The last week passed like a 400 meter dash. It began suddenly when, after several delays, all resources became available at once, save for time. As samples were processed, data was simultaneously being analyzed for trends.

The trends emerged. First and foremost was the confirmation of increased phytoplankton growth in the Northern Pacific, and the moderate growth changes in the Bering sea which confirmed the validity of the experimental method. More intriguing were the ecosystem changes.

The relative populations of various species underwent drastic shifts. Two species literally reversed in dominance. Their combined population, meanwhile, held steady with a tenacity that suggested the results to be no random chance.

Phytoplankton store the energy the gather from the sun as fatty acids. This is how they impart their nutritional value on to the predators which consume them, all the way up the food chain to humans and humpback whales. There is no other source for these valuable omega-3 fatty acids in the ocean. However when phytoplankton are grown in the presence of abundant iron, they didn’t produce as much of these fatty acids. They instead relied on lower energy molecules which would had the potential to alter the seas which they fed.

Andrew enjoyed delivering his presentation, which was well received. The following day he boarded a plane for home. He had enjoyed his time working for Bigelow more than words could convey. Fortunately, Andrew rarely got the feeling of finality when he boarded planes. In this case he was certain that the story was not over.