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.

 

Reef-builders with a sense of harmony
Cold-water corals of the species Lophelia pertusa are able to fuse skeletons of genetically distinct individuals. Scientists have made the first-ever discovery of branches of different colors that had flawlessly merged. The ability to fuse supports the reef stability and thus contributes to the success of corals as reef-builders of the deep sea.
Publ.Date : Thu, 30 Oct 2014 10:28:52 EDT

Ammonium source in open ocean tracked by researchers
To understand the extent to which human activities are polluting Earth's atmosphere and oceans, it's important to distinguish human-made pollutants from compounds that occur naturally. A new study finds that deposition of ammonium, a source of nitrogen pollution, over the open ocean comes mostly from natural marine sources, and not from human activity.
Publ.Date : Wed, 29 Oct 2014 14:56:42 EDT

Deepwater Horizon spill: Much of the oil at bottom of the sea
Due to its unprecedented scope, the damage assessment caused by the 2010 Deepwater Horizon spill in the Gulf of Mexico has been a challenge. One unsolved puzzle is the location of 2 million barrels of submerged oil thought to be trapped in the deep ocean.
Publ.Date : Mon, 27 Oct 2014 18:29:48 EDT

Penguin chick weights connected to local weather conditions
Oceanographers have reported a connection between local weather conditions and the weight of Adélie penguin chicks. Adélie penguins are an indigenous species of the West Antarctic Peninsula (WAP), one of the most rapidly warming areas on Earth. Since 1950, the average annual temperature in the Antarctic Peninsula has increased 2 degrees Celsius on average, and 6 degrees Celsius during winter.
Publ.Date : Mon, 27 Oct 2014 14:46:28 EDT

Climate change caused by ocean, not just atmosphere
Most of the concerns about climate change have focused on the amount of greenhouse gases that have been released into the atmosphere. A new study reveals another equally important factor in regulating Earth's climate. Researchers say the major cooling of Earth and continental ice build-up in the Northern Hemisphere 2.7 million years ago coincided with a shift in the circulation of the ocean.
Publ.Date : Sat, 25 Oct 2014 15:27:17 EDT

Law of the Sea authorizes animal tagging research without nations' consent, experts say
Scientists who study migratory marine animals can rarely predict where the animals' paths will lead. Researchers now argue that coastal nations don't have precedent under the law of the sea to require scientists to seek advance permission to remotely track tagged animals who may enter their waters. Requiring advance consent undermines the goals of the law, which is meant to encourage scientific research for conservation of marine animals.
Publ.Date : Sat, 25 Oct 2014 15:27:11 EDT

Bodies at sea: Ocean oxygen levels may impact scavenger response
An ocean's oxygen levels may play a role in the impact of marine predators on bodies when they are immersed in the sea, according to researchers, who deployed a trio of pig carcasses into Saanich Inlet off Vancouver Island and studied them using an underwater camera via the internet.
Publ.Date : Thu, 23 Oct 2014 15:50:26 EDT

Desert streams: Deceptively simple
Volatile rainstorms drive complex landscape changes in deserts, particularly in dryland channels, which are shaped by flash flooding. Paradoxically, such desert streams have surprisingly simple topography with smooth, straight and symmetrical form that until now has defied explanation.
Publ.Date : Thu, 23 Oct 2014 14:23:14 EDT

Top marine scientists call for action on 'invisible' fisheries
To protect our oceans from irreversible harm, governments, conservationists, and researchers around the world must address the enormous threat posed by unregulated and destructive fisheries, say top marine scientists.
Publ.Date : Thu, 23 Oct 2014 14:21:18 EDT

Study of mitochondrial DNA reveals how loggerhead turtle reached Mediterranean
To date, it was thought that the loggerhead turtle arrived to the Mediterranean from North America and the Caribbean after the last glacial period. However, latest scientific studies show that this marine species colonized the Mediterranean between 20,000 and 200,000 years ago, so the colonization event took place before the last glacial period.
Publ.Date : Thu, 23 Oct 2014 09:10:09 EDT

Ocean's living carbon pumps: When viruses attack giant algal blooms, global carbon cycles are affected
By some estimates, almost half of the world's organic carbon is fixed by marine organisms called phytoplankton -- single-celled photosynthetic organisms that account for less than one percent of the total photosynthetic biomass on Earth. When giant algal blooms get viral infections, global carbon cycles are affected, scientists have now discovered.
Publ.Date : Tue, 21 Oct 2014 10:15:10 EDT

