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Phytoplankton in Barents Sea by Norway – August 15th, 2011

74.7N 22.7E

August 15th, 2011 Category: Image of the day, Phytoplankton

Phytoplankton in Barents Sea - August 14th, 2011

This image shows a striking green and blue phytoplankton bloom in the Barents Sea, between Norway’s  Svalbard Archipelago (visible at the upper left of the full image) and the Norwegian mainland. Also visible at the left edge is Bear Island (Norwegian: Bjørnøya), the southernmost island of the Svalbard archipelago.

When conditions are right, phytoplankton populations can grow explosively, a phenomenon known as a bloom. Blooms in the ocean, such as the one visible here, may cover hundreds of square kilometers and are easily visible in satellite images. Although a bloom may last several weeks, the life span of any individual phytoplankton is rarely more than a few days.

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