Blooming Activity of Biotic Processes All The Way Round the Globe (By Diego Fdez-Sevilla PhD)

Blooming Activity of Biotic Processes All The Way Round the Globe (By Diego Fdez-Sevilla PhD)

BY looking at the state of anticipated flowering in the NH and the blooming phytoplankton activity in Antarctica it seems that the flora is blooming in both hemispheres simultaneously. We can look at our data from sensors mounted on satellites, ships, ground stations and moored array methods and we can spend years discussing their accuracy and how much manipulation can be done with the data retrieved and statistics. And yet, just by looking at the state of the biological cycles through latitude, longitude and seasonality we can gather accurate information expressing the dynamics we all wonder about.

How many Biologists do you know driving climatic research?

It may look like someone dyed the water green for St. Patrick’s Day, but the green hue visible off the coast of Antarctica is entirely natural.

On March 5, 2017, the Operational Land Imager (OLI) on Landsat 8 captured these natural-color images of water, sea ice, and phytoplankton. The region pictured is Antarctica’s Granite Harbor—a cove in the vicinity of the Ross Sea. The first image shows a wide view of the area, and the subsequent images show detailed views of the green slush ice.

Jan Lieser, a marine glaciologist from Australia’s Antarctic Climate and Ecosystems Cooperative Research Center thinks the green color is caused by phytoplankton at the water’s surface that have discolored the sea ice. These microscopic marine plants, also called microalgae, typically flourish in the waters around Antarctica in the austral spring and summer, when the edge of the sea ice recedes and there is ample sunlight. But scientists have noticed that given the right conditions, they can grow in autumn too.

Lieser and colleagues previously observed late blooms in 2012 off East Antarctica’s Princess Astrid Coast. Blooms around the continent that year were later confirmed by measurements from a research ship. In fall 2015 and again in 2017, phytoplankton have turned up in Terra Nova Bay—just south of the Granite Harbor location pictured here.

Sea ice, winds, sunlight, nutrient availability, and predators all factor into whether plankton can grow in large enough quantities to color the slush-ice and make it visible from space. In early 2017, there was not much ice anchored to the shoreline (fast ice), a condition that is thought to help “seed” phytoplankton growth. But offshore winds and sunlight favorable for growth made conditions similar to previous years that supported blooms, according to Lieser.

Scientists know that phytoplankton are important for the ecology of the Southern Ocean, as they are an abundant food source for zooplankton, fish, and other marine species. But researchers still have many questions about their presence around Antarctica in the fall. Lieser wonders: “Do these kinds of late-season ‘blooms’ provide the seeding conditions for the next spring’s bloom? If the algae get incorporated into the sea ice and remain more or less dormant during the winter, where do they end up after the winter?”

NASA Earth Observatory images by Joshua Stevens, using Landsat data from the U.S. Geological Survey. Caption by Kathryn Hansen.

  • From Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey.

Just HOW EARLY is spring arriving in your neighborhood? Find out . . .

Release Date: February 23, 2017

Get your flip-flops and shorts out because spring is arriving very early this year . . . at least 2-3 weeks early across almost the entire Southeast, from San Antonio to Atlanta to Washington, D.C.  This unusually early spring is likely to keep rolling north, already bringing surprising signs of spring to portions of the central Midwest and northeastern states.

The USA-NPN is tracking the unusually early start of spring 2017 across the USA. Map from 2-22-2017
A new set of scientifically backed maps produced by the USGS-led USA National Phenology Network shows just how unusually early spring is arriving in the United States. 2017. (Public domain.)

Even Punxsutawaney Phil can’t be blamed for being baffled this year and hightailing it back to his burrow. He predicted six more weeks of winter on Feb 2, but by then spring was already springing well ahead of historical norms in much of the USA. 

While we’ve known for over a decade now that climate change is variably advancing the onset of spring across the United States, a new set of maps from the USGS-led USA National Phenology Network now demonstrates just how ahead of schedule spring is in your precise neck of the woods.

The scientifically reviewed maps and the data behind them show that you may want to keep your shorts and flip-flops handy because spring is already knocking at your door, in some places three weeks ahead of schedule. Here’s a quick national overview: spring is now making an appearance in coastal California, southern Nevada, southeastern Colorado, central Kansas, Missouri, southern Illinois, Indiana and Ohio. And it’s rolling up across West Virginia and Virginia, soon to hit Philly and Indianapolis, but it’s already sprung – days ago — across the southern Great Plains and SE Atlantic Coast, and it was 22 days early in Washington, DC!

