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Stanford Report, April 24, 2002

Satellite images reveal massive die-off of Antarctica's marine life


Geophysics Professor Kevin Arrigo discusses how he and his colleagues used satellite imagery to show how icebergs caused a 40-percent decline in phytoplankton blooms, which harmed penguin populations in 2000 and 2001.

Video:
Antarctica video courtesy of Robert Dunbar, Earth Sciences
Satellite images courtesy of NASA and the NOAA-12 satellite, as provided by the Antarctic Meteorological Research Center,SEC, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Produced by Jack Hubbard and Mark Shwartz

Antarctica's rich marine ecosystems depend on phytoplankton --microscopic algae that reproduce by the ton during the spring and summer. Phytoplankton are eaten by shrimp-like krill (lower left), which in turn are preyed upon by seals, penguins and other animals. Photos courtesy of NOAA.