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Storm in bloom: image of the week

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: Digital communications, Earth from space, Earth observation, Image of the week

Despite only being in orbit for a matter of weeks, Sentinel-2A has exceeded expectations with this image of algal bloom in the Baltic Sea.


Copernicus Sentinel data (2015)/ESA
Copernicus Sentinel data (2015)/ESA

The second of the Sentinel fleet (launched June 2015) was initially built as a land monitoring mission, however it has found it's way into marine applications. It works as part of Europe's environmental monitoring Copernicus programme.

This gorgeous image, taken just over a week ago (7 August 2015), shows amazing detail of an algal bloom.

Blooms in the Baltic Sea are often seen as a green-yellow soup. Large blooms are caused by high water temperature and sunny, calm weather. These conditions cause problems to the ecosystem, aquaculture and tourism.

The Blatic Sea also faces other challenges such as:

  • Toxic pollutants
  • deep-water oxygen deficiencies
  • toxic blooms of cyanobacteria

In 1974, the Baltic Sea got so bad that the Helsinki  Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environtment of the Baltic Sea was created to improve the areas. It's health has improved since then.

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