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Scientists Discover New Trigger for Immense North Atlantic Phytoplankton Bloom - 07.05.2012

 Scientist Mary Jane Perry (right) and educator Carla Companion collaborate on a webinar about the bloom
Scientist Mary Jane Perry (right) and educator Carla Companion collaborate on a webinar about the bloom
In what's known as the North Atlantic Bloom (NAB), an immense number of phytoplankton burst into color, first "greening" then "whitening" the sea as one species follows another.

In research results published in the 06-Jul-12 issue of the journal Science, scientists report evidence of what triggers this huge bloom. Whirlpools, or eddies, swirl across the surface of the North Atlantic Ocean sustaining phytoplankton in the ocean's shallower waters where they can get plenty of sunlight to fuel their growth, keeping them from being pushed downward by the ocean's rough surface. The result is a burst of spring and summer color atop the ocean's waters.

The group behind this research also teamed up on a webinar series in collaboration with COSEE-Ocean Systems. They will also be featured on the "Scientists Making an Impact" feature on COSEE.net.

North Atlantic Bloom Feature on Woods Hole Website

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