Scientists attempt to discover the color of the Atlantic Ocean

March 12, 2011 - 0:0

A team of scientists from four countries have set out on a seafaring expedition to discover what color the Atlantic Ocean is.

They want to discover the impact of hazy clouds of aerosol particles hanging above the water on algae that are the basis of the marine food chain.
Around a third of the carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere by human activities is absorbed by microscopic algae in the sea. This process gives the waters a greenish hue as algae blooms close to the surface flourish.
But satellite images in recent years have shown large aerosol clouds forming above the oceans, particularly in the southern part of the Atlantic.
They increase the amount of the sun's rays reflected away from the sea, reducing the amount of algae and therefore lessening the water's greenish hue.
The project involves scientists from Brazil, Argentina, France and the US currently aboard the Melville, a research vessel belonging to the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in San Diego. The team hope to gain more accurate measurements of what is happening than those taken from satellites that may be distorted by strong winds or waves.
Milton Kampel, the National Institute for Space Research (INPE) in Brazil, said: ""(The satellite) concentrations have not yet been confirmed with field data. We need to see, for example, this is not an effect caused by breaking waves at sea.""
(Source: Daily Telegraph)