Spring Bloom around New Zealand
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Spring Bloom around New Zealand

December 4, 2003
Late spring is arriving in New Zealand and plant life in the ocean all around the island nation is in full bloom. These two Sea-viewing Wide Field-of-view Sensor (SeaWiFS) views collected on December 1, 2003, show the distribution of chlorophyll-bearing phytoplankton in the surrounding ocean. Scientists study phytoplankton concentrations in the ocean for many reasons. Not only do the microscopic marine plants provide insight into changes in the ocean’s surface, but they can absorb vast amounts of carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere during photosynthesis. Thus, these organisms play a significant role in the Earth’s climate.

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