Massive Baltic Algal Bloom Is Captured in European Satellite Image

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Algal Bloom in the Baltic Sea

Algal bloom in the Baltic Sea
A satellite image from the European Space Agency shows a vast algal bloom that could pose a risk to marine life in the Baltic Sea. The 377,000-square-kilometer (145,000-square-mile) blue-green bloom, which stretches from Finland to parts of Germany and Poland, is the largest scientists have seen in the Baltic in five years. They believe a prolonged stretch of warm sea temperatures and a lack of wind, coupled with fertilizer from regional agriculture washing into the Baltic, have caused the bloom. Similar blooms have spread over the Baltic each summer for decades as excess nutrients trigger a rapid growth of phytoplankton and algae. This rapid growth consumes oxygen in the water, threatening marine life and destabilizing ecosystems across the region. The arrival of strong winds and waves, along with cooler ocean temperatures, could break up the bloom.