The plants - called phytoplankton - use chlorophyll to produce carbon by photosynthesis, preferentially absorbing the red and blue portions of the light spectrum and reflecting green light. So, the ocean over regions with high concentrations of phytoplankton will appear shaded, from blue-green to green, depending upon the type and density of the plants located there.
NAAMES seeks to gain a better understanding of phytoplankton and their impact on the Earth system. Understanding and monitoring phytoplankton can help scientists study and predict environmental change.
This satellite images was created using Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite data from the Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership. Read more here.