chlorophyllA icon

Description of Chlorophyll a:

At the base of most marine food webs are microscopic plants, called phytoplankton - which also produce nearly half of the Earth’s oxygen. One way we measure the amount of phytoplankton in the ocean is via a pigment that phytoplankton produce - chlorophyll a. Using ocean color sensors on satellites, we can measure the amount of chlorophyll a in surface waters. Environmental and oceanographic factors continuously influence the abundance, composition, spatial distribution, and productivity of phytoplankton. Tracking the amount of phytoplankton in the ocean gives us the status of the base of the food web, and how much food is available for other animals to grow. Changes in the amount of phytoplankton in the ocean are part of the natural seasonal cycle, but can also indicate an ecosystem’s response to a major external disturbance.

 

Data:

Chlorophyll a data were obtained from the NOAA Fisheries Coastal & Oceanic Plankton Ecology, Production, & Observations Database. Measurements of ocean chlorophyll concentration were combined from both the SeaWiFS and MODIS-Aqua "ocean color" datasets and binned at 0.5 x 0.5 degree latitude-longitude boxes, annual averages for each year calculated from the average of all monthly means in that year, and the annual mean was calculated as the average of all annual means.

Alaska-East Bering Sea

Chlorophyll time series for East Bering Sea

Description of time series:

Between 2013 and 2017 the average concentration levels of chlorophyll ɑ showed a significant upward trend.

 

Description of gauge:

The gauge value of 70 indicates that between 2013 and 2017 the average concentration levels of chlorophyll ɑ in Alaska’s Eastern Bering Sea were above the median of all chlorophyll ɑ concentration levels between 1998 and 2017.

 

Description of Chlorophyll a:

At the base of most marine food webs are microscopic plants, called phytoplankton - which also produce nearly half of the Earth’s oxygen. One way we measure the amount of phytoplankton in the ocean is via a pigment that phytoplankton produce - chlorophyll a. Using ocean color sensors on satellites, we can measure the amount of chlorophyll a in surface waters. Environmental and oceanographic factors continuously influence the abundance, composition, spatial distribution, and productivity of phytoplankton. Tracking the amount of phytoplankton in the ocean gives us the status of the base of the food web, and how much food is available for other animals to grow. Changes in the amount of phytoplankton in the ocean are part of the natural seasonal cycle, but can also indicate an ecosystem’s response to a major external disturbance.

 

Overall Scores mean the following:

  • 0 - 10:   “significantly lower” the long term median state
  • 10 - 25:  “considerably lower” the long term median state
  • 25 - 50:  “slightly lower” the long term median state
  • 50:  the long term median state
  • 50 - 75:  “slightly above” the long term median state
  • 75 - 90  “considerably above” the long term median state
  • 90 - 100:  “significantly higher” the long term median state

High values of Chlorophyll a can be good (lots of big nutrious diatoms) or bad (Harmful Algal Blooms), depending on the species present.

 

Data:

Chlorophyll a data were obtained from the NOAA Fisheries Coastal & Oceanic Plankton Ecology, Production, & Observations Database. Measurements of ocean chlorophyll concentration were combined from both the SeaWiFS and MODIS-Aqua "ocean color" datasets and binned at 0.5 x 0.5 degree latitude-longitude boxes, annual averages for each year calculated from the average of all monthly means in that year, and the annual mean was calculated as the average of all annual means. Source: https://www.st.nmfs.noaa.gov/copepod/about/about-copepod.html.

Alaska-Gulf of Alaska

Chlorophyll time series for Gulf of Alaska

Description of time series:

Between 2013 and 2017 the average concentration levels of chlorophyll a levels showed no significant trend but are above the 90th percentile.

 

Description of gauge:

The gauge value of 90 indicates that between 2013 and 2017 the average concentration levels of chlorophyll ɑ in the Gulf of Alaska were considerably above the median of all chlorophyll ɑ concentration levels between 1998 and 2017

 

Description of Chlorophyll a:

At the base of most marine food webs are microscopic plants, called phytoplankton - which also produce nearly half of the Earth’s oxygen. One way we measure the amount of phytoplankton in the ocean is via a pigment that phytoplankton produce - chlorophyll a. Using ocean color sensors on satellites, we can measure the amount of chlorophyll a in surface waters. Environmental and oceanographic factors continuously influence the abundance, composition, spatial distribution, and productivity of phytoplankton. Tracking the amount of phytoplankton in the ocean gives us the status of the base of the food web, and how much food is available for other animals to grow. Changes in the amount of phytoplankton in the ocean are part of the natural seasonal cycle, but can also indicate an ecosystem’s response to a major external disturbance.

