that the tiny planktonic plants of the sea thrive abundantly, turning the water into a green soup in which animals wallow, to the eventual well-being of fishermen.
Where the sea is unusually fertile, tiny plants multiply and the water becomes green with their bodies. But most of the sea is not fertile; it is a chemical desert. Potassium, phosphorus, silicon, iron, nitrates and the rest are always present in sea-water, but in low concentrations.
By the standards of agriculture, the open sea is hopelessly infertile. And if the sea is infertile it is perhaps not unreasonable to expect that plants will not grow there very well, which is presumably why there are so few of them.
So far, we seem on safe ground, but there is a very large catch to the argument. Everything depends on the fact that the plants of the sea are tiny. In very fertile water (a polluted estuary is the best example) the tiny plants multiply until the water is pea-green with their bodies.
But if the water is a nutrient-poor desert like the great oceans, then there are only enough chemicals in the lighted upper layers of the sea to make a very few plants cells. The water is then essentially empty, the sun plunges down to the depths, and the water glows blue. But all these only follows//the plants are tiny.
Suppose there were large plants floating on the surface of the sea, plants that covered it with layers of leaves as the rain-forest trees cover the tropical land. These large plants would not have to worry about the thin supply of nutrients in the water any more than the rain-forest trees of the last chapter are stopped by the even thinner supply in the red tropical soils.
Large plants can collect, accumulate, and hoard nutrients. How easy it ought to be for a large plant in the sea. Deep down below the lighted surface of the sea, there are, in fact, almost unlimited nutrients, for the great oceans are some five miles deep in the middle. The fertilizer problem is one of concentration. In the few tens of meters at the top of the ocean, where the light reaches, and the plants must grow.
Hence, there is a local shortage of nutrients, but the potential supply underneath is truly enormous. A large plant at the surface would soak up nutrients, just like a large plant on land. More nutrients would then diffuse up from the depths to be similarly collected. And so on. Thus, if there were large plants in the open sea, the dilution of nutrients would not matter.
Now our inquiry comes close to Darwinian realities. The sea is blue, not so much because it is infertile but because there are no large plants growing there. Large plants would overcome the infertility of the surface water by gradually collecting nutrients as they filtered up from the depths below.
Large plants would become the dominant factor in the life of the sea as they are of the life of the land, making a massive shade of the spaces below them, forcing all food chains of animals to start with types that could bite out chunks from foliage. But no large plants live in the open sea. They can grow around coasts as do the kelps.
The giant kelps of the American Pacific, Macrocystis and Nereocystis, are said to be the longest vegetables in the world. But none of these large sea plants makes it out to a floating life in the open sea. For some reason, the niche or profession of “large-planting” is not possible in the open sea. Why? This is the fundamental Darwinian question behind the blueness of the sea.
Oceanographers have long known that there is something odd about the absence of big plants from the sea, but they have missed the grand Darwinian question. They never asked themselves, “Why can’t the plants be big?” Instead, they looked for the advantages of being small, counting the blessings of smallness and expecting to find their answers in this way. But you cannot get all of the answer like that.
Consider some of the so-called advantages of being small, particularly those based on the surface area. A small object has a much larger surface in proportion to its volume or mass than a big one. One result of this is less trouble with the sinking-problem, since the relatively large surface offers more friction, slowing the sinking rate. On the other hand, if you have a bladder of air or oil, you do not sink at all, so why bother being small?
Another is that the large surface to your little body can be used to soak up scarce nutrients. But there are ways of having a large surface area other than being tiny; by being convoluted or sponge-like, for instance. Rain-forest trees manage with a mat of hairs, even in mud and gravel let alone water. A spongy giant of an ocean plant would find soaking up nutrients easy; then it would be able to hoard its nutrients even as land vegetation does.
I have read in an oceanographic text that small entities use nutrients “efficiently.” This means that “turnover” is efficient if one thinks of the oceans as a banker thinks of a company that “turns over“ its capital quickly. But it is a strange sort of efficiency that keeps the oceans as a poorly productive desert.
