JEFF SCHMALTZ, LANCE / EOSDIS RAPID RESPONSE / NASA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY JEFF SCHMALTZ, LANCE / EOSDIS RAPID RESPONSE / NASA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Zoom in to a huge bloom of phytoplankton in the waters of the South Atlantic Ocean, just northeast of the Falkland Islands (lower left). The algal bloom covers a larger area than the islands themselves, and appears as a swirling pattern of pale blue and green. Phytoplankton comprise millions of photosynthetic single-celled organisms, which play a major role in the production of the Earth's oxygen. Huge blooms such as this occur when upwelling brings cool, nutrient-rich water to the surface. Phytoplankton form the base of the marine food chain, and studying the growth of such blooms provides information about the health of the oceans. Image taken by the MODIS instrument on the Terra satellite, on 2nd December 2015, in the southern hemisphere summer.
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