What colour is your ocean?

Dr. Mariana Soppa

Have you realized that the ocean can have different colors in different places? It sometimes looks blue, green, other times more of a brown color. Why is that? Changes in ocean color is due to the absorption and scattering of sunlight by the water molecules, dissolved and suspended substances as sediments and phytoplankton. Phytoplankton are micropscopic marine algae that forms the base of the marine food change and produces about half of the oxygen we breath. These tiny producers have many different shapes and pigments that can change the colour of the ocean, but they can also form harmful and toxic algal blooms. All that can be seen by the satellite sensors and investigated by remote sensing scientists and policy makers to get more information about the ocean e.g. how it works, how it is changing. In this presentation we will learn about ocean colour remote sensing: its importance, what causes variation in the color of the oceans, main satellite missions, the importance of still going into ship expeditions, and how the data collected by the satellite missions can be used to gain a better understanding of the Earth’s oceans.