Germany is visible in this MERIS image, bordered to the east by Poland and the Czech Republic, to the south by Austria and Switzerland, to the west by France, Luxembourg, Belgium and the Netherlands, and to the north by Denmark, the North Sea and the Baltic Sea. These seas are among the most biologically active waters in Europe.
Every year, massive phytoplankton blooms occur in these regions that are sometimes toxic and dangerous for the surrounding fishing industries. Collectively, phytoplankton grow abundantly in oceans around the world and are the foundation of the marine food chain. Since phytoplankton depend upon certain conditions for growth, they are a good indicator of environmental changes.
Instrument: MEdium Resolution Imaging Spectrometer (MERIS)
Date of Acquisition: 22 April 2002
Orbit number: 749
Instrument features: Full resolution image (300-meter resolution)