European Space Agency


Satellites Delve into the Depths of One of the Earth’s Largest Ecosystems

Scientists at Plymouth Marine Laboratory (PML) in the UK, funded via the UK National Centre for Earth Observation, working with colleagues from France, have combined ocean-colour satellite data made available through ESA’s Climate Change Initiative with in situ measurements from Argo and new Bio-Argo floats, partially-funded by the UK Natural Environment Research Council, to work out how much energy is transported from the ocean’s surface down to the mesopelagic layer. They estimate that seasonal mixed layer pump moves around 300 million tonnes of carbon each year, which is a vital energy source for organisms living in the deep dark part of the ocean. Source: Plymouth Marine LaboratoryScientists at Plymouth Marine Laboratory (PML) in the UK, funded via the UK National Centre for Earth Observation, working with colleagues from France, have combined ocean-colour satellite data made available through ESA’s Climate Change Initiative with in situ measurements from Argo and new Bio-Argo floats, partially-funded by the UK Natural Environment Research Council, to work out how much energy is transported from the ocean’s surface down to the mesopelagic layer. They estimate that seasonal mixed layer pump moves around 300 million tonnes of carbon each year, which is a vital energy source for organisms living in the deep dark part of the ocean. Source: Plymouth Marine Laboratory

Satellite imagery is helping marine scientists gain new understanding of ocean ecosystems. The mysterious ‘mesopelagic’ zone between 100m and 1000m is one of the Earth’s largest ecosystems, yet the source of much of its energy has only just been uncovered.