Why care if glorious days of spring are arriving earlier than normal?  

“While these earlier springs might not seem like a big deal – and who among us doesn’t appreciate a balmy day or a break in dreary winter weather — it poses significant challenges for planning and managing important issues that affect our economy and our society,” said Dr. Jake Weltzin, a USGS ecologist and the executive director of the USA-NPN.

For example, changes in the timing of spring can affect human health, bringing early-season disease-carriers such as ticks and mosquitos, and an earlier, longer and more vigorous pollen season. And while a longer growing season can result in increased yields for some crops, it is risky because of the higher likelihood of plant damage caused by late frosts or summer drought. Even something as seemingly simple and beautiful as flowers blooming earlier can disrupt the critically important link between wildflowers and the arrival of birds, bees, and butterflies that feed on and pollinate the flowers. Such changes may prove beneficial to some plants and animals, including some harmful invasive ones, but may be detrimental to others.  Changes in seasons can affect economically and culturally important outdoor recreation activities, including affecting the timing of hunting and fishing seasons.

Weltzin noted that the approaches used for this study, in particular the plant leafing model though it was applied to a much longer climate dataset, were the foundation for a recent study showing that spring is arriving earlier than ever in three out of four US National Parks across the nation, and that fully half of all National Parks are experiencing extreme early onsets of spring relative to the last century.

These findings are consistent with the fact that the instrumental record shows that 2016 was the hottest year ever recorded for the globe, and that it was the third record-breaking year in a row. Researchers have noted that 16 of the 17 hottest years recorded occurred since 2000.  These new maps show that 2017, at least so far, is shaping up to be another warm one, but also that different regions exhibit variable responses over time.


  • Some science in the subject

Flowering phenology shifts in response to biodiversity loss

Advanced spring flowering has been described as a fingerprint of climate change—a public, visible display of the detrimental effects of global warming. However, warming experiments fail to account for the full magnitude of observed changes in phenology, suggesting that other factors may play important roles. We show that peak flowering time shifts earlier for most species when we experimentally reduce plant diversity. Additionally, peak flowering times of plant species are more evenly distributed across the season in high-diversity plots. Overall, these results demonstrate the importance of biotic interactions in influencing flowering times and indicate that advancing phenology, one of the most well-described and well-publicized phenomena linking global warming to plant communities, may result equally from biodiversity declines.

Closing remarks

Something is happening and we need to make the most of the knowledge we have from the most reliable resource we know. Our biota lacks of material fatigue, or faulty design, or flaws in calculations.

It is about time to give it the protagonism which shows to be missing in many climatic assessments, not as a silent sufferer but as a source of information.

As a biologist myself I find intriguing to see that our environment is predominately not described in biological terms.

Einstein made it very clear, our environment is a relative proportion of free energy and fixed energy in mass. There is one process in our system fixing E into mass, and one releasing E from mass. The “relative efficiency” of both processes is what is defining the behaviour of our thermodynamic environment and the forcing steering our climatic drifts.

Land cover change from Publication “Domesticating Nature“. Info:

See the timeline to access all previous publications or look at some of the following related previous publications for more:

Debating Climate, Environment and Planetary evolution. Define your position. (by Diego Fdez-Sevilla) October 2, 2014
May 13, 2014 Looking at the influence of continentality in atmospheric circulation. (by Diego Fdez-Sevilla, PhD)
June 26, 2014 Biological Productivity and its Influence on Cloud Formation. (by Diego Fdez-Sevilla, PhD)
December 22, 2014 Biological Productivity, Amazonia and Atmospheric Circulation. (by Diego Fdez-Sevilla, PhD)
June 18, 2015 Extreme climatic events, implications for projections of species distributions and ecosystem structure (by Diego Fdez-Sevilla, PhD)
November 5, 2015 There is Ice or Frost In Antarctica? (by Diego Fdez-Sevilla, PhD)
May 7, 2015 Domesticating Nature. (by Diego Fdez-Sevilla, PhD)
March 3, 2017 Thermodynamic Ecosystems by Diego Fdez-Sevilla PhD
March 10, 2017 Modelling the “Model” and the Observer (by Diego Fdez-Sevilla PhD)

This work is protected under Intellectual Property laws licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.)