 

Overall Scores mean the following:

  • 0 - 10:   “significantly lower” the long term median state
  • 10 - 25:  “considerably lower” the long term median state
  • 25 - 50:  “slightly lower” the long term median state
  • 50:  the long term median state
  • 50 - 75:  “slightly above” the long term median state
  • 75 - 90  “considerably above” the long term median state
  • 90 - 100:  “significantly higher” the long term median state

High values of Chlorophyll a can be good (lots of big nutrious diatoms) or bad (Harmful Algal Blooms), depending on the species present.

 

 

Data:

Chlorophyll a data were obtained from the NOAA Fisheries Coastal & Oceanic Plankton Ecology, Production, & Observations Database. Measurements of ocean chlorophyll concentration were combined from both the SeaWiFS and MODIS-Aqua "ocean color" datasets and binned at 0.5 x 0.5 degree latitude-longitude boxes, annual averages for each year calculated from the average of all monthly means in that year, and the annual mean was calculated as the average of all annual means. Source: https://www.st.nmfs.noaa.gov/copepod/about/about-copepod.html.

Hawaii - Pacific Islands

Chlorophyll time series for Hawaii - Pacific Islands

Description of time series:

Between 2013 and 2017 the average concentration levels of chlorophyll ɑ showed no significant trend.

 

Description of gauge:

The gauge value of 35 indicates that between 2013 and 2017 the average concentration levels of chlorophyll ɑ in the Hawaiian Pacific Islands was lower than the median of all chlorophyll ɑ concentration levels between 1998 and 2017.

 

Description of Chlorophyll a:

At the base of most marine food webs are microscopic plants, called phytoplankton - which also produce nearly half of the Earth’s oxygen. One way we measure the amount of phytoplankton in the ocean is via a pigment that phytoplankton produce - chlorophyll a. Using ocean color sensors on satellites, we can measure the amount of chlorophyll a in surface waters. Environmental and oceanographic factors continuously influence the abundance, composition, spatial distribution, and productivity of phytoplankton. Tracking the amount of phytoplankton in the ocean gives us the status of the base of the food web, and how much food is available for other animals to grow. Changes in the amount of phytoplankton in the ocean are part of the natural seasonal cycle, but can also indicate an ecosystem’s response to a major external disturbance.

 

Overall Scores mean the following:

  • 0 - 10:   “significantly lower” the long term median state
  • 10 - 25:  “considerably lower” the long term median state
  • 25 - 50:  “slightly lower” the long term median state
  • 50:  the long term median state
  • 50 - 75:  “slightly above” the long term median state
  • 75 - 90  “considerably above” the long term median state
  • 90 - 100:  “significantly higher” the long term median state

High values of Chlorophyll a can be good (lots of big nutrious diatoms) or bad (Harmful Algal Blooms), depending on the species present.

 

 

Data:

Chlorophyll a data were obtained from the NOAA Fisheries Coastal & Oceanic Plankton Ecology, Production, & Observations Database. Measurements of ocean chlorophyll concentration were combined from both the SeaWiFS and MODIS-Aqua "ocean color" datasets and binned at 0.5 x 0.5 degree latitude-longitude boxes, annual averages for each year calculated from the average of all monthly means in that year, and the annual mean was calculated as the average of all annual means. Source: https://www.st.nmfs.noaa.gov/copepod/about/about-copepod.html.

California Current

Chlorophyll time series for California Current

Description of time series:

Between 2013 and 2017 the average concentration levels of chlorophyll ɑ showed no significant trend.

 

Description of gauge:

The gauge value of 40 indicates that between 2013 and 2017 the average concentration levels of chlorophyll ɑ in the California Current were lower than the median of all chlorophyll ɑ concentration levels between 1998 and 2017.

