24 Aug 2011:
NASA Satellite Captures
Huge Algal Bloom in Barents Sea
This NASA satellite image
shows a massive phytoplankton bloom — more than 500 miles long and several hundred miles wide — in the Barents Sea, a frigid body of water located north of Norway and Russia. The bloom occurred north of the Scandinavian peninsula, an area where multiple ocean current systems merge into the North Cape Current. While it is common for blooms to spread hundreds, or even thousands, of miles across the North Atlantic and Arctic waters — especially in August in the Barents Sea — it is rare to get such a clear view since the sea is covered by clouds most of the summer. The milky blue color suggests the presence of coccolithophores, a microscopic plankton containing white calcium carbonate, which when viewed through ocean water appears bright blue. In the Arctic, the annual spring phytoplankton blooms, triggered by melting sea ice, play a key role in the region’s marine ecology
Yale Environment 360 is
a publication of the
Yale School of Forestry
& Environmental Studies
Yale Environment 360
articles are now available in Spanish and Portuguese on Universia
, the online educational network. Visit the site.
Business & Innovation
Policy & Politics
Pollution & Health
Science & Technology
Antarctica and the Arctic
Central & South America
Photographer Robert Wintner documents the exquisite beauty and biodiversity of Cuba’s unspoiled coral reefs. View the gallery.
is now available for mobile devices at e360.yale.edu/mobile
The Warriors of Qiugang
, a Yale Environment 360
video, chronicles a Chinese village’s fight against a polluting chemical plant. It was nominated for a 2011 Academy Award for Best Documentary Short.
Watch the video.
Top Image: aerial view of Iceland
. © Google & TerraMetrics.
A three-part series Tainted Harvest
looks at the soil pollution crisis in China, the threat it poses to the food supply, and the complexity of any cleanup. Read the series.