News, Oceanography, World Problems

Warming oceans could destroy corals in the Pacific and Atlantic, researchers warn

Two images of the Great Barrier Reef showing that the warmest water (top picture) coincides with the coral reefs (lower picture), setting up conditions that can cause coral bleaching. Image via Wikipedia.

Coral populations are crucial to the health of oceanic environments, but corals are also extremely vulnerable to changing conditions. Researchers warn that warming waters and ocean acidification lead to coral bleaching which can cause massive damage across both the Atlantic and the Pacific.

Biology, News, Oceanography

Everything you should know about the Portuguese Man of War

Man-o-War-Lead

The media seems to panic about recent Portuguese Man of War sightings along the Jersey shore in the US, without providing much information about the situation or this creature. Here, we’ll take a look at the Man of War and see what you should do to stay safe on the beach.

Biology, News, Oceanography

Ocean trek reveals the massive diversity of the oceanic plankton [with photos]

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In what’s perhaps one of the most amazing marine science study, a team of researchers scoured the world’s oceans fishing for microbes, viruses and other tiny life during a three and a half year trip aboard a schooner. The trip was long and arduous for sure, but ultimately it paid out – big time! The team collected 35,000 samples at 210 stations over the voyage, and found 35,000 species of bacteria, 5,000 new viruses and 150,000 single-celled plants and creatures. Most of these are new to science. Only a small fraction of the newly discovered and known species alike had been genetically sequenced, but results so far show just how interconnected and symbiotic marine life is. It also means it’s also vulnerable in the face of environmental changes, particularly climate change.

Environmental Issues, News, Oceanography

NOAA to double size of California’s bay area marine sanctuary

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The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Obama administration and California lawmakers have announced a doubling of the size of the Cordell Bank and Gulf of the Farallones national marine sanctuaries off Northern California.   “NOAA is expanding the boundaries of Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuary (CBNMS) and Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary (GFNMS) to an area north and west

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

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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

MAGGIE SMITH, NG STAFF. SOURCES: U.S. FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE; USGS; MARINE CONSERVATION INSTITUTE

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,

News, Oceanography

Huge waves observed for the first time in the Arctic Ocean

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Ice melting means waves have more room to develop and grow, and scientists aren’t really sure what the consequences will be.

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

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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