As from March 2017, I am in transition looking for new opportunities and new challenges, to join a team. At the same time that I look for job openings to incorporate my resume, I would encourage any one finding interesting any of the skills which I apply throughout my research, as well as communicator, to evaluate my profile as a candidate for your projects (Profile at Linkedin and CV english and español) email d.fdezsevilla(at)

In 1995 I started studying the environment doing a Master in Environmental Biology. After, from 2001 I have been performing research and working in institutions linked with environmental research and management. In 2013 I found myself in a period of transition searching for a new job. However, in such competitive scenario, instead of just moving my cv between desks waiting for my next opportunity to arrive, I used it as an advantageous standing point to start and develop independent research in a blog in which I could open my own line of research completely free of external pressures or interferences. Through the whole project I have published pieces of research applying my own perspective focused on addressing relevant environmental questions.

The work which I present in my blog is just a chapter in my career. At Feb 2017, it has reached an stage in which its framework has been defined and it has been applied in follow-ups delivering the subsequent conclusions.

The level of uncertainty which I have accomplished in my assessments has reached enough accuracy to replicate real time developments to the point of compete with models sustained by corporate and administrative budgets.

The economic support sustaining the three years of research presented in this blog has been private based on my own capacity to generate it. Once the main conclusions of the project have demonstrated their value, it is time for my career to find new ways of growth and/or external sources of financial support.

Therefore, at this time Feb 2017, the generation of assessments over present developments discontinues in the absence of external financial support.

You can look at the whole project (more than 190 posts between Oct 2013 to Feb 2017) published at and also you will find some of those publications in my profile at ResearchGate

I am living in Spain free to relocate geographically worldwide.

Since October 2013 I have been publishing pieces of research studying the behaviour of the Polar Jet Stream and the weather events associated as well as the implications derived into atmospheric dynamics and environmental synergies.

Many of the atmospheric configurations and weather and climate events we see these days are very similar with the progression followed since 2013. Please take a look at posts addressing those events from previous publications in this blog or look at the categories in the top menu. Also at research-gate. Feedback is always welcomed either in this blog or at my email (d.fdezsevilla(at) All my work is part of my Intellectual Portfolio, registered under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, license and it is being implemented at my profile in Researchgate. I will fight for its recognition in case of misuse.

Author’s Disclosure Declaration

For those unaware of the content offered in this blog I might have to issue a warning: Handle with care. Also with the product obtained from scientific analytical thinking there are traces of personal and professional “passion”, by-products obtained from “original and unpeered grey matter juice” originated from “independent critical thinking”. Also sometimes the packaging might be rough around the edges due to its “unfunded nature”.

4 years ago I joined a discussion which made me realise how much knowledge was settled on the past, built upon past conventions and unable to give answers about present developments in all parts of our environment. From the impact from GMOs, plastics, soils degradation, atmospheric composition, land use and cover, water cycles, … I had addressed scientifically unanswered questions before doing my PhD so I decided to give it a go and to offer my take over those gaps. It has been a pilgrimage to become aware of how much faith and fear is put on scientific publishing above raw understanding and discussion.

I do not know how far this blog will go, however, it represents the assessment of a global process and I expect that past posts will become a description of continuous present for the next years.

Altogether, the body of work which represents the line of research presented in this blog is composed by more than 190 pieces, covering data analyses and conceptual discussions. All those different discussions and assessments presented here build together a single concept. The format applied is the result of making a big effort trying to apply simplistic approaches with the aim to allow a multidisciplinary access. Since the topics treated in my publications have implications for many sectors in the academic and not academic world, with the aim of allowing my research for open review, there is also the objective of allowing access to a multisectorial and multidisciplinary audience sharing interest.

For a more profound discussion over my assessments and analyses as well as constructive feedback, please use my email d.fdezsevilla(at)

My agenda is simple, I am in transition looking for either funding to grow the research published in this blog or for a job position in any field in which my assets are valued. Behind my research there is nothing more, nothing else than to showcase my capabilities doing what I like, research. I am a methodologist. I don´t look at the color of the result obtained, only at the suitability of the method and the coherence of the result. As I have said before, if I am wrong on my assessments and conclusions, it will be better for all, and my work would showcase my capabilities anyway. A CV shines the goals obtained by anyone, but by publishing here my research, I expose myself and my work to public judgement. There is a difference between being naive and raw. If you see the difference you will understand better my work and my personal position.

