Feeds

Bloomin’ big: algae seen from space

More sat happy snaps

The essential guide to IT transformation

An algal bloom has emerged near Antarctica, so large that it’s not just visible but prominent in satellite images.

The bloom, roughly 200 x 100 kilometers, has shown up in images taken by NASA’s Modis instrument on the Terra satellite. It has emerged off the coast of Mac Robertson Land and was identified by scientists from the Australian Antarctic Division.

The bloom is expected to spark a local feeding frenzy for everything from krill and other zooplankton, through to fish, penguins, seals, and ultimately whales, according to research scientist Mark Curran.

Antarctica's enormous algal blooms, as snapped by NASA's Terra satellite.

While not certain about the cause of the bloom, Curran notes that small traces of iron in Antarctic snow blown out to sea could partly be driving the event, since iron is a nutrient to algae.

The bloom has been observed for 20 days, and researchers hope it will last long enough to be observed by the research vessel Aurora Australis, which is currently voyaging between Mawson Station and Hobart, Tasmania. ®

Bootnote: I would have loved to look at the original NASA pics, but for some reason my GIS skills have deserted me, and I can't get the Modis Web Mapping Service to work like it used to. Any commenters know how to get Modis images into QGis? - RC. ®

Gartner critical capabilities for enterprise endpoint backup

More from The Register

next story
Boffins attempt to prove the UNIVERSE IS JUST A HOLOGRAM
Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy?
China building SUPERSONIC SUBMARINE that travels in a BUBBLE
Shanghai to San Fran in two hours would be a trick, though
Our LOHAN spaceplane ballocket Kickstarter climbs through £8000
Through 25 per cent but more is needed: Get your UNIQUE rewards!
LOHAN Kickstarter push breaks TWELVE THOUSAND POUNDS
That's right, folks, you've stumped up OVER 9000 beer tokens - and counting
SpaceX prototype rocket EXPLODES over Texas. 'Tricky' biz, says Elon Musk
No injuries or near injuries. Flight stayed in designated area
Galileo, Galileo! Galileo, Galileo! Galileo fit to go. Magnifico
I'm just a poor boy, nobody loves me. But at least I can find my way with ESA GPS by 2017
Astronomers scramble for obs on new comet
Amateur gets fifth confirmed discovery
prev story

Whitepapers

Best practices for enterprise data
Discussing how technology providers have innovated in order to solve new challenges, creating a new framework for enterprise data.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Advanced data protection for your virtualized environments
Find a natural fit for optimizing protection for the often resource-constrained data protection process found in virtual environments.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?