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In Bloom
Jamais Cascio, 31 Jul 05

Phytoplankton play a crucial role in the global carbon cycle, and both climate disruption and natural climate cycles (e.g., El Niño/La Niña) affect the size of plankton blooms and the corresponding CO2 consumption. We've talked most often about phytoplankton in the southern oceans, but it's important to remember that plankton blooms can happen throughout the world's seas. It's also important to note that these blooms can be staggeringly beautiful to see.

The European Space Agency just posted an EnviSat shot of a phytoplankton bloom in the Baltic Sea earlier this month. The bloom itself stretches around 200 kilometers, and is an almost un-Earthly shade of green. The ESA shot is available in a smallish jpeg and as a 2MB high-resolution TIFF. The latter makes for quite a spectacular desktop photo...

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