Cape Town - While our beautiful West Coast countryside was starting to blossom orange and yellow, the North Atlantic Pacific off British Columbia was blooming bright green from a type of phytoplankton that scientists are finding hard to explain.
As reported by NASA, this is a 'floating plant-like organism with chalky scale-like shells made of calcium carbonate.' Coccolithophores have reached various waterways, but luckily this phytoplankton is harmless to fish and humans and vanish within weeks.
Jim Gower from Fisheries and Oceans Canada said the amount of green was certainly unusual and that they have not witnessed such bright blooms before. He calls the phenomenon "unprecedented." Debby Ianson from Fisheries and Oceans Canada says “No one knows why this bloom is so widespread and intense," but she suggests a seed population may have been carried from the west, where such blooms are more common. NASA reports the west coast of Vancouver Island is no stranger to such blooms, but this is new to the Strait of Georgia.
The Strait of Georgia as seem in the below satellite image is filled with the phytoplankton that brightens the blue waters to an unusual green colour. NASA says harmless species of diatoms possibly add to the green colour.
University of California marine ecologist, Debora Iglesias–Rodriguez reports that more occurrences of the mysterious coccolithophore blooms are increasingly occurring in new and unexpected places along the North American west coast.
During the El Niño event of 2015 Santa Barbara Channel and Monterey Bay were visited by similar blooms.
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