North Sea phytoplankton bloom •

Last update: October 17th, 2019 at 5:00 am

The prolific spring North Sea phytoplankton bloom continued to blossom through mid-June 2016. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) aboard NASA’s Aqua satellite captured this true-color image on June 13.

Phytoplankton are microscopic plant-like organisms which contain chlorophyll and other pigments. They live in these cool ocean waters year-round, but typically in relatively small number. When conditions are right these tiny organisms begin to reproduce incredibly rapidly, creating these large blooms which can easily be seen from space.

Blooms are common in the North Sea in the spring and also in the fall. The blooms can last many weeks although each individual organism lives only a few days.

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