Source: CO2 Science
Raitsos, D.E., Pradhan, Y., Lavender, S.J., Hoteit, I., McQuatters-Gollop, A., Reid, P.C. and Richardson, A.J. 2014. From silk to satellite: half a century of ocean color anomalies in the Northeast Atlantic. Global Change Biology 20: 2117-2123.
According to Raitsos et al. (2014), “changes in phytoplankton dynamics influence marine biogeochemical cycles, climate processes and food webs, with substantial social and economic consequences,” and they add that large-scale assessments of phytoplankton biomass have been obtained from two different remote sensing satellites, the Coastal Zone Color Scanner (CZCS, 1979-1986) and the Sea-viewing Wide Field-of-view Sensor (SeaWiFS, 1998-2010). However, they note that “due to the large gap between the two satellite eras and differences in sensor characteristics, comparison of the absolute values retrieved from the two instruments remains challenging.” Rising to meet on that challenge, and employing a unique in situ ocean color dataset that spans more than half a century, in the present work Raitsos et al. merged the two satellite-derived chlorophyll-a (Chl-a) histories to produce a six-decade-long history of phytoplankton productivity over the Northeast Atlantic Ocean and the North Sea. And what did that history show? (more…)