Climate, News, Oceanography

Arctic ice melting much faster than thought

On July 10, 2011, Don Perovich, of Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory, maneuvered through melt ponds collecting optical data along the way to get a sense of the amount of sunlight reflected from sea ice and melt ponds in the Chukchi Sea.
Image credits: NASA.

Using both modern and historic measurements, researchers now have a more extensive view of how the Arctic sea ice has changed in the past few decades, finding that the ice is melting much faster than previously expected. The ice in the central Arctic Ocean thinned 65 percent between 1975 and 2012, from 11.7 feet (3.59 meters) to 4.1 feet (1.25 m).

Great Pics, News, Oceanography

This is what the underneath of an iceberg looks like


We often say that you only see 10% of the iceberg, the rest being underwater. US photographer Alex Cornell actually got the chance to see that – during a trip to Antarctica, he managed to take pictures of an extremely rare phenomenon: a flipped iceberg.

Animals, News, Oceanography

Obama proclaims world’s largest Marine Park


President Obama has signed a proclamation which will make the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument the largest marine reserve in the world. Up until now, the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument was a group of unorganized, mostly unincorporated United States Pacific Island territories managed by the Fish and Wildlife Service. They host many important species, including corals, fish, shellfish, marine mammals, seabirds,

Climate, Oceanography, World Problems

Study suggests global warming has in fact accelerated in the past 15 years

Ocean Heat Content from 0 to 300 meters (grey), 700 m (blue), and total depth (violet) from ORAS4, as represented by its 5 ensemble members. The time series show monthly anomalies smoothed with a 12-month running mean, with respect to the 1958–1965 base period. If you take the past 15 years, it looks a lot like an exponential function to me.

You’ve probably heard it a few times: the climate is indeed warming up, but it’s all good, because the rate at which it is warming up is slowing down. But a new study published in Geophysical Research Letters analyzing ocean warming (which represents 90% of global warming) claims otherwise. Accelerating global warming Contrary to the rather popular belief, global warming

Observations, Oceanography

NASA releases global salinity map


NASA has, for the first time, released a global map of ocean salinity. The first thing that popped up for me was the pulse of freshwater gushing from the Amazon, but other major features are worth noticing. An invisible seam divides the salty Arabian Sea from the fresher waters of the Bay of Bengal and a large patch of freshwater

Biology, Environment, Oceanography

Dolphins call each other, not by name, but by whistle

dolphin calling

Every bottlenose dolphin makes its own distinctive sound, a high-pitched “eeee” through which they announce their presence. However, dolphins are also great at mimicking sounds, being able to copy even intricate computer generated sounds; this made researchers curious to see if dolphins can in fact mimic each other’s sound, and how they use this ability (it’s known that dolphins like

Climate, Oceanography, Science, Studies

The El Niño turns out to be more chaotic than previously thought


Why would the El Niño be important for the rest of us that don’t live in the western part of South America? Well because it also influences the climate in North America, Asia, Australia, Africa, even Europe perhaps.. so that basically means the whole world. The El Niño-the southern oscillation or ENSO is a sort of a heartbeat of the Earth’s climate,

Discoveries, Feature Post, Oceanography, Science

The island that did not exist


Who doesn’t dream of a deserted tropical island..sandy beaches made of coral sand, with crystal clear water, blue like the sky – you know what I mean. And let’s say it would be somewhere off the coast of Australia, maybe near New Calledonia. That sounds perfect.. it’s a great place, a great place to imagine. Well, guess what: you’re not the

Animals, Oceanography

New study estimates 1 million marine species – one third still unknown

marine ecosystem

The world’s oceans are teeming with life, a new census estimating almost 1 million species out there; but marine life is declining, with the main causes being overfishing, ocean acidification and coastal damage. Avoiding a crisis The new numbers are just estimates, but they are much lower than previous studies, which put the number of species at around 10 million;