Biology

Leatherback turtle path (pink line) overlayed on sea level anomalies and geostrophic current, in the Gulf Stream in october 2005. Credits DEPE/IPHC/CNRS and CLS.

Life in the ocean is funtamental to life on Earth. Phytoplankton in particular is major generators for the planet, much more than the forests. Although measuring 'ocean color' by satellite is the best technique for determining the quantity of phytoplankton, sea-surface height measurements complement and validate these data.

The movements of the ocean, its temperature and salinity, ect, affect the life it harbours. From the smallest plant organisms (phytoplankton) to the largest whales, not forgetting animals such fishes and marine turtles, all are affected by the physical conditions of their environment.

Developping marine ecosystem models with the available biological and physical information as input, will help us better understand marine biology and therefore preserve its resources and diversity.

Altimetry and phytoplankton
More than forests this phytoplankton is producing the oxygen and recycling carbon. It is also the first element of the ocean food chain. Joint observations from infrared (ocean color) and altimetry satellites are very interesting for their understanding.
Marine animals
Joint observations from altimetry and Argos beacons of which are equipped some marine animals help to understand their behavior, their adaptation to the environment, feeding or reproduction strategies. Examples with turtles and lobsters.

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