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.


Symbiotic survival in marine bivalve mollusks
One of the most diverse families in the ocean today -- marine bivalve mollusks known as Lucinidae (or lucinids) -- originated more than 400 million years ago in the Silurian period, with adaptations and life habits like those of its modern members. A new study tracks the remarkable evolutionary expansion of the lucinids through significant symbiotic relationships.
Publ.Date : Fri, 01 Aug 2014 09:12:32 EDT

Gulf oil spill researcher: Bacteria ate some toxins, but worst remain, research finds
Bacteria in the Gulf of Mexico consumed many of the toxic components of the oil released during the Deepwater Horizon spill in the months after the spill, but not the most toxic contaminants, new research has found.
Publ.Date : Thu, 31 Jul 2014 09:53:18 EDT

Boat noise impacts development, survival of sea hares
The development and survival of an important group of marine invertebrates known as sea hares is under threat from increasing boat noise in the world's oceans, according to a new study. Sea hares usually hatch from their eggs to swim away and later feed on toxic alga but this study found that when exposed to playback of boat noise, more eggs failed to develop and those that hatched were more likely to die.
Publ.Date : Thu, 31 Jul 2014 09:50:13 EDT

Antarctic ice sheet is result of carbon dioxide decrease, not continental breakup
Climate modelers have shown that the most likely explanation for the initiation of Antarctic glaciation during a major climate shift 34 million years ago was decreased carbon dioxide levels. The finding counters a 40-year-old theory suggesting massive rearrangements of Earth's continents caused global cooling and the abrupt formation of the Antarctic ice sheet. It will provide scientists insight into the climate change implications of current rising global carbon dioxide levels.
Publ.Date : Wed, 30 Jul 2014 14:10:20 EDT

Scientists caution against exploitation of deep ocean
The world's oceans are vast and deep, yet rapidly advancing technology and the quest for extracting resources from previously unreachable depths is beginning to put the deep seas on the cusp of peril, an international team of scientists has warned.
Publ.Date : Wed, 30 Jul 2014 09:43:08 EDT

Huge waves measured for first time in Arctic Ocean
The first measurements of waves in the middle of the Arctic Ocean recorded house-sized waves during a September 2012 storm. More sensors are going out this summer to study waves in newly ice-free Arctic waters.
Publ.Date : Tue, 29 Jul 2014 15:29:17 EDT

Famine in the Horn of Africa (1984) was caused by El Nino and currents in the Indian Ocean
Oceanic patterns are important drivers of climatic variability. There is a clear link between periods of drought in the North Ethiopian Highlands and oceanic phases of El Nino, the Indian Ocean Dipole and the Southwestern Monsoons.
Publ.Date : Tue, 29 Jul 2014 11:53:36 EDT

From finding Nemo to minerals: What riches lie in the deep sea?
As fishing and the harvesting of metals, gas and oil have expanded deeper and deeper into the ocean, scientists are drawing attention to the services provided by the deep sea, the world’s largest environment.
Publ.Date : Tue, 29 Jul 2014 10:11:26 EDT

Global warming amplifier: Rising water vapor in upper troposphere to intensify climate change
A new study from scientists at the University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science and colleagues confirms rising levels of water vapor in the upper troposphere -- a key amplifier of global warming -- will intensify climate change impacts over the next decades. The new study is the first to show that increased water vapor concentrations in the atmosphere are a direct result of human activities.
Publ.Date : Mon, 28 Jul 2014 15:39:33 EDT

'Nuisance flooding' an increasing problem as coastal sea levels rise
Eight of the top 10 US cities that have seen an increase in so-called 'nuisance flooding' -- which causes such public inconveniences as frequent road closures, overwhelmed storm drains and compromised infrastructure -- are on the East Coast, according to a new technical report. This nuisance flooding, caused by rising sea levels, has increased on all three US coasts, between 300 and 925 percent since the 1960s.
Publ.Date : Mon, 28 Jul 2014 12:38:54 EDT

Intensity of hurricanes: New study helps improve predictions of storm intensity
While predicting the path of hurricanes has gotten better, little has been done to improve predicting a storm's intensity. That is, until now. "The air-water interface -- whether it had significant waves or significant spray -- is a big factor in storm intensity," said one expert involved in a new study. "Hurricanes gain heat energy through the interface and they lose mechanical energy at the interface."
Publ.Date : Fri, 25 Jul 2014 11:08:07 EDT

