The European Space Agency has released images that show a phytoplankton bloom swirling in the figure of an 8 in the South Atlantic Ocean which shows the ocean to have become rich in minerals from the mixing of surface waters with deeper waters.

Phytoplankton, the form of plantlike organisms, depend on these minerals, which make blooms like the one viewed in this image common in the spring and summer.

ESA explained that these “microscopic organisms are the base of the marine food chain, and play a huge role in the removal of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and the production of oxygen in the oceans.”

These formations are important to the climate system as they help to regulate carbon dioxide.

Phytoplankton display’s different color formations with different types and quantities of phytoplankton, in this case the formation exhibits blues and greens.

While phytoplankton are sensitive to environmental changes these Earth from Space images are important to determine climate change calculations and to identify potential harmful blooms.