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.

 

Antarctic sea level rising faster than global rate
A new study of satellite data from the last 19 years reveals that fresh water from melting glaciers has caused the sea level around the coast of Antarctica to rise by 2cm more than the global average of 6cm. Researchers detected the rapid rise in sea-level by studying satellite scans of a region that spans more than a million square kilometers. The melting of the Antarctic ice sheet and the thinning of floating ice shelves has contributed an excess of around 350 gigatonnes of freshwater to the surrounding ocean.
Publ.Date : Sun, 31 Aug 2014 15:02:07 EDT

Not all phytoplankton in the ocean need to take their vitamins
Some species of marine phytoplankton, such as the prolific bloomer Emiliania huxleyi, which can grow so big it can be seen from space, can grow without consuming vitamin B1 (thiamine), researchers have discovered. Until now, many marine microbes with cells that have a nucleus -- eukaryotes -- were thought to depend on other organisms to produce thiamine. If this were the case, B1 would be a major factor in controlling the growth of algae such as E. huxleyi.
Publ.Date : Fri, 29 Aug 2014 10:34:22 EDT

Managing coasts under threat from climate change, sea-level rise
Coastal regions under threat from climate change and sea-level rise need to tackle the more immediate threats of human-led and other non-climatic changes, according to a team of international scientists. The team of 27 scientists from five continents reviewed 24 years of Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) assessments. They focused on climate change and sea-level rise impacts in the coastal zone, and examined ways of how to better manage and cope with climate change.
Publ.Date : Fri, 29 Aug 2014 08:39:00 EDT

Marine protected areas inadequate for protecting fish and ocean ecology, study finds
A new study reports that an expansion of marine protected areas is needed to protect fish species that perform key ecological functions. According to investigators, previous efforts at protecting fish have focused on saving the largest numbers of species, often at the expense of those species that provide key and difficult-to-replace ecological functions.
Publ.Date : Thu, 28 Aug 2014 13:58:47 EDT

NOAA's Marine Debris Program reports on national issue of derelict fishing traps
Thousands of fishing traps are lost or abandoned each year in US waters. A new NOAA report is the first of its kind to examine the derelict fish trap problem, nationally, and recommends actions to better manage and prevent it.
Publ.Date : Wed, 27 Aug 2014 11:19:50 EDT

Pacific plate shrinking as it cools
The Pacific tectonic plate is not as rigid as scientists believe, according to new calculations. Scientists have determined that cooling of the lithosphere -- the outermost layer of Earth -- makes some sections of the Pacific plate contract horizontally at faster rates than others and cause the plate to deform.
Publ.Date : Wed, 27 Aug 2014 11:19:48 EDT

Potential influences on recent UK winter floods investigated by new scientific review
A comprehensive review of all potential factors behind the 2013/2014 UK winter floods has been published by researchers. The paper does not definitively answer whether human activity played a role in the magnitude of the winter flood events. It does, however, examine how factors such as the state of the global oceans may have interacted with wind patterns and subsequent high-level atmospheric features.
Publ.Date : Tue, 26 Aug 2014 20:54:13 EDT

Natural methane seepage on U.S. Atlantic ocean margin widespread
Natural methane leakage from the seafloor is far more widespread on the U.S. Atlantic margin than previously thought, according to a study by researchers from Mississippi State University, the U.S. Geological Survey, and other institutions.
Publ.Date : Mon, 25 Aug 2014 14:14:57 EDT

Cold snap in the tropics: How tropical glaciers respond to cooling periods
Tropical glaciers have responded to episodes of cooling in Greenland and the Antarctic over the past 20,000 years, according to a study that covers 21 Andean glaciers. As elsewhere on the planet, tropical glaciers (located on either side of the equator between 23°N and 23°S) have been retreating since the Last Glacial Maximum around 20,000 years ago. This retreat has been interrupted by stillstands and re-advances, although a detailed chronology of these events in tropical regions remained unclear until now.
Publ.Date : Mon, 25 Aug 2014 08:48:32 EDT

NASA scientists watching, studying Arctic changes this summer
As we near the final month of summer in the Northern Hemisphere, NASA scientists are watching the annual seasonal melting of the Arctic sea ice cover. The floating, frozen cap that stretches across the Arctic Ocean shrinks throughout summer until beginning to regrow, typically around mid-September.
Publ.Date : Fri, 22 Aug 2014 08:42:46 EDT