Saharan dust is key to formation of Bahamas' Great Bank, study finds
Saharan dust played a major role in the formation of the Bahamas islands, a new study suggests. Researchers showed that iron-rich Saharan dust provides the nutrients necessary for specialized bacteria to produce the island chain's carbonate-based foundation. Persistent winds across Africa's 3.5-million square mile Sahara Desert lifts mineral-rich sand into the atmosphere where it travels the nearly 5,000-mile northwest journey towards the U.S. and Caribbean.
Publ.Date : Thu, 24 Jul 2014 18:29:33 EDT

Synchronization of North Atlantic, North Pacific preceded abrupt warming, end of ice age
Scientists have long been concerned that global warming may push Earth's climate system across a 'tipping point,' where rapid melting of ice and further warming may become irreversible -- a hotly debated scenario with an unclear picture of what this point of no return may look like. A new study suggests that combined warming of the North Atlantic and Pacific Oceans thousands of years ago may have provided the tipping point for abrupt warming and rapid melting of the northern ice sheets.
Publ.Date : Thu, 24 Jul 2014 14:16:12 EDT

Western Indian Ocean communities play vital role in conservation
Researchers have carried out the first assessment of community-led marine conservation in the Western Indian Ocean.   The results point to a revolution in the management of marine protected areas, with almost half of the sites – more than 11,000 km² – in the region now under local community stewardship.  
Publ.Date : Thu, 24 Jul 2014 09:40:12 EDT

Calcification in changing oceans
What do mollusks, starfish, and corals have in common? Aside from their shared marine habitat, they are all calcifiers -- organisms that use calcium from their environment to create hard carbonate skeletons and shells for stability and protection.
Publ.Date : Wed, 23 Jul 2014 11:42:02 EDT

Research charts ecological impact of microbial respiration in oxygen-starved ocean
A sulfur-oxidizing bacterial group called SUP05 will play an increasingly important role in carbon and nutrient cycling in the world's oceans as oxygen minimum zones expand, according to research. To conduct this study, researchers plumbed the depth of a seasonally anoxic fjord, Canada's Saanich Inlet, to chart how microbial community metabolism changes as oxygen minimum zones form.
Publ.Date : Wed, 23 Jul 2014 11:12:24 EDT

Safeguarding Belize's barrier reef with conservation drones
Seeking to gain a high-tech edge over illegal fishers, the Government of Belize will use “eyes in the sky” to enforce fishing regulations in the biodiverse Glover’s Reef Marine Reserve and other reef systems in what is the first use of conservation drones to monitor marine protected areas.
Publ.Date : Tue, 22 Jul 2014 15:24:32 EDT

Vulnerability of sharks as collateral damage in commercial fishing shown by study
A new study that examined the survival rates of 12 different shark species when captured as unintentional bycatch in commercial longline fishing operations found large differences in survival rates across the 12 species, with bigeye thresher, dusky, and scalloped hammerhead being the most vulnerable.
Publ.Date : Tue, 22 Jul 2014 14:27:02 EDT

Global temperature reaches record high in June following record warmth in May
According to NOAA scientists, the globally averaged temperature over land and ocean surfaces for June 2014 was the highest for June since record keeping began in 1880. It also marked the 38th consecutive June and 352nd consecutive month with a global temperature above the 20th century average. The last below-average global temperature for June was in 1976 and the last below-average global temperature for any month was February 1985.
Publ.Date : Tue, 22 Jul 2014 09:56:52 EDT

Is Antarctic sea ice cover really setting record highs? Processing errors may be confusing the matter
Antarctic sea ice may not be expanding as fast as previously thought, new research suggests. A team of scientists say much of the increase measured for Southern Hemisphere sea ice could be due to a processing error in the satellite data. "This implies that the Antarctic sea ice trends reported in the 2007 and 2013 assessment reports from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change can't both be correct: our findings show that the data used in one of the reports contains a significant error. But we have not yet been able to identify which one contains the error," says the study's lead-author.
Publ.Date : Tue, 22 Jul 2014 09:13:16 EDT