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.


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

NOAA analysis reveals significant land cover changes in U.S. coastal regions
A new NOAA nationwide analysis shows that between 1996 and 2011, 64,975 square miles in coastal regions -- an area larger than the state of Wisconsin -- experienced changes in land cover, including a decline in wetlands and forest cover with development a major contributing factor. Overall, 8.2 percent of the nation's ocean and Great Lakes coastal regions experienced these changes.
Publ.Date : Mon, 18 Aug 2014 20:41:20 EDT

Ocean warming could drive heavy rain bands toward poles
In a world warmed by rising atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations, precipitation patterns are going to change because of two factors: one, warmer air can hold more water; and two, changing atmospheric circulation patterns will shift where rain falls. According to previous model research, mid- to high-latitude precipitation is expected to increase by as much as 50 percent. Yet the reasons why models predict this are hard to tease out.
Publ.Date : Mon, 18 Aug 2014 11:32:19 EDT

Sun's activity influences natural climate change, ice age study shows
A new study has, for the first time, reconstructed solar activity during the last ice age. The study shows that the regional climate is influenced by the sun and offers opportunities to better predict future climate conditions in certain regions.
Publ.Date : Mon, 18 Aug 2014 09:52:04 EDT

Antarctica's ice discharge could raise sea level faster than previously thought
Ice discharge from Antarctica could contribute up to 37 centimeters to the global sea level rise within this century, a new study shows. For the first time, an international team of scientists provide a comprehensive estimate on the full range of Antarctica's potential contribution to global sea level rise based on physical computer simulations. The study combines a whole set of state-of-the-art climate models and observational data with various ice models.
Publ.Date : Wed, 13 Aug 2014 18:22:59 EDT

Snow has thinned on Arctic sea ice, study finds
Modern measurements and historic observations provide a decades-long record showing that the snowpack on Arctic sea ice is thinning. What thinner snow will mean for the ice is not certain. Deeper snow actually shields ice from cold air, so a thinner blanket may allow the ice to grow thicker during the winter. On the other hand, thinner snow cover may allow the ice to melt earlier in the springtime.
Publ.Date : Wed, 13 Aug 2014 10:37:54 EDT

Survey of marine scientists: Ocean productivity, ocean acidification, ocean-life stressors are serious issues
Declines in ocean productivity, increases in ocean acidification, and the cumulative effects of multiple stressors on ocean health are among the most pressing issues facing coastal and maritime countries, according to a survey of scientists. All three issues were ranked in the top five ocean research priorities by oceanographers and marine ecologists from around the globe.
Publ.Date : Wed, 13 Aug 2014 10:34:59 EDT

Climate change, predators, and trickle down effects on ecosystems
Because predator species are animals that survive by preying on other organisms, they send ripples throughout the food web, regulating the effects other animals have on that ecosystem. Ecologists are just beginning to understand how the impacts of climate change are affecting predatory keystone species and their ecosystems.
Publ.Date : Mon, 11 Aug 2014 18:03:26 EDT

Reconstructions show how some of the earliest animals lived -- and died
A bizarre group of uniquely shaped organisms known as rangeomorphs may have been some of the earliest animals to appear on Earth, uniquely suited to ocean conditions 575 million years ago. A new model has resolved many of the mysteries around the structure, evolution and extinction of these 'proto animals.'
Publ.Date : Mon, 11 Aug 2014 17:02:01 EDT

Megascale icebergs ran aground near Greenland in last 800,000 years
Scientists have found between Greenland and Spitsbergen the scours left behind on the sea bed by gigantic icebergs. "Whenever icebergs run aground, they leave scours on the seabed. Depending on their depth and location, those markings may continue to exist over long periods of time," explained the lead author. Found at a depth of 1,200 metres, the newly found five lineaments are the deepest iceberg scours found to date in the Arctic. The scours are as much as four kilometres long and 15 metres in depth.
Publ.Date : Mon, 11 Aug 2014 12:49:46 EDT

Danger on the ocean floor: First field guide to marine dinoflagellates at bottom of the sea
Marine biologists have authored the world’s first field guide covering marine benthic dinoflagellates. These tiny single-celled organisms have a world-wide distribution and, among others, cause the disease “ciguatera,” the most common type of fish poisoning.
Publ.Date : Mon, 11 Aug 2014 12:45:43 EDT