Ken Kaye of the Sun Sentinel wrote a very interesting article picked up by The Virgin Islands Daily News today, ‘ Fish Storms‘.   As storms “churn over open water, tropical storms and hurricanes actually provide a strong boost to marine life by uprooting nutrients from the ocean floor and driving them to the surface.”

The fish storms “provide a banquet for everything from shrimp to sharks, as plankton dine on the nutrients, small fish gorge on the plankton and bigger fish feast on the little fish.”

“The agitation from storm events brings up nutrients locked up in the sediment,” said Jerald Ault, a marine biology professor at the University of Miami, “Then it moves through the food chain.”

“Although a single storm isn’t enough to change these patterns, several tropical systems following the same general path have drawn marine creatures to specific areas such as offshore regions of Florida, Africa and the Caribbean, Ault said.”

“Aside from helping fish, tropical systems, whether they hit land or not, also help keep equilibrium in the atmosphere.  They distribute heat around the globe and prevent the seas from getting too hot, experts say.”

“While much of how hurricanes interact with the ocean and atmosphere remains unknown, scientist suspect that tropical systems prevent the oceans from getting too hot and salty to sustain life.”

“They play a role in making the whole atmosphere work,” said Hugh Willoughby, a research professor in the Earth and Environment Department of Florida International University.

“You would think the atmosphere is simple, just being air and water, he said.  “But it’s as complicated as a living thing.”

Photo courtesy of Fox news