Effects of El NiÃo/La NiÃa on Phytoplankton and Fish

This video shows 15 years of data obtained via Polar-orbiting satellites that are able to detect subtle differences in ocean color, allowing scientists to see where there are higher concentrations of phytoplankton - a proxy for the concentration of chlorophyll in the ocean.

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Teaching Tips

Teaching Tips

This is an excellent real-world example that ties climate to biology to economics (fisheries). The video is visually appealing in the sense that it offers a global view of the population distributions of phytoplankton.

Educators might want to do a more in-depth introduction to El NiÃo/La NiÃa, as the schematics in the video are small and used briefly.

Educators could have students graph some of the annual averages to see changes in abundance and distribution over time.