[Global]This stunning image taken from space by NASA could hold the key to unlocking how to reduce carbon and global temperatures.
The green in the ocean is a bloom of microscopic algae which is one of the world’s most successful carbon reducers.
Carbon emissions since the industrial revolution are said to have increased carbon levels in the atmosphere that have in turn increased the global temperature.
The Climate Change Summit in Paris over the last two weeks has looked at how to reduce carbon emissions globally in a bid to prevent predicted rises which are said to be melting the polar ice caps.
This algae absorbs carbon from the atmosphere then locks it deep in the ocean.
But algae needs iron to thrive, which is in short supply in the seas.
Ironically, it has emerged that increased iron getting to the sea by being blown as dust by winds has caused spikes in phytoplankton numbers.
Cat Wolner, of the National Science Foundation said it was important to study changes in the amount of the plankton and added: “Increases in phytoplankton populations may slow global warming or even contribute to global cooling.”
According to NASA, each spring, the waters of the North Atlantic Ocean play host to a huge natural bloom of phytoplankton—microscopic, plant-like organisms important for carbon cycling and “also could influence clouds and climate”.
A NASA spokesman said: “Blooms occur in the North Atlantic in autumn as well, but the typical weather can make them difficult to observe.”
Norman Kuring, an ocean scientist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, said: “A lot of what we don’t know about ocean ecology has to do with the difficulty of sampling the ocean.
“Whether it be from a storm-tossed ship or from a cloud-obstructed satellite.”
On Sept. 23, 2015, the weather was adequate for the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) on the Suomi NPP satellite to acquire this view of a bloom in the North Atlantic.
The image was composed with data from the red, green, and blue bands from VIIRS, in addition to chlorophyll data. A series of processing steps were then applied to highlight colour differences and bring out the bloom’s more subtle features.
Michael Behrenfeld, a phytoplankton ecologist at Oregon State University, said: “The image does a beautiful job of showing the close link between ocean physics and biology.
“The features that jump out so clearly represent the influence of ocean eddies and physical stirring on the concentration of phytoplankton pigments and, possibly, coloured dissolved organic matter.”
Six weeks after this image was acquired, researchers were in this area with NASA’s North Atlantic Aerosols and Marine Ecosystems Study (NAAMES).
The study aims to make ship- and aircraft-based measurements that, when combined with satellite and ocean sensor data, will help clarify the annual cycles of ocean plankton and their relationship with atmospheric aerosols.
View original article at: Earth’s thermostat found: ‘Iron dust’ made by global warming then leads to global COOLING