The Black Sea has turned blue – a vivid Caribbean Blue!
Normally cobalt blue, seawater at the ancient crossroads between East and West has been colored a spectacular cerulean by a heavier-than-usual bloom of microscopic phytoplankton.
NASA’s Earth Observatory caught the transformation in beautiful satellite images. Photos of the Bosphorus straits off of Istanbul capture the delightful results for people along the coast. Phytoplankton are single-cell algae that float in surface waters wherever sunlight reaches. Along with land plants, they are the earth’s primary food producers – converting light, carbon dioxide and inorganic nutrients into complex organic compounds
Every drop of sunlit seawater teems with hard-shelled diatoms and whip-tailed dinoflagellates that drive life-giving photosynthesis. They also shift the color of the water toward the green light spectrum that they reflect and away from the blues and reds that they absorb.
While this year’s dramatic bloom of Black Sea phytoplankton is good for fish like anchovies and other sea life, excessive blooms such as red tides are destructive. That’s why – with your help – we support oyster reef restoration as a natural way of maintaining healthy, balanced marine ecosystems.