Using satellite, NASA is able to capture a springtime plankton bloom in the southern Atlantic Ocean near the Falkland Islands. As the Southern Hemisphere enters spring, more sunlight and nutrients are available for photosynthesis. Eddies and ocean currents stir up chemical nutrients essential for the plankton to grow. The plankton becomes so numerous and dense, the color of the water can change. This process highlights the movements of the ocean.
Plankton blooms are essential for marine and land life. The photosynthesis process absorbs one-third of the carbon dioxide humans release into the air each year. The blooms can also support the marine ecosystem as the primary food source for fish. Once winter begins, sea temperatures fall and cause strong mixing. Surface waters are left with fewer nutrients for the plankton to survive on.
For WeatherNation: Meteorologist, Monica Cryan
(Headline Image: NASA)