Under certain conditions, Emiliania huxleyi can form massive blooms which can be detected by satellite remote sensing. What looks like white clouds in the water, is in fact the reflected light from billions of coccoliths floating in the water-column.
The appearance of a red is never a good thing. People dread these tides because not only does it look like some horrific biblical omen, it smells terrible and causes schools of fish to choke and die. But what is a red tide and what causes them?
A red tide is an algal bloom. It consists of a type of algae called dinoflagellates.
The bloom occurs when conditions are optimal for the algae. This means the temperatures are perfect, salinity is at good levels, and there is an excess of nutrients. These extra nutrients are usually from agricultural runoff (fertilizers washing into the ocean). The algae is in such excess that it chokes fishes gills causing mass deaths. Shellfish like clams and mussels are filter feeders and will become contaminated by the algae making them toxic to eat. There is no way to control an algal bloom, we just have to wait for the conditions that caused it to return to normal levels (usually this means all of the excess nutrients getting used up)and the algae to die.
Because of the mortality and contamination the bloom causes it has very bad effects on local economies. Some blooms can also give off gases that can cause nausea in the people near it, also making it unsafe to swim in which in turn effects the tourism in these areas. Work is being done to reaserch these blooms to forecast when and where they will occur (like the weather) so that people can prepare for the effects it has.
Now I want to be very clear on one thing: NOT ALL ALGAL BLOOMS ARE HARMFUL. Often they are helpful: they provide extra food for larger organisms that we fish for and eat. The difference between a harmful algal bloom and a non-harmful one is dependent on the type of algae that is blooming.
Algal Bloom is a new indie band who was off with a slow start but its slowly picking up on the music charts with their fresh happy hardcore tunes.
(from right to left)
Chaeto the Leafy Sea Dragon: The band’s composer and master of the synth, he may not be able to breathe fire but his passion burns with the strength of 1000 suns.
Coral the Sea Angel: the second vocalist of the group, dont be fooled by her seemingly innocent look, as she actually hides a fiery personality, she’s also able to play the keytar like no other.
Vallis the Vampire Squid: the main vocalist and leader of the group, depiste her intimidating look, she’s actually very friendly and works hard to keep her band happy, there’s nothing she wants more than inspirite young inklings to give their best both in and outside the battlefield.
Marimo the Manta Ray: the drummer and youngest member of the group, whose lack of size is compensated by his seemingly endless energy and cheerfulness, this mischievous little folk tends to get a little carried away when playing and sometimes ends up breaking his drumset, but for some reason its just impossible to get mad at him.
As the spring warms the sea and life reawakes after the winter, algal blooms (sometimes overfed by nutrient runoff from over fertilised fields) form, often creating beautiful patterns, but the deep green swirls of this one in the Baltic has an almost surreal cosmic air, resembling some nebula out in deep space or a serious attack of aurora borealis… until one minds the track of the boat ploughing through from the top centre of the photo towards the bottom left. What a beautiful world!
We often post excellently preserved creatures from the Green River Formation in the North American Midwest (see http://on.fb.me/1DlFXfw and http://on.fb.me/1M4MVgk). These rocks were deposited in a series of lakes that drained the rising Rockies in the Eocene (56-34 million years ago).
Nuro the Skunk, a Radioactive 2 fancharacter I made! He gets his name based on his abilities, but since he doesn’t know how to spell neurotoxin properly he just spells it the way it sounds.
He is an Acidic Mutation, and instead of the foul stench skunks use to defend themselves, his changed to a neurotoxin. The little green flecks in his fur can also be used to spread neurotoxin(sort of the way algal blooms do).
He used to harass a family when he was a normal skunk by spraying the children if they got too close but he was always ran off by their poodle Buffy(who is going to be an Alkalic oc once I design her). He has a skin spot on his neck from Buffy getting a hold of him for once before mutation.
Nuro chooses to be mute but will talk if necessary. He’s also got a crude sense of humor, but conveys this through gestures and sign language. he also probably still smells really bad