 

Description of Chlorophyll a:

At the base of most marine food webs are microscopic plants, called phytoplankton - which also produce nearly half of the Earth’s oxygen. One way we measure the amount of phytoplankton in the ocean is via a pigment that phytoplankton produce - chlorophyll a. Using ocean color sensors on satellites, we can measure the amount of chlorophyll a in surface waters. Environmental and oceanographic factors continuously influence the abundance, composition, spatial distribution, and productivity of phytoplankton. Tracking the amount of phytoplankton in the ocean gives us the status of the base of the food web, and how much food is available for other animals to grow. Changes in the amount of phytoplankton in the ocean are part of the natural seasonal cycle, but can also indicate an ecosystem’s response to a major external disturbance.

 

Overall Scores mean the following:

  • 0 - 10:   “significantly lower” the long term median state
  • 10 - 25:  “considerably lower” the long term median state
  • 25 - 50:  “slightly lower” the long term median state
  • 50:  the long term median state
  • 50 - 75:  “slightly above” the long term median state
  • 75 - 90  “considerably above” the long term median state
  • 90 - 100:  “significantly higher” the long term median state

High values of Chlorophyll a can be good (lots of big nutrious diatoms) or bad (Harmful Algal Blooms), depending on the species present.

 

 

Data:

Chlorophyll a data were obtained from the NOAA Fisheries Coastal & Oceanic Plankton Ecology, Production, & Observations Database. Measurements of ocean chlorophyll concentration were combined from both the SeaWiFS and MODIS-Aqua "ocean color" datasets and binned at 0.5 x 0.5 degree latitude-longitude boxes, annual averages for each year calculated from the average of all monthly means in that year, and the annual mean was calculated as the average of all annual means. Source: https://www.st.nmfs.noaa.gov/copepod/about/about-copepod.html.

Gulf of Mexico

Chlorophyll time series for Gulf of Mexico

Description of time series:

Between 2013 and 2017 the average concentration levels of chlorophyll ɑ showed no significant trend.

 

Description of gauge:

The gauge value of 80 indicates that  between 2013 and 2017 the average concentration levels of chlorophyll ɑ in the Gulf of Mexico were considerably higher than the median of all chlorophyll ɑ concentration levels between 1998 and 2017

 

Description of Chlorophyll a:

At the base of most marine food webs are microscopic plants, called phytoplankton - which also produce nearly half of the Earth’s oxygen. One way we measure the amount of phytoplankton in the ocean is via a pigment that phytoplankton produce - chlorophyll a. Using ocean color sensors on satellites, we can measure the amount of chlorophyll a in surface waters. Environmental and oceanographic factors continuously influence the abundance, composition, spatial distribution, and productivity of phytoplankton. Tracking the amount of phytoplankton in the ocean gives us the status of the base of the food web, and how much food is available for other animals to grow. Changes in the amount of phytoplankton in the ocean are part of the natural seasonal cycle, but can also indicate an ecosystem’s response to a major external disturbance.

 

Overall Scores mean the following:

  • 0 - 10:   “significantly lower” the long term median state
  • 10 - 25:  “considerably lower” the long term median state
  • 25 - 50:  “slightly lower” the long term median state
  • 50:  the long term median state
  • 50 - 75:  “slightly above” the long term median state
  • 75 - 90  “considerably above” the long term median state
  • 90 - 100:  “significantly higher” the long term median state

High values of Chlorophyll a can be good (lots of big nutrious diatoms) or bad (Harmful Algal Blooms), depending on the species present.

 

 

Data:

Chlorophyll a data were obtained from the NOAA Fisheries Coastal & Oceanic Plankton Ecology, Production, & Observations Database. Measurements of ocean chlorophyll concentration were combined from both the SeaWiFS and MODIS-Aqua "ocean color" datasets and binned at 0.5 x 0.5 degree latitude-longitude boxes, annual averages for each year calculated from the average of all monthly means in that year, and the annual mean was calculated as the average of all annual means. Source: https://www.st.nmfs.noaa.gov/copepod/about/about-copepod.html.

