Envisat captures vibrant aquamarine-coloured swirls of a plankton bloom decorating the waters of the South Atlantic Ocean just off the shores of the Republic of Namibia.

Plankton play a similar role to terrestrial ‘green’ plants in the photosynthetic process and are credited with removing as much carbon dioxide from the atmosphere as their earthbound counterparts, making it important to monitor and model plankton into calculations of future climate change. Image acquired 6 November July 2007 by the MERIS (Medium Resolution Imaging Spectrometer) instrument aboard ESA’s Envisat satellite.

A plankton bloom larger than the country of Greece stretches across the Barents Sea off the tip of northern Europe.

Credits: ESA