Seemingly inconsequential changes in sea temperature due to global warming eventually
result in declines in fish and seabird populations. A rise of just two degrees prevents the
vertical mixing of seawater from different strata. This restricts the availability of upwelling
nutrients to phytoplankton. Since zooplankton, which feed upon phytoplankton
, feed the
rest of the food chain, the declines are inevitable. The boldface portion plays which one of
the following roles in the argument?
A) It is a hypothesis supported by the fact that phytoplankton feed on upwelling nutrients.
b) It is intended to provide an example of the ways in which the vertical mixing of seawater
affects feeding habits.
c) It helps show how global temperature changes affect larger sea animals directly.
d) It is offered as one reason that global warming must be curtailed.
e) It is offered in support of the idea that global warming poses a threat to all organisms.
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