Caribbean Sea

Chlorophyll time series for Caribbean Sea

Description of time series:

Between 2013 and 2017 the average concentration levels of chlorophyll ɑ showed no significant trend

 

Description of gauge:

The gauge value of 80 indicates that  between 2013 and 2017 the average concentration levels of chlorophyll ɑ in the Caribbean Sea were considerably higher than the median of all chlorophyll ɑ concentration levels between 1998 and 2017.

 

Description of Chlorophyll a:

At the base of most marine food webs are microscopic plants, called phytoplankton - which also produce nearly half of the Earth’s oxygen. One way we measure the amount of phytoplankton in the ocean is via a pigment that phytoplankton produce - chlorophyll a. Using ocean color sensors on satellites, we can measure the amount of chlorophyll a in surface waters. Environmental and oceanographic factors continuously influence the abundance, composition, spatial distribution, and productivity of phytoplankton. Tracking the amount of phytoplankton in the ocean gives us the status of the base of the food web, and how much food is available for other animals to grow. Changes in the amount of phytoplankton in the ocean are part of the natural seasonal cycle, but can also indicate an ecosystem’s response to a major external disturbance.

 

Overall Scores mean the following:

  • 0 - 10:   “significantly lower” the long term median state
  • 10 - 25:  “considerably lower” the long term median state
  • 25 - 50:  “slightly lower” the long term median state
  • 50:  the long term median state
  • 50 - 75:  “slightly above” the long term median state
  • 75 - 90  “considerably above” the long term median state
  • 90 - 100:  “significantly higher” the long term median state

High values of Chlorophyll a can be good (lots of big nutrious diatoms) or bad (Harmful Algal Blooms), depending on the species present.

 

 

Data:

Chlorophyll a data were obtained from the NOAA Fisheries Coastal & Oceanic Plankton Ecology, Production, & Observations Database. Measurements of ocean chlorophyll concentration were combined from both the SeaWiFS and MODIS-Aqua "ocean color" datasets and binned at 0.5 x 0.5 degree latitude-longitude boxes, annual averages for each year calculated from the average of all monthly means in that year, and the annual mean was calculated as the average of all annual means. Source: https://www.st.nmfs.noaa.gov/copepod/about/about-copepod.html.

Southeast US

Chlorophyll time series for Southeast US

Description of time series:

Between 2013 and 2017 the average concentration levels of chlorophyll ɑ showed a significant upward trend.

 

Description of gauge:

The gauge value of 80 indicates that  between 2013 and 2017 the average concentration levels of chlorophyll ɑ in the Southeast US region were considerably higher than the median of all chlorophyll ɑ concentration levels between 1998 and 2017.

 

Description of Chlorophyll a:

At the base of most marine food webs are microscopic plants, called phytoplankton - which also produce nearly half of the Earth’s oxygen. One way we measure the amount of phytoplankton in the ocean is via a pigment that phytoplankton produce - chlorophyll a. Using ocean color sensors on satellites, we can measure the amount of chlorophyll a in surface waters. Environmental and oceanographic factors continuously influence the abundance, composition, spatial distribution, and productivity of phytoplankton. Tracking the amount of phytoplankton in the ocean gives us the status of the base of the food web, and how much food is available for other animals to grow. Changes in the amount of phytoplankton in the ocean are part of the natural seasonal cycle, but can also indicate an ecosystem’s response to a major external disturbance.

 

Overall Scores mean the following:

  • 0 - 10:   “significantly lower” the long term median state
  • 10 - 25:  “considerably lower” the long term median state
  • 25 - 50:  “slightly lower” the long term median state
  • 50:  the long term median state
  • 50 - 75:  “slightly above” the long term median state
  • 75 - 90  “considerably above” the long term median state
  • 90 - 100:  “significantly higher” the long term median state

High values of Chlorophyll a can be good (lots of big nutrious diatoms) or bad (Harmful Algal Blooms), depending on the species present.

 

 

Data:

Chlorophyll a data were obtained from the NOAA Fisheries Coastal & Oceanic Plankton Ecology, Production, & Observations Database. Measurements of ocean chlorophyll concentration were combined from both the SeaWiFS and MODIS-Aqua "ocean color" datasets and binned at 0.5 x 0.5 degree latitude-longitude boxes, annual averages for each year calculated from the average of all monthly means in that year, and the annual mean was calculated as the average of all annual means. Source: https://www.st.nmfs.noaa.gov/copepod/about/about-copepod.html.

