A breath of relief for the navy men who are worried and disgusted by their ships’ getting entangled in dense floating vegetation, while sailing across the western Gulf of Mexico, at least.
It is not easy to spot the Sargassum seaweed that creates nuisance sporadically across the vast world oceans. But, a satellite has come to solve, this long prevailing nautical problem, for the first time.
Yes, ESA’s environmental satellite — Envisat – has done it, and thus can help monitor Sargassum globally.
This will eventually help researchers understand the primary productivity of the ocean better. With the seaweed’s study climate change could be predicted well.
Dr Jim Gower of the Canadian Institute of Ocean Sciences said,
This appears to be the first report of a satellite image of Sargassum. It is usually associated with the area of the North Atlantic known as the Sargasso Sea after the Sargassum encountered there by early explorers.
Our observations of Sargassum lines extending over large areas of the Gulf show that in this area and season it represents a significant fraction of marine primary productivity.
Thus, with the help of environmental satellites global estimates of Sargassum biomass can be determined along with its contribution to ocean productivity.
This in turn could not only provide information on the seaweed it self, but also aware sailing ships of the weeds’ presence in a certain area.