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 isn’t slowing down – it’s accelerating, at least in the past 15 years. More overall global warming can be observed in the past 15 years than the prior 15 years, especially if you analyze ocean waters; this is the ‘missing heat’ some ‘climate skeptics’ (that’s what they like to call…

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 appears in the eastern tropical Pacific in the winter. These and others in ocean salinity levels were revealed by the first full year of surface salinity data captured by NASA’s Aquarius instrument. “With a bit more than a year of data, we are seeing some surprising patterns, especially in the…

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 to hang out in cliques and gossip about each other). They were surprised to see not only that they can easily mimic these specific sounds, but that they name each other after their individual “eeee”. “It’s a wonderful study, really solid,” says Peter Tyack, a marine mammal biologist at the…

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, that contains a warm phase (the El Niño) and a cold phase (La Niña). And just like the pulsations of a heart, it’s beats are not monotonous, it is a bit different with every pulsation: some of them are more spread apart than others, some are stronger, some weaker. A…

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 only one who imagined it, exactly in the place I just mentioned…what a coincidence. Just that the person who imagined it went a step further – not only he/she drew it on the map, but he also put it on a map that got published. Why ? We might never…

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; even still, the species-by-species count is extremely important, enabling researchers to better understand biodiversity and the complex relationships between species in the same ecosystem and even between different ecosystems – something crucial for biodiversity conservation. “It’s the best job ever of tallying everything we know – and what we don’t…


Corals under attack summon friendly fish


The natural world sometimes has a magnificent way of dealing with its own problems – and this is exactly the case here. Coral threatened by toxic seaweeds emit a chemical signal which draws fish to eat away the danger. When Acropora nasuta corals come into contact with the toxic seaweed Chlorodesmis fastigiata, they scream for help; but they don’t use sounds; instead, they emit a chemical signal that attracts the “bodyguards”: inch long gobies, fish that live in the crevices and “outskirts” of the corals. According to Mark Hay, of the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta. Hay and his colleague Danielle Dixson, the gobies were summoned minutes after the…

Climate, Environment, Oceanography, Pollution, Science

Stop Pollution or Face Severe Storms in South Asia

south asia storms

Hyderabad (South India): Man is the maker of his own destiny, say elders. The latest scientific studies on oceans endorse this adage. Be it  severe cyclonic storms, significant rainfall reductions, crop damages, mass mortalities and melting of Himalayan glaciers – all these could be prevented, if not minimized to a large extent, if we adopt changes in our urban life styles, researchers claim. Unchecked use of diesel and burning of biomass has led to spewing out billions of dust particles, forming what is known as “atmospheric brown clouds (ABCs), in the air, affecting the atmospheric and oceanic circulation over the Arabian Sea. In the multi-institutional study, published recently in the…

Oceanography, Physics

Mesmerizing light sculpture will blow your mind [VIDEO]

Dev Harlan 'Parmenides I'

It’s amazing the kind of emotions and entertainment a good lights show can provide. Manipulation of optical phenomena has  been employed by artists since the invention of the first mirror, however a really dazzling display can be quite rare. Just recently, I managed to come across one of the most amazing display of art I’ve been granted to see - “Parmenides I” by artist Dev Harlan.  This large sculpture of luminosity and hues plays with geometrical shapes to create a piece that resembles a larger-than-life diamond of movements and shine. The 8-foot diameter installation might seem fairly simple at first, but stick with it and you’ll soon be initiated in a mesmerizing show…