Northeast US

Chlorophyll time series for Northeast US

Description of time series:

Between 2013 and 2017 the average concentration levels of chlorophyll ɑ showed no significant trend

 

Description of gauge:

The gauge value of 70 indicates that between 2013 and 2017 the average concentration levels of chlorophyll ɑ in the Northeast US were above the median of all chlorophyll ɑ concentration levels between 1998 and 2017.

 

Description of Chlorophyll a:

At the base of most marine food webs are microscopic plants, called phytoplankton - which also produce nearly half of the Earth’s oxygen. One way we measure the amount of phytoplankton in the ocean is via a pigment that phytoplankton produce - chlorophyll a. Using ocean color sensors on satellites, we can measure the amount of chlorophyll a in surface waters. Environmental and oceanographic factors continuously influence the abundance, composition, spatial distribution, and productivity of phytoplankton. Tracking the amount of phytoplankton in the ocean gives us the status of the base of the food web, and how much food is available for other animals to grow. Changes in the amount of phytoplankton in the ocean are part of the natural seasonal cycle, but can also indicate an ecosystem’s response to a major external disturbance.

 

Overall Scores mean the following:

  • 0 - 10:   “significantly lower” the long term median state
  • 10 - 25:  “considerably lower” the long term median state
  • 25 - 50:  “slightly lower” the long term median state
  • 50:  the long term median state
  • 50 - 75:  “slightly above” the long term median state
  • 75 - 90  “considerably above” the long term median state
  • 90 - 100:  “significantly higher” the long term median state

High values of Chlorophyll a can be good (lots of big nutrious diatoms) or bad (Harmful Algal Blooms), depending on the species present.

 

 

Data:

Chlorophyll a data were obtained from the NOAA Fisheries Coastal & Oceanic Plankton Ecology, Production, & Observations Database. Measurements of ocean chlorophyll concentration were combined from both the SeaWiFS and MODIS-Aqua "ocean color" datasets and binned at 0.5 x 0.5 degree latitude-longitude boxes, annual averages for each year calculated from the average of all monthly means in that year, and the annual mean was calculated as the average of all annual means. Source: https://www.st.nmfs.noaa.gov/copepod/about/about-copepod.html.

Resources

MODIS Aqua NIR-SWIR Ocean Color Chlorophyll Concentration: Daily - OSPO

The MODIS/Aqua NIR-SWIR ocean color products are derived by using the shortwave infrared (SWIR)-based atmospheric correction algorithm developed by the NOAA/NESDIS Center for Satellite Applications and Research (STAR). The products include chlorophyll concentration, remote sensing reflectance at 667 nm, water attenuation coefficient at 490 nm over 12 CoastWatch Regions-of-Interest, i.e., Northeast (NE), Southeast (SE), Gulf of Mexico (GOM), Caribbean (CB), West Coast (WC), Alaska (AK), East Tropical Pacific (EP), Equatorial Atlantic (EA), Great Lakes (GL), Hawaii (HI), North Atlantic (NA), and Pacific Basin (PB).

Gulf of Mexico Harmful Algal Bloom Forecast

In the Gulf of Mexico, some harmful algal blooms are caused by the rapid growth of the microscopic algae species Karenia brevis (commonly called red tide). Red tide can cause respiratory illness and eye irritation in humans. It can also kill marine life. Blooms are often patchy, so impacts vary by beach and throughout the day.

NOAA monitors conditions daily and issues twice-weekly forecasts for red tide blooms in the Gulf of Mexico and East Coast of Florida. You can find up-to-date information on where a bloom is located and a 3–4 day forecast for potential respiratory irritation by selecting a region below. This information may help you find an unaffected beach if you are visiting the coast

The global plankton database

COPEPOD's global plankton database component provides plankton and ecosystem researchers with an integrated data set of quality-reviewed, globally distributed plankton abundance, biomass and composition data.   Its visual, interactive interface is designed to help the user see exactly what data are currently available and then download them in a variety of usable formats and compilations.   In addition to data distribution maps, COPEPOD offers a variety of text and graphical content summaries and searching options.