Plankton Bloom - Coccolithophorids in the Bering Sea

"For the fourth year in a row it appears as if there is a bloom of coccolithophores—marine single-celled plants with calcite scales—in the Bering Sea off the coast of Alaska. Similar blooms were rare before 1997, but they have appeared every year since then. Scientists believe the coccolithophore blooms are the result of changing wind patterns in the region. Weaker than normal winds fail to mix the water of the Bering Sea, resulting in the growth of coccolithophores instead of other types of phytoplankton. Seabird populations have also been changing as a result of this climate change." - NASA, after bloom in 2000

The selected photo shows a bloom on April 25, 1998.

Photo provided by the SeaWiFS Project, NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center and ORBIMAGE at the SeaWIFS Image Gallery. Image collected at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks.

To learn more:
Coccolithophore Bloom in the Eastern Bering Sea
in SeaWIFS Project: The Wild Blue Yonder, NASA

New Coccolithophore Bloom in Bering Sea
in Earth Observatory, NASA

Satellite Images of Emiliania huxleyi Blooms
in Emiliania huxleyi Home Page, Toby Tyrell



Updated: July 15, 2003

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