From dandruff to deep sea vents, an ecologically hyper-diverse fungus
A ubiquitous skin fungus linked to dandruff, eczema and other itchy, flaky maladies in humans has now been tracked to even further global reaches -- including Hawaiian coral reefs and the extreme environments of arctic soils and deep sea vents. The study considers the diversity, ecology, and distribution of the fungi of the genus Malassezia in light of new insights gained from screening environmental sequencing datasets from around the world.
Publ.Date : Thu, 21 Aug 2014 14:14:51 EDT

Cause of global warming hiatus found deep in the Atlantic Ocean
Observations show that the heat absent from the Earth's surface for more than a decade is plunging deep in the north and south Atlantic Ocean, and is part of a naturally occurring cycle. Subsurface warming in the ocean explains why global average air temperatures have flatlined since 1999, despite greenhouse gases trapping more solar heat at Earth's surface.
Publ.Date : Thu, 21 Aug 2014 14:14:45 EDT

Viruses take down massive algal blooms, with big implications for climate
Humans are increasingly dependent on algae to suck up climate-warming carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and sink it to the bottom of the ocean. Now, by using a combination of satellite imagery and laboratory experiments, researchers have evidence showing that viruses infecting those algae are driving the life-and-death dynamics of the algae's blooms, even when all else stays essentially the same, and this has important implications for our climate.
Publ.Date : Thu, 21 Aug 2014 12:48:25 EDT

Arctic sea ice influenced force of Gulf Stream
The force of the Gulf Stream was significantly influenced by the sea ice situation in the Fram Strait in the past 30,000 years. On the basis of biomarkers in deposits on the seafloor, geologists managed for the first time to reconstruct when and how the marine region between Greenland and Svalbard was covered with ice in the past and in what way the Gulf Stream reacted when the sea ice cover suddenly broke up.
Publ.Date : Thu, 21 Aug 2014 11:58:41 EDT

Sunblock poses potential hazard to sea life
The sweet and salty aroma of sunscreen and seawater signals a relaxing trip to the shore. But scientists are now reporting that the idyllic beach vacation comes with an environmental hitch. When certain sunblock ingredients wash off skin and into the sea, they can become toxic to some of the ocean's tiniest inhabitants, which are the main course for many other marine animals.
Publ.Date : Wed, 20 Aug 2014 11:05:40 EDT

Record decline of ice sheets: Scientists map elevation changes of Greenlandic and Antarctic glaciers
Researchers have for the first time extensively mapped Greenland's and Antarctica's ice sheets with the help of the ESA satellite CryoSat-2 and have thus been able to prove that the ice crusts of both regions momentarily decline at an unprecedented rate. In total the ice sheets are losing around 500 cubic kilometers of ice per year.
Publ.Date : Wed, 20 Aug 2014 11:05:38 EDT

Seafood substitutions can expose consumers to unexpectedly high mercury
New measurements from fish purchased at retail seafood counters in 10 different states show the extent to which mislabeling can expose consumers to unexpectedly high levels of mercury, a harmful pollutant. Fishery stock 'substitutions' -- which falsely present a fish of the same species, but from a different geographic origin -- are the most dangerous mislabeling offense, according to new research.
Publ.Date : Tue, 19 Aug 2014 15:53:24 EDT

Neither too hot nor too cold: Evolution of marine crocodilians constrained by ocean temperatures
The ancestors of today's crocodiles colonized the seas during warm phases and became extinct during cold phases, according to a new Anglo-French study which establishes a link between marine crocodilian diversity and the evolution of sea temperature over a period of more than 140 million years.
Publ.Date : Tue, 19 Aug 2014 11:31:02 EDT

Study at Deepwater Horizon spill site finds key to tracking pollutants
A new study of the ocean circulation patterns at the site of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill reveals the significant role small-scale ocean currents play in the spread of pollutants. The findings provide new information to help predict the movements of oil and other pollutants in the ocean.
Publ.Date : Tue, 19 Aug 2014 09:41:01 EDT

Minor variations in ice sheet size can trigger abrupt climate change
Small fluctuations in the sizes of ice sheets during the last ice age were enough to trigger abrupt climate change, scientists have found. The team compared simulated model data with that retrieved from ice cores and marine sediments in a bid to find out why temperature jumps of up to ten degrees took place in far northern latitudes within just a few decades during the last ice age.
Publ.Date : Mon, 18 Aug 2014 22:48:25 EDT