Earth  ID: 3642

Regions Exhibiting Decreased Phytoplankton Levels and Increased Sea Surface Temperatures

Throughout most of Earth's ocean, as the surface layer of the ocean warms, the water becomes less dense and forms a cap, rather than mixing down to allow cooler, nutrient-rich water to well up. Over time, areas with less mixing show reduced productivity and less phytoplankton. This data visualization highlights regions where a strong correlation between high sea surface temperatures and decreased phytoplankton productivity occurred from 1997-2006. For nearly a decade, the Sea-viewing Wide Field-of-View Sensor (SeaWiFS) has been making global observations of phytoplankton productivity. On December 6, 2006, NASA-funded scientists announced that warming sea surface temperatures over the past decade have caused a global decline in phytoplankton productivity.

Visualization Credits

Adam Martin (UMBC): Lead Animator
Horace Mitchell (NASA/GSFC): Animator
Troy Cline (Raytheon/GSFC): Narrator
Maria Frostic (UMBC): Producer
Gene Feldman (NASA/GSFC): Scientist
Michael Behrenfeld (Oregon State University): Scientist
Maria Frostic (UMBC): Writer
Please give credit for this item to:
NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center Scientific Visualization Studio. NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center, The SeaWiFS Project and GeoEye, Scientific Visualization Studio. NOTE: All SeaWiFS images and data presented on this web site are for research and educational use only. All commercial use of SeaWiFS data must be coordinated with GeoEye (NOTE: In January 2013, DigitalGlobe and GeoEye combined to become one DigitalGlobe.).

The Blue Marble data is courtesy of Reto Stockli (NASA/GSFC).

Science Paper:
Behrenfeld at. al., Nature 444, 752-755 (7 December 2006)

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Data Used:
Terra and Aqua/MODIS/Band Combination 1, 4, 3
Sea Surface Temperature-Net Primary Productivity Correlation
Aqua/MODIS/Blue Marble
Note: While we identify the data sets used in these visualizations, we do not store any further details nor the data sets themselves on our site.

This item is part of these series:
Earth Science Week Phytoplankton
Earth Science Week

SVS >> Phytoplankton Blooms
GCMD >> Earth Science >> Biosphere >> Ecological Dynamics >> Photosynthesis
GCMD >> Earth Science >> Biosphere >> Microbiota Taxonomy >> Phytoplankton
GCMD >> Earth Science >> Biosphere >> Plant Taxonomy >> Phytoplankton
DLESE >> Narrated
SVS >> Voice Over Talent
SVS >> For Educators
SVS >> Food Chain
NASA Science >> Earth

GCMD keywords can be found on the Internet with the following citation: Olsen, L.M., G. Major, K. Shein, J. Scialdone, S. Ritz, T. Stevens, M. Morahan, A. Aleman, R. Vogel, S. Leicester, H. Weir, M. Meaux, S. Grebas, C.Solomon, M. Holland, T. Northcutt, R. A. Restrepo, R. Bilodeau, 2013. NASA/Global Change Master Directory (GCMD) Earth Science Keywords. Version