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NASA Taking Stock of Phytoplankton Populations in the Pacific

NASA scientist Ryan Vandermeulen deploys a set of profiling radiometers to measure ocean color. Credit: NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center/Stephanie Schollaert Uz
(03-Feb-17) The microscopic size of phytoplankton, the plant-like organisms that live in the sunlit upper ocean, belies their importance in the global environment. They provide the food source for the zooplankton that ultimately feed larger animals ranging from small fish to whales. And like plants on land, phytoplankton use carbon dioxide from the atmosphere to grow and thrive through photosynthesis, which ultimately releases oxygen into the ocean and atmosphere. NASA