As a chiropractor, I happen to be both holistic and scientific in my approach to health. My experience has shown to me over the years that the “tried and true,” based on scientific protocol and empirical evidence, gives my chiropractic practice its foundation. And, yet, I have also witnessed “miracles” in the healing experiences of many of my patients, and I’ve come to accept that there is an innate healing energy that knows far more than I. I’ve come to view these miracles as natural phenomenon that occur just beyond my scope of scientific explanation. With this in mind, I read with somewhat “awe,” that the “red dust storm from hell” that dumped thousands of tons of soil across eastern Australia just a few weeks ago may actually have been a “great exhalation from heaven,” instead. The estimated 4,000 tons of dust that settled on Sydney, and another three million tons that landed in the Tasman Sea, has created an explosion in microscopic life in the Harbor and beyond.
Measurements taken at the Sydney Institute of Marine Science on the harbor’s north shore show a tripling of microscopic plant life, or phytoplankton. The scientists measure the presence of phytoplankton using remote sensing technology that can detect chlorophyll in the plants, which form the base of the ocean food chain. Microscopic plant life needs nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphate to grow. These nutrients have become scarce over the years in our ocean water, but apparently they were abundant in the topsoil that blew across our country.
This is not only “miraculous” news for our country, but according to Ian Jones, director of the Ocean Technology Group at University of Sydney, the dust storm was a natural experiment that supports their work in fertilizing the ocean by adding nitrogen-rich urea to the sea. This promotes the growth of phytoplankton near the surface of the ocean, which then leads to an increase in fish numbers.
“More phytoplankton growth means more stocks of fish. I see much promise in ocean nourishment being able to provide economical protein for vast numbers of malnourished people,” said Jones. Plus, enriching oceans with nitrogen will also aid in the fight against climate change.
So, I leave you with this thought for today: When a seemingly catastrophic and meaningless event occurs in our lives, until the dust clears we can’t be sure that we haven’t witnessed a miracle in the making.