Oceanography News

Courtesy of Science Daily

Welcome to Sea and Sky's Oceanography News. Here you can find links to the latest ocean news headlines in the topic of oceanography. Click on any yellow title below to view the full news article. The news article will open in a new browser window. Simply close the browser window when you are finished reading the article to return to the news article listing. You can use the "Click for More" link to go to a page with more news headlines.

 

Microscopic organism plays a big role in ocean carbon cycling
Scientists have taken a leap forward in understanding the microscopic underpinnings of the ocean carbon cycle by pinpointing a bacterium that appears to play a dominant role in carbon consumption.
Publ.Date : Thu, 24 Apr 2014 15:18:35 EDT

Some corals adjusting to rising ocean temperatures
Scientists have revealed how some corals can quickly switch on or off certain genes in order to survive in warmer-than-average tidal waters. To most people, 86-degree Fahrenheit water is pleasant for bathing and swimming. To most sea creatures, however, it's deadly. As climate change heats up ocean temperatures, the future of species such as coral, which provides sustenance and livelihoods to a billion people, is threatened.
Publ.Date : Thu, 24 Apr 2014 14:37:37 EDT

Ocean microbes display remarkable genetic diversity: One species, a few drops of seawater, hundreds of coexisting subpopulations
The smallest, most abundant marine microbe, Prochlorococcus, is a photosynthetic bacteria species essential to the marine ecosystem. An estimated billion billion billion of the single-cell creatures live in the oceans, forming the base of the marine food chain and occupying a range of ecological niches based on temperature, light and chemical preferences, and interactions with other species. But the full extent and characteristics of diversity within this single species remains a puzzle.
Publ.Date : Thu, 24 Apr 2014 14:36:55 EDT

Hydrothermal vents: How productive are the ore factories in the deep sea?
Hydrothermal vents in the deep sea, the so-called 'black smokers,' are fascinating geological formations. They are home to unique ecosystems, but are also potential suppliers of raw materials for the future. They are driven by volcanic 'power plants' in the seafloor. But how exactly do they extract their energy from the volcanic rock?
Publ.Date : Thu, 24 Apr 2014 10:26:05 EDT

Scientists identify source of mysterious sound in the Southern Ocean
Scientists have conclusive evidence that the source of a unique rhythmic sound, recorded for decades in the Southern Ocean and called the 'bio-duck,' is the Antarctic minke whale (Balaenoptera bonaerensis). First described and named by submarine personnel in the 1960s who thought it sounded like a duck, the bio-duck sound has been recorded at various locations in the Southern Ocean, but its source has remained a mystery, until now.
Publ.Date : Wed, 23 Apr 2014 13:26:14 EDT

Predicting drift of floating pumice 'islands' can benefit shipping
A new technique will aid in predicting the dispersal and drift patterns of large floating ‘islands’ of pumice created by volcanic eruptions at sea. Known as pumice rafts, these large mobile accumulations of pumice fragments can spread to affect a considerable area of the ocean, damaging vessels and disrupting shipping routes for months or even years. The ability to predict where these rafts will end up could give enough advance warning for protective measures to be put in place on shipping routes or in harbours where the presence of pumice is hazardous.
Publ.Date : Wed, 23 Apr 2014 13:25:03 EDT

Taxonomic study of green algae (chlorophyta) in Langkawi, Malaysia
Tourism is bringing rapid development to the islands of Langkawi, which puts pressure on the marine ecosystem. This research records the diversity and will be a useful baseline record for biomonitoring studies in Malaysia.
Publ.Date : Tue, 22 Apr 2014 12:08:05 EDT

European Eel Expedition 2014: First phase successfully completed
Denmark's largest marine research vessel has spent three weeks exploring and gathering samples in the spawning grounds of the European eel in the Sargasso Sea, between Bermuda and the West Indies. The first phase of the Danish Eel Expedition 2014 has been successfully completed. The expedition is in the Sargasso Sea to investigate whether climate-related changes to the eel spawning grounds or the ocean currents that carry the eel larvae to Europe have caused the dramatic decline in eel numbers.
Publ.Date : Mon, 21 Apr 2014 21:14:09 EDT

Today's Antarctic region once as hot as California, Florida
Parts of ancient Antarctica were as warm as today's California coast, and polar regions of the southern Pacific Ocean registered 21st-century Florida heat, according to scientists using a new way to measure past temperatures.
Publ.Date : Mon, 21 Apr 2014 16:43:59 EDT

There's something ancient in the icebox: Three-million-year-old landscape beneath Greenland Ice Sheet
Scientists were greatly surprised to discover an ancient tundra landscape preserved under the Greenland Ice Sheet, below two miles of ice. This finding provides strong evidence that the ice sheet has persisted much longer than previously known, enduring through many past periods of global warming.
Publ.Date : Thu, 17 Apr 2014 14:18:18 EDT

