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Abstract

Ocean colour data, derived from optical remote sensing of the water surface from space, have revealed for the first time the heterogeneity, from local to regional and global scales, in the concentration and distribution of various pigments present in water constituents, in particular those of phytoplankton. The assessment of the concentration of such water constituents allows the computation of plankton biomass indices, as well as visualisation of surface currents and of some deeper dynamic phenomena, such as upwelling; it also permits the determination of primary productivity, i.e. the rate at which photosynthesis proceeds, and the estimation of the rate at which the oceans sequester atmospheric carbon dioxide. The same assessments of the plankton field used to investigate carbon cycling can also shed some light on other fluxes of importance in the ocean-climate system, i.e. those of nitrogen and sulphur and their potential role in atmospheric processes.

Additional information

Authors: MURRAY C N, JRC Ispra (IT);BARALE V, JRC Ispra (IT)
Bibliographic Reference: Paper presented: Eurocourses 1993, Ispra (IT), November 23-27, 1993
Availability: Available from (1) as Paper EN 38081 ORA
Record Number: 199410187 / Last updated on: 1994-11-28
Category: PUBLICATION
Original language: en
Available languages: en
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