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Learn More: Ocean Color

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What's New
What color is your ocean?
Influences on ocean color
20 years of satellite observations
Background on ocean color
The optical properties of water

FAQs

Now red tides are one example of a harmful algal bloom and they are responsible for contaminating shell fisheries, and closing beaches, and fish kills. So, of course they're very very critical to getting a handle on. It's not always possible to visit the shore when you think these might happen. The satellites play an incredibly important role in identifying where these occur, when they're happening, and the duration of their occurrence so that this information can feed back into management decisions and watershed activities that maybe would try to prevent a future occurrence of this. So the answer to your question "Can PACE see red tides" is yes.

Dr. Jeremy Werdell, PACE Project Scientist, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Beyond Blue: Why Ocean Color Really Matters (30-Apr-19).
Twenty years of global biosphere
This data visualization shows the Earth’s biosphere from September 1997 through September 2017. Credit: NASA/GSFC.
As I said in the beginning, the data set that I shared - this visualization - started with the launch of SeaWiFS, which is the first ocean color satellite that has allowed us continuous observation of the plant life in the ocean. But the story goes a little further back, with the launch of the CZCS [Coastal Zone Color Scanner], which was the first satellite where they started collecting - not continuously - ocean color. And it used to be cool, because there are people in our lab who were part of that mission and they had printouts and punchcards. Things work a little bit differently these days. Data is delivered automatically, within a couple of hours.

Dr. Ivona Cetinić, Ocean Ecologist, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Beyond Blue: Why Ocean Color Really Matters (15-May-19).