The aim of publishing my work openly is to allow for it to be exposed for an open review. So any constructive feedback is welcome. After a period of time of at least a month from the publishing date on this blog and at LinkedIn, if no comments are found refuting the value of the piece published I then publish it at ResearchGate generating a DOI for posterior references.

In order to protect my intellectual rights, more assessment in depth and the statistical and numerical analyses that I have performed to support my arguments can be discussed at my email: d.fdezsevilla(at)

If you find that my work is worthy to be acknowledged, share your thoughts openly and publicly because by sharing public acknowledging over the value of my work is what will help me in order to find the attention from those able to allow me access to a job position or resources to increase the functionality of my research.


(This post is part of a more complex piece of independent research. I don´t have funding, political agenda or publishing revenues from visits. Any scientist working in disciplines related with the topics that I treat in my blog knows how to judge the contribution that my work could potentially add to the state of knowledge. Since I am in transition looking for a position in research, if you are one of those scientists, by just acknowledging any value you might see from my contribution, would not only make justice to my effort as independent researcher, but ultimately, it will help me to enhance my chances to find a position with resources to further develop my work.

I believe that the hypothesis that I have presented in previous posts in this blog (here, hereand here) could help to understand present and possible future scenarios in atmospheric circulation. However, this is an assessment based on observation which needs to be validated throughout open discussion and data gathering. So please feel free to incorporate your thoughts and comments in a constructive manner.

If you feel like sharing this post I would appreciate to have a reference about the place or platform, by private or public message, in order for me to have the opportunity to join the debate and be aware of the repercussion which might generate d.fdezsevilla(at)

More assessments presenting chronologically the line of research published in this blog can be accessed in the category Framework and Timeline.

For anybody interested in the posts related with this discussion here I leave you those more relevant in chronological order (there are comments bellow some of them. Please check them out, updated 09th Dec 2016):


About Diego Fdez-Sevilla, PhD.

Citing This Site "Title", published online "Month"+"Year", retrieved on "Month""Day", "Year" from By Diego Fdez-Sevilla, PhD. More guidance on citing this web as a source can be found at NASA webpage:! Bachelor in General Biology, Masters degree "Licenciado" in Environmental Sciences (2001, Spain). PhD in Aerobiology (2007, UK). Lived, acquired training and worked in Spain, UK, Germany and Poland. I have shared the outcome from my previous work as scientific speaker in events held in those countries as well as in Switzerland and Finland. After couple of years performing research and working in institutions linked with environmental research and management, I find myself in a period of transition searching for a new position or funding to support my research. In the present competitive scenario, instead of just moving my cv and wait for my next opportunity to arrive, I have decided to invest also my energy and time in opening my own line of research showing what I am capable of. The value of the data and the original nature of the research presented in this blog has proved to be worthy of consideration by the scientific community as well as for publication in scientific journals. However, without a position as member of an institution, it becomes very challenging to be published. I hope that this handicap do not overshadow the value of my work and the intellectual rights represented by the license of attribution attached are respected and considered by the scientist involved in this line of research. Any comment and feedback aimed to be constructive is welcome. In this blog I publish pieces of research focused on addressing relevant environmental questions. Furthermore, I try to break the barrier that academic publications very often offer isolating scientific findings from the general public. In that way I address those topics which I am familiar with, thanks to my training in environmental research, making them available throughout my posts. (see "Framework and Timeline" for a complete index). At this moment, 2017, I am living in Spain with no affiliation attachments. Free to relocate geographically worldwide. If you feel that I could be a contribution to your institution, team and projects don´t hesitate in contact me at d.fdezsevilla (at) or consult my profile at LinkedIn, ResearchGate and Also, I'd appreciate information about any opportunity that you might know and believe it could match with my aptitudes. The conclusions and ideas expressed in each post as part of my own creativity are part of my Intellectual Portfolio and are protected by Intellectual Property Laws. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial conditions. In citing my work from this website, be sure to include the date of access. (c)Diego Fdez-Sevilla, PhD, 2016. Filling in or Finding Out the gaps around. Publication accessed 20YY-MM-DD at
This entry was posted in Aerobiology, Biological productivity, Environmental Resilience, Extreme climatic events, Filling in, Finding out, Influence of Continentality, Polar vortex and Jet Stream, Water vapour and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Blooming Activity of Biotic Processes All The Way Round the Globe (By Diego Fdez-Sevilla PhD)

  1. Gabriel Mvd says:

    Impresionante trabajo amigo


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