• Photo Credit: Teatro Nahual

    Teatro Nahual presenta: “El último denario”

    Mario Jiménez Castillo El Observador Teatro Nahual presenta en la ciudad de San José, “El último denario’ escrito por  la dramaturga costarricense, Rima de Vallbona, y adaptado por la maestra Sonia M. Martin, Directora de CELCIT en el Norte de California. Ésta será la primera vez que dicha lectura...
  • Los devastadores daños causados por el muro existente. Photo Credit:Sierra Club

    El Muro de la Vergüenza

    Javier Sierra Sierra Club Durante los peores años de la Guerra Fría, el Muro de Berlín se ganó el sobrenombre de Muro de la Vergüenza. En 1963, el Presidente Kennedy, en un memorable discurso, dijo que, “El Muro es (…) una ofensa contra la humanidad que separa a familias,...
  • Water infrastructure issues are front and center in Washington during Water Week 2017. Photo Credit: earl53/Morguefile

    Advocates Push for Big Federal Investment in Water Infrastructure

    Suzanne Potter California News Service SACRAMENTO, Calif. – The U.S. is drastically underfunding water projects, putting communities at risk for a catastrophic failure, according to a new report from the U.S. Water Alliance. Advocates for better water infrastructure are flooding Washington, so to speak, for Water Week 2017. The...
  • Photo Credit: Pixabay

    Horóscopo de la reencarnación

    Mario Jiménez Castillo El Observador Aries Puede ser que en tu vida anterior hayas vivido en un monasterio o hayas sido una persona con dones espirituales, por ello en esta encarnación sientes la necesidad de ayudar a tus semejantes, la espiritualidad es importante en tu vida. También puedes ser...
  • Scott Pruitt, Donald Trump's pick to run the EPA, says he isn't convinced that carbon dioxide emissions from human industrial activity is to blame for global warming, and would like to see significant cuts to EPA funding if not the dismantling of the agency altogether. Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore, FlickrCC.

    What Good the EPA Has Done for the Environment?

    Roddy Scheer & Doug Moss EarthTalk Without the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Americans would breathe dirtier air, drink more polluted water and live and grow food on contaminated soils. Polluters wouldn’t be held accountable for their irresponsible behavior, wildlife would have a more difficult time finding suitable habitat...
  • This huge 2010 phytoplankton bloom, visible from space, stretched for hundreds of miles across the Barents Sea between Russia and Scandinavia. Photo Credit: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center.


In this natural-color image from August 31, 2010, the ocean’s canvas swirls with turquoise, teal, navy, and green, the abstract art of the natural world. The colors were painted by a massive phytoplankton bloom made up of millions of tiny, light-reflecting organisms growing in the sunlit surface waters of the Barents Sea. Such blooms peak every August in the Barents Sea.

The variations in color are caused by different species and concentrations of phytoplankton. The bright blue colors are probably from coccolithophores, a type of phytoplankton that is coated in a chalky shell that reflects light, turning the ocean a milky turquoise. Coccolithophores dominate the Barents Sea in August. Shades of green are likely from diatoms, another type of phytoplankton. Diatoms usually dominate the Barents Sea earlier in the year, giving way to coccolithophores in the late summer. However, field measurements of previous August blooms have also turned up high concentrations of diatoms.

The Barents Sea is a shallow sea sandwiched between the coastline of northern Russia and Scandinavia and the islands of Svalbard, Franz Josef Land, and Novaya Zemlya. Within the shallow basin, currents carrying warm, salty water from the Atlantic collide with currents carrying cold, fresher water from the Arctic. During the winter, strong winds drive the currents and mix the waters. When winter’s sea ice retreats and light returns in the spring, diatoms thrive, typically peaking in a large bloom in late May.

The shift between diatoms and coccolithophores occurs as the Barents Sea changes during the summer months. Throughout summer, perpetual light falls on the waters, gradually warming the surface. Eventually, the ocean stratifies into layers, with warm water sitting on top of cooler water. The diatoms deplete most of the nutrients in the surface waters and stop growing. Coccolithophores, on the other hand, do well in warm, nutrient-depleted water with a l

    How do environmentalists feel about the concept of ocean fertilization as a form of carbon sequestration?

    Doug Moss & Roddy Scheer EarthTalk Ocean fertilization is a technique whereby swaths of ocean are “seeded” with iron to promote the growth of phytoplankton (microscopic plants that form the base of the marine food chain), and is one of several promising geo-engineering techniques that could help mitigate global...
  • Photo Credit: BPT

    Why skip breakfast? 5 warm comfort foods that cook in 3 minutes

    BPT In spite of the well-documented drawbacks of not eating breakfast, approximately 30 percent of Americans are still failing to fuel themselves in the morning, according to WebMD. And many of those moving through their days with empty stomachs blame a lack of convenience. Earlier this year, the Washington...
  • Photo Credit: Pixabay

    La Astrología y su historia

    Mario Jiménez Castillo El Observador La Astrología se fundamenta principalmente en el estudio de las constelaciones de nuestra galaxia, los astros y planetas del sistema solar, y cómo los movimientos e interacción de estos cuerpos celestes afectan e influyen en nuestras vidas y en la energía de nuestro planeta....
  • Everyday Americans shouldn't feel helpless when it comes to influencing policy on environmental issues. Calling on your Representatives in Congress to let them know how you feel is the first step toward becoming part of the solution. Photo Credit: RJ Schmidt, FlickrCC.

    A New Administration, a New Fight for the Environment

    What can be done as an average citizen to combat harmful environmental policies Roddy Scheer & Doug Moss EarthTalk Lots. The sad fact is that while more than two-thirds of Americans want the federal government to do more to protect against global warming and other environmental ills, the Trump...