If the ocean plants were large, they would soak up nutrients from below and make the ocean desert bloom like the lowland tropics. The “efficiency” of production would then be much greater. So why be small?
There must be some the advantage in being small, and we can best find what it is by looking for the the disadvantage of being big in the sea and whatever this disadvantage might be it surely must be overriding. There are big plants everywhere else, on all kinds of land surfaces and in every shallow patch of the sea along its coasts. It is only in the open sea, where they would have to float that there are no big plants. So, the answer to the problem must lie in a floating way of life.
Why do small plants make a success of floating in the sea whereas big ones do not? The answer stares us in the face. If a plant floats, it drifts, and if it drifts, it is soon blown away from where it wants to be. There must be some way to get back. A big floating mass kept up by air bladders or oil floats would never make it home after the first storm or the constant push of current had taken it away.
But it is easy to imagine ways in which tiny plants might arrange for their returns. The most obvious way is by letting themselves sink because the surface of the ocean is always being stirred. Water always moves into a patch of the sea as fast as water is taken away and for every leaving current there must be a current returning.
It seems likely that small plants can thrive in the open sea by following the currents round. It is possible, too, that they disperse in the air as well, being kicked out of the waves in spray and blown about the world oceans. Tiny plants can ride the currents to stay in home waters or travel the oceans to get back there. Large floating masses of vegetation cannot.
So, final hypothesis to explain the blueness of the sea is that large plants are excluded from it not by short commons in nutrients, but by the restless motion of the waters that would sweep them all away never to return. As it happens, fate has provided one intriguing test for the hypothesis in that there is one place in our contemporary ocean from which floating things are not swept away: the Sargasso Sea.
The Sargasso is at the center of a slow but enormous gyre, an oceanic whirlpool that gathers floating debris to its middle. This was so dangerous an area for sailing ships that legends have grown of ancient vessels, trapped by the remorseless swirling waters, rotting together far out in the Atlantic.
Columbus had his own grim meeting with the Sargasso, saving himself from the mutinous temper of his crew only by scooping a crab off the weed that floated alongside and claiming that the weed with its crab meant that land was near. But the land was a long way yet. The weed was the big floating brown alga we call Sargassum, and it floated thickly over the surface of the Sargasso Sea because the gyre held its population in place.
Sargasso weed floating about as straggling fragments can be found in many of the world’s oceans as can fragments of other species, oiFucus, and Ascophyllum, of any of the anchored coastal plants that bear floats and that might be tom up by storms. These floating fragments survive for a while as they drift, but they are all doomed.
They are not adapted to oceanic life; they cannot reproduce as they float about; they leave no offspring; and they die. But in the Sargasso Sea things are different. There the local species of Sargassum lives its whole life, reproducing, and persisting generation after generation.
Evidently this gyre in the oceans has persisted long enough for natural selection to produce from the chance debris of floating coastal algae a species able to carry on its life cycle as it floats. And the plant has done this in a patch of water notoriously unproductive in the sense of holding few nutrients.
The story of the sargasso weed leads us to believe that where it is possible for floating plants to stay put in the sea, we shall find large, floating plants. That we do not find them all over the oceans is because the oceans do not keep still. Natural selection then forces extreme smallness on the plants that are there, for the tiny ones are those best able to disperse about the seas.
If the surface waters are provided by conveyor-currents of nutrients in upwellings, or run-off from the land, or with delicious rivers of garbage like those that pour from the The Tiber, the Hudson, or the Medway, then the tiny plants will so multiply that the blue of the ocean is banished, and a green or turbid murk tells of vibrant life.
But if the sea is a nutrient-poor desert, like most of the world's oceans, then the tiny plants cannot be very numerous. There is then neither a canopy of floating vegetation nor a soup of tiny algae. Sunlight plunges deep into the water, it's fewer intensive rays being rapidly extinguished the while. Only the shorter wavelengths make the double journey to and from the depths. Which is why the sea is blue.