The Ocean is divided into the Pacific, Atlantic, Arctic, Antarctic, and Indian Oceans, all of which have temperature and depth differences. The Atlantic Ocean is the second-largest in the world, extending over 29% of the water’s surface and 20% of the earth’s surface.
The Atlantic Ocean may not look clear due to pollutants such as oil spills and plastic products. An increase in waste and pollutant increase the number of Phytoplankton. These creatures can make the Ocean look murky and a green color due to the absorption of light by these organisms.
The Ocean is not always the typical radiant blue color we assume it to be. The Ocean has many different colors depending on its location and what can be found in it. The color of the Ocean is influenced by the absorption of light, which is affected by microorganisms, pollutants, and depth.
Is The Atlantic Ocean Clear?
The Atlantic Ocean extends from North to South America and touches the European border down to the Southern tip of Africa. Due to the vastness of this Ocean, it can be assumed that it will have many different colors. In many places, the sea is either a dark blue, green, or sometimes even a brown color.
The different colors can be due to temperature changes, the depth of the Ocean, pollutants, and plant and animal life, some of which affect the clear blue color of the Atlantic. Oceanographers are like doctors of the Ocean; they monitor things like ocean color. The color of the Ocean can determine what is happening in its depths, if it’s healthy or what organisms can be found in it.
Pollution Affecting The Colour Of The Atlantic Ocean
Over the years, our oceans have become more polluted each year as we dump waste products into them. The Atlantic Ocean contains a large portion of these pollutants, causing it to look dirty. Over 150 million metric tons of plastic products are currently roaming in our oceans, and about 8 million metric tons are added to them each year. Of this, 930 billion plastic pieces fill the Northern Atlantic oceans, and about 297 billion are found in the Southern Atlantic Ocean.
The North Atlantic Gyre is the reason for the formation of the garbage patch in the Northern Atlantic Ocean. Plastic is an essential product used by humans, which is a problem because it can’t be decomposed and broken down; the only way to reduce the buildup of plastic is to recycle it. Plastic is more destructive in oceans compared to land because sea animals find it difficult to differentiate between plastic products and prey.
Other causes of pollutants in the Ocean include oil spills, sewage, minerals, offshore drilling of oil, sunken ships, and land runoff. Certain organisms such as algae and Phytoplankton feed on these pollutants, causing them to increase to an unhealthy number. An unhealthy amount of these organisms disrupt the ecosystem, one of them being the death of ocean fauna due to the depletion of oxygen in the water.
Absorption Of Light Affected By Particles In The Atlantic
The Ocean is seen as a deep blue color because of the way water absorbs and scatters light from the sun. Red light is absorbed more easily by water molecules than blue light, which is why the Ocean appears blue. Suppose there are other particles in the Ocean; this can increase the scattering and absorption of light. These particles include the runoff from rivers, pollutants, and the movement of sand and silt from tides, waves, and storms.
In the open Ocean, there are many particles that can affect its color; this is because they contain substances that absorb specific wavelengths of light that can alter its characteristics. Phytoplankton and algae are essential organisms in the ecosystem as they produce half the amount of oxygen on earth. The cells making up these microorganisms alter the Ocean’s color, causing it to appear blue in most cases. The Atlantic Ocean may appear greener in areas where Phytoplankton is highly concentrated, making it look murky.
Phytoplankton numbers may vary due to nutrient concentrations, light, temperatures, currents, grazing by zooplankton, and vertical mixing of the water column caused by storms and cooling of the oceans. However, most Phytoplankton dense areas give the Ocean a greenish tint; some may even cause the Ocean to look yellow, red, or brown.
In some areas, the Atlantic Ocean may appear dull brown due to runoff and sediments moving into the Ocean. When this happens, high concentrations of substances such as pollutants move into the Ocean. These pollutants are consumed by Phytoplankton, resulting in an unhealthy increase in the numbers of this microorganism.
How Does Phytoplankton Affect The Absorption Of Light?
Phytoplankton affects the color of the Ocean due to a substance they consume called chlorophyll which they use to produce carbon during photosynthesis. Chlorophyll is a light-absorbing substance; Phytoplankton absorbs the red and blue pigment, reflecting green light. Where there are high concentrations of Phytoplankton, the ocean color will have different shades of color, typically a blue-green to green; the greener it appears, the murkier it may seem.
Oceanographers are intrigued by the Ocean’s color as it can determine what is happening at its depths and whether it is healthy. When the Ocean looks murky or green, it does not always mean it is not clean; at times, it may be due to pollutants or plastic, but most of the time, it is affected by living organisms. Phytoplankton causes the Ocean to be blue-green, and at times it may seem greener or even brown in color.
These creatures are very important to the ecosystem, but this doesn’t mean the more, the merrier. Large amounts of Phytoplankton can reduce oxygen concentrations and have a negative impact on ocean fauna. It is essential to the health of the Ocean to watch the change in its colors. When it changes to a green, red, or brown color, it may be due to unhealthy amounts of Phytoplankton.