Blooms in the Black Sea

Natural color satellite image showing phytoplankton blooms in the Black Sea.

The Black Sea gains its name from its dark waters, but those waters don’t stay dark year-round. In this natural color satellite image, streaks of milky blue bloom through the summer waters, thanks to the presence of a species of phytoplankton armored with white calcium carbonate. Despite their microscopic size, the phytoplankton’s presence is visible from space. During other parts of the year, like the spring, another species of phytoplankton dominates the Black Sea, turning its waters darker. (Image credit: J. Stevens; via NASA Earth Observatory)

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