Algal blooms (light blue) in the Black Sea, true- colour satellite image. North is at top. Water is blue, vegetation is green and clouds, snow and ice are white. The blooms are caused by phytoplankton, microscopic plants. These blooms reflect changing salinity and nutrient levels in the Black Sea. The Black Sea is effectively isolated from the world's oceans, and is easily influenced by pollution and fertilisers in the many rivers that drain into it (such as the Dnieper, upper centre). The situation is made worse in the Sea of Azov (upper centre) by sedimentation. Image taken on 14 May 2002 by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) aboard NASA's Terra satellite.
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