NASA Satellites Find Biggest Seaweed Bloom in the World
08 July 2019
An unprecedented belt of brown algae stretches from West Africa to the Gulf of Mexico—and it's likely here to stay. Scientists at the University of South Florida in St. Petersburg's College of Marine Science used NASA satellite observations to discover and document the largest bloom of macroalgae in the world, dubbed the Great Atlantic Sargassum Belt, as reported in Science.
Based on computer simulations, they confirmed that this belt of the brown macroalgae Sargassum forms its shape in response to ocean currents. It can grow so large that it blankets the surface of the tropical Atlantic Ocean from the west coast of Africa to the Gulf of Mexico.
Image credit: Michael Owen - Too much Sargassum can present challenges for marine life and particularly becomes a problem when it collects along coastlines and rots.