The mysterious seaweed blooms & # 039; whirlpool & # 039; in the Baltic Sea so big that it could cover Manhattan

On July 18, 2018, the Operational Land Imager (OLI) in Landsat 8 acquired a natural color image (above) of a green phytoplankton bloom swirling in the Gulf of Finland, a section of the Baltic Sea. Observe how phytoplankton trace the edges of a vortex; it is possible that this oceanic whirlpool is pumping nutrients from the depths. For the scale, a ship is shown. The swirling flower is at least 15 miles wide, which means that the Manhattan Island of New York City could fit within it with a small space to spare.

NASA has revealed an incredible image of a gigantic & # 39; swirl & # 39; of seaweed in the Baltic Sea.

Every summer, phytoplankton spread through the northern basins of the North Atlantic and the Arctic Oceans, with flowers that span hundreds and sometimes thousands of kilometers.

Blooms this summer outside of Scandinavia appear to be particularly intense, NASA said.

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On July 18, 2018, the Operational Land Imager (OLI) in Landsat 8 acquired a natural color image (above) of a green phytoplankton bloom swirling in the Gulf of Finland, a section of the Baltic Sea. Observe how phytoplankton trace the edges of a vortex; it is possible that this oceanic whirlpool is pumping nutrients from the depths. For the scale, a ship is shown. The swirling flower is at least 15 miles wide, which means that the Manhattan Island of New York City could fit within it with a small space to spare.

On July 18, 2018, the Operational Land Imager (OLI) in Landsat 8 acquired a natural color image (above) of a green phytoplankton bloom swirling in the Gulf of Finland, a section of the Baltic Sea. Observe how phytoplankton trace the edges of a vortex; it is possible that this oceanic whirlpool is pumping nutrients from the depths. For the scale, a ship is shown. The swirling flower is at least 15 miles wide, which means that the Manhattan Island of New York City could fit inside with a little space to spare.

The swirling flower is at least 15 miles wide, which means that the Manhattan Island of New York City could fit inside with a little space to spare.

The researchers are not sure what is causing the strange pattern.

See how the phytoplankton traces the edges of a vortex; it is possible that this oceanic whirlpool is pumping nutrients from the depths, "he said.

Cold, nutrient-rich waters tend to promote greater growth between marine plants and phytoplankton than in tropical waters, the agency added.

Although it is impossible to know the genus and species without taking water samples, three decades of satellite observations suggest that these green flowers are probably cyanobacteria (blue-green algae), an ancient type of marine bacterium that captures and stores solar energy through photosynthesis ( as plants).

WHAT ARE THE RISKS TO THE HEALTH OF AN ALGAE BLOOM?

Technically called cyanobacteria, the ancient class of organisms that create flowers is present almost everywhere water is found, but thrive in warm, still bodies, such as lakes and ponds.

Technically called cyanobacteria, the ancient class of organisms that create flowers is present almost everywhere water is found, but thrive in warm, still bodies, such as lakes and ponds.

Technically called cyanobacteria, the ancient class of organisms that create flowers is present almost everywhere water is found, but thrive in warm, still bodies, such as lakes and ponds.

Technically called cyanobacteria, the ancient class of organisms that create flowers is present almost everywhere water is found, but thrive in warm, still bodies, such as lakes and ponds.

They also create a unique class of toxins, whose impact on humans is only partially understood.

Linked long ago to the death of animals, high doses of toxins in humans can cause damage to the liver and attack the nervous system.

In the largest outbreaks, hundreds have been sickened by blooms in reservoirs and lakes, and officials in some areas now routinely close bodies of water used for recreation and issue warnings when blooms occur.

But less is known about exposure to lower doses, especially in the long term.

Small studies have linked exposure to liver cancer: one toxin is classified as a carcinogen and others have pointed out possible links to neurodegenerative diseases.

Some of the greens could also come from diatoms, which are also rich in chlorophyll. According to the media, the Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE) has observed the recent flowering of water and discovered that it is mainly cyanobacteria.

In recent years, the proliferation of algal blooms in the Baltic Sea has led to the regular appearance of "dead zones" in the basin.

Phytoplankton and cyanobacteria consume abundant nutrients in the Baltic, fed in large part by runoff from sewage and agriculture, and reproduce in such large quantities that their growth and decomposition reduce the oxygen content of the water.

According to researchers at the University of Turku in Finland, it is estimated that the dead zone this year will cover some 70,000 square kilometers (27,000 square miles).

Polish health authorities said on Wednesday they had closed dozens of beaches along the Baltic Sea coast due to a massive flowering of toxic algae triggered by a heat wave.

"It is forbidden to swim on eight beaches along the open sea and around twenty beaches in the Bay of Gdansk due to the appearance … of cyanobacteria," Tomasz Augustyniak, health inspector from the northern province of Gdansk, told AFP. referring to blue-green algae.

In recent years, the proliferation of algal blooms in the Baltic Sea has led to the regular appearance of "dead zones" in the basin.

In recent years, the proliferation of algal blooms in the Baltic Sea has led to the regular appearance of "dead zones" in the basin.

In recent years, the proliferation of algal blooms in the Baltic Sea has led to the regular appearance of "dead zones" in the basin.

"The algae are toxic and pose a health risk," he said, adding that the week-long flowering was "particularly intense" due to a long period of warm weather.

This week, Polish television broadcast aerial footage showing a green carpet of seaweed covering the sea.

Runoff containing nitrates and phosphates from agricultural fertilizers and sewage has seeped into the Baltic, causing large blooms of algae in recent years, Augustyniak said.

Dying algae also trigger complex organic processes that absorb oxygen from the Baltic waters that lead to "dead zones" where marine life can not exist.

Scientists called the loss of oxygen in the Baltic & # 39; unprecedented severe & # 39; in a study published this month in the magazine of the European Union of Geosciences Biogeosciences.

WHAT IS A DEAD ZONE OF THE OCEAN?

According to NOAA, a dead zone the size of New Jersey has been identified in the Gulf of Mexico.

A dead zone is an area of ​​low oxygen that can kill fish and marine life.

Nutrient runoff from the Mississippi River contributes to the dead zone.

This nutrient contamination, mainly from agriculture and runoff from developed lands in the Mississippi River basin, is affecting coastal resources and habitats in the Gulf by stimulating the growth of algae.

Eventually, the algae decomposes, which consumes the oxygen necessary to sustain life in the Gulf.

This loss of oxygen in the water can cause the loss of fish habitat or force them to move to other areas to survive.

It also leads to a decrease in reproductive capacity in fish species and a reduced average size of shrimp caught.

They point out that, as a relatively small, shallow and closed sea, the Baltic has a very limited capacity to remove pollutants in the waters of the North Sea, which makes it an extremely vulnerable ecosystem.

Surrounded by nine countries: Estonia, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Russia and Sweden, the Baltic has approximately 16 million people living along its coasts.

A research team from Finland and Germany reported this month that oxygen levels in recent years in the Baltic Sea are at their lowest levels in the last 1500 years.

The most frequent and massive blooms, combined with the warming of the seas due to climate change, make it more difficult for fish and other marine life to thrive in this basin.

The milky bluish green and white flowers are probably coccolithophores, which have small calcium carbonate calcareous shells. Variations in brightness and color are related to both phytoplankton concentration and depth, since coccolithophores can grow up to 50 meters below the surface of the water.

Research has shown that diatoms tend to dominate the waters of the Barents Sea in early summer, when surface waters are well mixed.

As summer temperatures warm and the water settles into warmer, fresher, more salty layers (stratification), coccolithophores begin to take over.

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