Massive debris pile reveals risk of huge tsunamis in Hawaii
A mass of marine debris discovered in a giant sinkhole in the Hawaiian islands provides evidence that at least one mammoth tsunami, larger than any in Hawaii's recorded history, has struck the islands, and that a similar disaster could happen again, new research finds. Scientists are reporting that a wall of water up to nine meters (30 feet) high surged onto Hawaiian shores about 500 years ago. A 9.0-magnitude earthquake off the coast of the Aleutian Islands triggered the mighty wave, which left behind up to nine shipping containers worth of ocean sediment in a sinkhole on the island of Kauai.
Publ.Date : Mon, 20 Oct 2014 12:15:29 EDT

Breathing sand: New measurement technique detects oxygen supply to bottom of North Sea
New analytical methods show for the first time, how the permeable, sandy sediment at the bottom of the North Sea is supplied with oxygen and which factors determine the exchange. Based on the detailed investigation and new measurement technology, the turnover of organic matter and nutrients at the sea floor as well as future changes within the dynamic ecosystem can be better assessed.
Publ.Date : Mon, 20 Oct 2014 10:53:29 EDT

NASA begins sixth year of airborne Antarctic ice change study
NASA is carrying out its sixth consecutive year of Operation IceBridge research flights over Antarctica to study changes in the continent's ice sheet, glaciers and sea ice. This year's airborne campaign, which began its first flight Thursday morning, will revisit a section of the Antarctic ice sheet that recently was found to be in irreversible decline.
Publ.Date : Thu, 16 Oct 2014 19:28:26 EDT

Impact of offshore wind farms on marine species
Offshore wind power is a valuable source of renewable energy that can help reduce carbon emissions. Technological advances are allowing higher capacity turbines to be installed in deeper water, but there is still much unknown about the effects on the environment. Scientists have now reviewed the potential impacts of offshore wind developments on marine species and make recommendations for future monitoring and assessment as interest in offshore wind energy grows around the world.
Publ.Date : Thu, 16 Oct 2014 12:36:08 EDT

Microfossils reveal warm oceans had less oxygen
Researchers are pairing chemical analyses with micropaleontology -- the study of tiny fossilized organisms -- to better understand how global marine life was affected by a rapid warming event more than 55 million years ago. Their findings are the subject of an article in the journal Paleoceanography.
Publ.Date : Wed, 15 Oct 2014 16:56:07 EDT

Could sleeper sharks be preying on protected Steller sea lions?
Pacific sleeper sharks, a large, slow-moving species thought of as primarily a scavenger or predator of fish, may be preying on something a bit larger -- protected Steller sea lions in the Gulf of Alaska. A new study has found the first indirect evidence that this cold-blooded shark that can grow to a length of more than 20 feet -- longer than a great white shark -- and may be an opportunistic predator of juvenile Steller sea lions.
Publ.Date : Wed, 15 Oct 2014 14:33:01 EDT

Dolphin 'breathalyzer' could help diagnose animal and ocean health
Alcohol consumption isn't the only thing a breath analysis can reveal. Scientists have been studying its possible use for diagnosing a wide range of conditions in humans -- and now in the beloved bottlenose dolphin. One team describes a new instrument that can analyze the metabolites in breath from dolphins, which have been dying in alarming numbers along the Atlantic coast this year.
Publ.Date : Wed, 15 Oct 2014 11:23:25 EDT

Researchers turn to 3-D technology to examine the formation of cliffband landscapes
A blend of photos and technology takes a new twist on studying cliff landscapes and how they were formed.
Publ.Date : Wed, 15 Oct 2014 11:23:17 EDT

Carbonate rocks are unrecognized methane sink
Since the first undersea methane seep was discovered 30 years ago, scientists have meticulously analyzed and measured how microbes in the seafloor sediments consume the greenhouse gas methane. They have now found a type of rock known as authigenic carbonate also contains vast amounts of active microbes that take up methane. This demonstrates that the global methane process is still poorly understood.
Publ.Date : Wed, 15 Oct 2014 10:18:31 EDT