Crucial new information about how the ice ages came about
Scientists have discovered new relationships between deep-sea temperature and ice-volume changes to provide crucial new information about how the ice ages came about. The researchers found, for the first time, that the long-term trends in cooling and continental ice-volume cycles over the past 5.3 million years were not the same. In fact, for temperature the major step toward the ice ages that have characterized the past two to three million years was a cooling event at 2.7 million years ago, but for ice-volume the crucial step was the development of the first intense ice age at around 2.15 million years ago. Before these results, these were thought to have occurred together at about 2.5 million years ago.
Publ.Date : Wed, 16 Apr 2014 13:33:32 EDT

Floating nuclear plants could ride out tsunamis: New design for enhanced safety, easier siting and centralized construction
When an earthquake and tsunami struck the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant complex in 2011, neither the quake nor the inundation caused the ensuing contamination. Rather, it was the aftereffects -- specifically, the lack of cooling for the reactor cores, due to a shutdown of all power at the station -- that caused most of the harm. A new design for nuclear plants built on floating platforms, modeled after those used for offshore oil drilling, could help avoid such consequences in the future.
Publ.Date : Wed, 16 Apr 2014 11:29:56 EDT

New study outlines 'water world' theory of life's origins
Life took root more than four billion years ago on our nascent Earth, a wetter and harsher place than now, bathed in sizzling ultraviolet rays. What started out as simple cells ultimately transformed into slime molds, frogs, elephants, humans and the rest of our planet's living kingdoms. How did it all begin?
Publ.Date : Tue, 15 Apr 2014 19:57:12 EDT

Long-term predictions for Miami sea level rise could be available relatively soon
Miami could know as early as 2020 how high sea levels will rise into the next century, according to a team of researchers. Scientists conclude that sea level rise is one of the most certain consequences of climate change. But the speed and long-term height of that rise are unknown. Some researchers believe that sea level rise is accelerating, some suggest the rate is holding steady, while others say it's decelerating.
Publ.Date : Tue, 15 Apr 2014 15:38:13 EDT

Four new species of 'killer sponges' from the deep sea
Killer sponges sound like creatures from a B-grade horror movie. In fact, they thrive in the lightless depths of the deep sea. Scientists first discovered that some sponges are carnivorous about 20 years ago. Since then only seven carnivorous species have been found in all of the northeastern Pacific. A new article describes four new species of carnivorous sponges living on the deep seafloor, from the Pacific Northwest to Baja California.
Publ.Date : Mon, 14 Apr 2014 13:40:49 EDT

Puget Sound's rich waters supplied by deep, turbulent canyon
Oceanographers have made the first detailed measurements of fast-flowing water and intense mixing in a submarine canyon just off the Washington coast.
Publ.Date : Mon, 14 Apr 2014 11:24:35 EDT

Ocean acidification robs reef fish of their fear of predators
Research on the behavior of coral reef fish at naturally-occurring carbon dioxide seeps in Milne Bay in eastern Papua New Guinea has shown that continuous exposure to increased levels of carbon dioxide dramatically alters the way fish respond to predators. 
Publ.Date : Sun, 13 Apr 2014 13:59:07 EDT

Climate paradox deciphered from the Miocene era
A supposed climate paradox from the Miocene era has been deciphered by means of complex model simulations. When the Antarctic ice sheet grew to its present-day size around 14 million years ago, it did not get colder everywhere on the Earth, but there were regions that became warmer. This appears to be a physical contradiction, and this research aims to address that.
Publ.Date : Fri, 11 Apr 2014 10:31:28 EDT

Controversy over nitrogen's ocean 'exit strategies' resolved
A decades-long debate over the dominant way that nitrogen is removed from the ocean may now be settled. Researchers found that both of the nitrogen 'exit strategies,' denitrification and anammox, are at work in the oceans. The debate centers on how nitrogen -- one of the most important food sources for ocean life and a controller of atmospheric carbon dioxide -- becomes converted to a form that can exit the ocean and return to the atmosphere where it is reused in the global nitrogen cycle.
Publ.Date : Fri, 11 Apr 2014 09:23:10 EDT

Devil in disguise: Small coral-eating worm may mean big trouble for reefs
A coral-eating flatworm has been identified as a potential threat for coral reefs. It is barely possible to see the parasitic worm Amakusaplana acroporae when it sits on its favorite hosts, the staghorn coral Acropora, thanks to its excellent camouflage. However, the researchers found that the small flatworm could cause significant damage to coral reefs.
Publ.Date : Fri, 11 Apr 2014 09:17:21 EDT