NASA is hosting a media teleconference about a new technique that enables scientists to determine what limits the growth of ocean plants and affects world climate. The telecom starts at 1 p.m. EDT Thursday, Aug. 31.

Briefing Participants:

– Paula Bontempi, ocean biology and biogeochemistry program scientist, NASA Headquarters, Washington

– Michael J. Behrenfeld, ocean plant ecologist, Oregon State University, Corvallis, Ore.

– Scott Doney, senior scientist at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Woods Hole, Mass.

The study focused on the tropical Pacific Ocean, an area of the ocean that plays a particularly important role in regulating atmospheric carbon dioxide and the world’s climate. This study solved the mystery why healthy looking ocean plants, or phytoplankton, are actually not so healthy. An article on this technique appears in the Aug. 31 issue of Nature.

Reporters should call: 800-857-9091 and use the passcode “OCEAN” to participate in the teleconference. International media callers should call: 210-795-2680. Audio of the teleconference will be streamed live at:

Related images will be available during the teleconference at: