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Posts tagged Black Sea

Phytoplankton in the Black Sea

42.8N 38.2E

May 24th, 2013 Category: Phytoplankton

Black Sea – May 23rd, 2013

A phytoplankton bloom can be observed in the Black Sea, coloring its usually dark blue waters a paisley pattern of lighter blue. Putting together the biomass of all the phytoplankton in Black Sea in a usual day of August gives an astronomic number of about six million tons. This photosynthesizing mass (called standing crop) is growing (primary production), and, at the same time, disappearing due to grazing by zooplankton.

Sediments and Phytoplankton in the Black Sea – May 10th, 2013

42.8N 38.3E

May 10th, 2013 Category: Image of the day, Lakes, Sediments

Black Sea – May 9th, 2013

Swirls of light blue and green phytoplankton and sediment are visible near the shores of the Black Sea. The Black Sea drainage basin encompasses almost one third of Europe, and each year an estimated 350 km3 of runoff enters the Black Sea, bringing substantial sediment and into the semi-enclosed waters. With these sediments come nutrients and fertilizers, which encourage the growth of phytoplankton.


Climate Change in the Azov Sea Basin, Russia and Ukraine

46.0N 36.0E

May 8th, 2013 Category: Climate Change

Russia and Ukraine – May 8th, 2013

The Sea of Azov (bottom right quadrant) is a sea in the south of Eastern Europe. It is bounded to the north by mainland Ukraine, to the east by Russia, and to the west by the Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula. The Don and Kuban are the major rivers that flow into it. The Sea of Azov is the shallowest sea in the world with the depth varying between 0.9 metres (2 ft 11 in) and 14 metres (46 ft).

The sea is largely affected by the inflow of numerous rivers, which bring sand, silt, and shells, forming numerous bays, limans, and narrow sandbanks called spits. Because of these deposits, the sea bottom is relatively smooth and flat with the depth gradually increasing toward the sea centre. Also, due to the river inflow, water in the sea has low salinity and high content of biological matter, such as green algae that affects the water colour.

The provinces of Russia and Ukraine located within the Azov sea basin are important producers of grains, sugar, sunflower, meat, and milk. Because of heavy dependence of regional economics on agriculture, and major effects of regional agriculture on food security of the entire countries, climate change impacts on food production and water resources constitute major threats to the food security of both Russia and Ukraine. Historically, major droughts frequently affected the agriculture of the region.

At first glance, recent climate change seems beneficial for agriculture of the region: warmer temperatures extend growing season and elevate the accumulated heat. However, further warming is not likely to be matched by higher precipitation, with negative impacts from the increasing aridity of climate. The most effective adaptation option, expansion of irrigation, is limited with high pressure on water resources, which is already high in many parts of the region (click here for more information).

Climate Change and Black Sea Coastal Areas

43.9N 30.9E

April 25th, 2013 Category: Climate Change

Black Sea – April 25th, 2013

A light haze can be seen over the western half of the Black Sea, while sediments near rivermouths can be seen along the coastline. Many Black Sea coastal areas are at risk for sea level rise due to climate change. Sea level rise could have very substantial impacts in river deltas and on low lying coastal zones which are often more densely populated, with highly developed infrastructure. These problems are exacerbated by increased coastal erosion and the risk of floods caused by storm surges and heavy rainfall.

Scientists estimate that by the middle of the century around 70% of the population in the coastal regions will be concentrated along the Turkish coastline, which in combination with rising temperatures and sea level will exert additional pressure on the environment in the southern Black sea basin (click here for more information).

Shores of Black Sea Framed by Sediments

43.7N 29.7E

December 26th, 2012 Category: Lakes, Sediments

Black Sea – December 25th, 2012

The shores of the Black Sea appear ringed in a cloudy bluish-green color. This is likely due to an influx of sediments carried in by rivers due to heavy rains or snow melt. Phytoplankton growth may also be a factor, although blooms usually occur in the spring and summer and do not remain confined to the edges of the sea.