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← Stunning view of a bloom from space

Stunning view of a bloom from space - Comments

aroundtown's Avatar Comment 1 by aroundtown

Looks a lot like a segment of the double helix in the light blue region.

Sun, 15 Jan 2012 19:53:00 UTC | #908650

drumdaddy's Avatar Comment 2 by drumdaddy

I would be interested to know the scale in this photo.

Sun, 15 Jan 2012 21:34:17 UTC | #908665

nancynancy's Avatar Comment 3 by nancynancy

I see Jesus -- as an immaculately conceived, six week old embryo. Notice how the umbilical cord wraps around the Christ Child's royal blue feet and extends all the way to the Falkland Islands.

Sun, 15 Jan 2012 22:43:05 UTC | #908691

DavidMcC's Avatar Comment 4 by DavidMcC

I take it that two algal species are involved, as there are two colours, pale blue and green. The article doesn't give much helpful info for anyone who didn't see the earlier article.

Mon, 16 Jan 2012 09:09:51 UTC | #908792

justinesaracen's Avatar Comment 5 by justinesaracen

Good comments posted beneath the original article, discussing how and why the bloom uses oxygen.

But I am still puzzled at how this bloom of organic life does not function as a food source for some other species. If it has been going on for eons, unconsumed by anything higher on the food chain (i.e. other than bacteria) it seems to me there is a gap in the system.

Somebody alert the krill that there's a feast awaiting.

Mon, 16 Jan 2012 13:22:12 UTC | #908825

Alan4discussion's Avatar Comment 6 by Alan4discussion

@link - And useful scientifically; blooms like this happen when there’s a confluence of various factors, like currents, nutrients, sunlight, and of course the plankton themselves, so scientists can use these blooms to study conditions in the water. And since about half the planet’s supply of oxygen is created by photosynthesis by these little guys, blooms are useful in a more basic way, too!

Comment 5 by esuther - But I am still puzzled at how this bloom of organic life does not function as a food source for some other species. If it has been going on for eons, unconsumed by anything higher on the food chain (i.e. other than bacteria) it seems to me there is a gap in the system.

These algal blooms often appear seasonally or locally in response to nutrients/pollution in otherwise nutrient deficient (particularly tropical) waters. Numbers proliferate quickly and out-strip any consuming organisms.

There are the effects you quoted on the reductions in oxygen by blanking out sunlight and anaerobic decomposition. The lack of oxygen would suffocate fish trying to feed on the algae. Some algal blooms are also toxic to fish.

BTW - ESA is launching a new Earth monitoring satellite to look at these sorts of oceanic and atmospheric features.

With a launch scheduled for early 2015 and a seven year lifetime, S5p will maintain the continuity of science data before the Sentinel-5 instrument becomes operational towards the end of this decade. The Sentinel 5 instrument is scheduled to fly on the MetOp Second Generation satellites in a polar orbit.

The TROPOMI (TROPOspheric Monitoring Instrument) instrument, developed by Astrium’s subsidiary Dutch Space for ESA and the Netherlands Space Office, will take measurements of ozone, nitrogen dioxide, sulphur dioxide, and other atmospheric pollutants at a higher resolution than existing instruments. Having more accurate atmospheric data will enable improved climate models and weather forecasting.

The GMES (Global Monitoring for Environment & Security) programme was created by the European Commission with the support of the European Space Agency (ESA). It aims to supply geo-information products and services based on the use of images from space that will help European institutions and public authorities to fulfil their mission of safeguarding the civil population, managing risks, and protecting the environment.

Mon, 16 Jan 2012 19:31:00 UTC | #908912