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Baltic Sea algal bloom. Satellite image of algal blooms (green) in the southern Baltic Sea. North is at top, with southern Sweden at left, the Baltic States at right, and the Polish coastline at bottom. The two main islands here are Gotland (upper centre) and Oland (centre left). Algal blooms are formed by the rapid multiplying of phytoplankton, microscopic marine plants that drift on or near the surface of the sea, sustained by sunlight. Satellite 'ocean colour' sensors can detect the blooms, here imaged with the Medium Resolution Imaging Spectrometer (MERIS) on ESA's Envisat satellite. Images acquired on 11 July 2010.
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