This season between late summer and early fall has brought days of sunshine, some rain and lower temperatures. We have seen some variance in the color of our ocean located in the Strait of Georgia. Normally, the Strait of Georgia’s ocean waters are a deep royal blue. This late summer and early fall our waters have seen an Agean blue color with more green. So I decided to look up the reason for the change and found the following information off the NASA website. https://science.nasa.gov/earth-science/oceanography/living-ocean/ocean-color/. We discovered that in water sunlight is both absorbed and scattered. Sunlight absorption is strong in the red wavelengths and weak in the blue, meaning red light is absorbed quickly in the ocean leaving blue wavelength of light to be scattered. Therefore the majority of the time the ocean is blue. So what happens when the ocean color appears to be green? On land and in the sea photosynthesis occurs. In the ocean, phytoplankton use chlorophyll to produce carbon by photosynthesis. Phytoplankton absorbs more red and blue light wavelengths leaving more of the green light spectrum. Therefore, when the color hue is green, more phytoplankton is in the ocean water. When the ocean is deep blue the water has less phytoplankton. See our beautiful ocean colors.
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