Press Release

NASA Briefing Provides New Global View of Ocean Health

By SpaceRef Editor
May 26, 2009
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NASA will hold a media teleconference on Thursday, May 28, at 1 p.m. EDT, to present the first-ever global views of the health of marine plant life.

Using a new measure of the health of phytoplankton in the world’s oceans made possible by data from NASA’s Aqua satellite, scientists have discovered new regions where marine ecosystems are under stress. Worldwide, phytoplankton play a key role in the food chain of marine fisheries and the balance of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. The new results on the health and growth habits of marine plants will help scientists improve their ability to accurately predict how Earth will respond to future changes in climate.

The briefing participants are:

– Michael Behrenfeld, ecosystem scientist, Oregon State University,
Corvallis, Ore.

– Scott Doney, marine chemist, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution,
Woods Hole, Mass.

– J. Ru Morrison, oceanographer, University of New Hampshire, Durham,

To participate in the teleconference, reporters must contact Sonja Alexander at for dial-in instructions. Supporting information for the briefing will be available on May 28 at 12 p.m. at:

Audio of the teleconference will be streamed live on NASA’s Web site

For more information about NASA and agency Earth science programs,

SpaceRef staff editor.