Phytoplankton bloom off Denmark
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Phytoplankton bloom off Denmark

July 1, 2004
Opaque turquoise clouds of phytoplankton continue to bloom in the waters surrounding Denmark: the Skagerrak and the Kattegat straits between Norway and Denmark, and the North Sea between Denmark and England (not pictured). This is a true-color Aqua MODIS image from June 1, 2004. Phytoplankton are microscopic organisms that thrive in cold, nutrient-rich waters. They use photosynthesis, like their land-based plant relatives, to convert sunlight into energy. It is the chlorophyll in these organisms that gives them their greenish hue, and this hue, when combined with the deep blue of the water, creates sparkling jewel tones of blues and green. The very bright blue can also be produced by the blue reflection from the water and the reflection from an organism called a coccolithophore, whose chalky, calcium-based covering is bright white.

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