Highlands & Islands

Nasa image shows phytoplankton bloom off Scotland

Nasa image Image copyright NASA/GSFC
Image caption The bloom shown in the Nasa image as a smoky blue-green shapes in the sea

A phytoplankton bloom stretching along the west and north coasts of the Western Isles and Highlands mainland has been captured in a Nasa image.

Dr Edward Graham, a meteorologist at the University of the Highlands and Islands' Lews Castle College UHI, has described the image as "remarkable".

Phytoplankton are microscopic marine algae that need sunlight to survive.

The bloom was photographed by a Nasa satellite during this week's hot and sunny weather.

Dr Graham, who is based in Stornoway in Lewis, said such massive blooms may have occurred previously, but were hidden from the view of passing satellites due to thick cloud.

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