o The Frog Blog: Phytoplankton Bloom off Irish Coast

Wednesday, 26 May 2010

Phytoplankton Bloom off Irish Coast


NASA have just released a photograph, taken on the 22nd May this year using the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on their Terra satellite. The vibrant colours on show are from tiny organisms, phytoplankton, that grow explosively in the North Atlantic—from Iceland to the shores of France—in the spring and summer. According to their webiste:

Phytoplankton require nutrients to reproduce, and phytoplankton blooms are often tied to events that bring nutrients to the ocean surface, such as volcanic dust plumes. MODIS acquired this image after weeks of eruptive activity at Iceland’s Eyjafjallajökull Volcano, however this is not thought to the cause of the new bloom. The North Atlantic Ocean contains plenty of iron, and these waters experience massive phytoplankton blooms every spring and summer. Great photo though!

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