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.


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

Coral reefs of Mozambique Channel: Leading candidate for saving marine diversity
Marine scientists working in the Western Indian Ocean have found that the corals of the Mozambique Channel should be a priority for protection as climate change continues to threaten these rainforests of the sea. The study -- generated from data gathered from nearly 300 marine sites over thousands of square miles of ocean -- is the latest attempt by scientists to improve efforts to first identify reefs that have survived the effects of higher temperatures and sometimes human pressures such as fishing, and then actions best suited to protecting less disturbed coral ecosystems.
Publ.Date : Thu, 10 Apr 2014 09:56:43 EDT

Sunken logs create new worlds for seafloor animals
When it comes to food, most of the deep sea is a desert. In this food-poor environment, even bits of dead wood, waterlogged enough to sink, can support thriving communities of specialized animals. A new paper by biologists shows that wood-boring clams serve as "ecosystem engineers," making the organic matter in the wood available to other animals that colonize wood falls in the deep waters of Monterey Canyon.
Publ.Date : Wed, 09 Apr 2014 13:49:34 EDT

Study tests theory that life originated at deep sea vents
One of the greatest mysteries facing humans is how life originated on Earth. Scientists have determined approximately when life began, roughly 3.8 billion years ago, but there is still intense debate about exactly how life began. One possibility -- that simple metabolic reactions emerged near ancient seafloor hot springs, enabling the leap from a non-living to a living world -- has grown in popularity in the last two decades.
Publ.Date : Wed, 09 Apr 2014 09:43:30 EDT

Sea otters can get the flu, too: Human H1N1 pandemic virus infected Washington State sea otters
Northern sea otters living off the coast of Washington state were infected with the same H1N1 flu virus that caused the world-wide pandemic in 2009, according to a new study. The researchers discovered antibodies for the 2009 H1N1 flu virus in blood samples from 70 percent of the sea otters studied. None of the otters were visibly sick, but the presence of antibodies means that the otters were previously exposed to influenza.
Publ.Date : Tue, 08 Apr 2014 21:36:19 EDT

Black carbon is ancient by the time it reaches seafloor
A fraction of the carbon that finds its way into Earth's oceans -- the black soot and charcoal residue of fires -- stays there for thousands for years. A first-of-its-kind analysis shows how some black carbon breaks away and hitches a ride to the ocean floor on passing particles.
Publ.Date : Tue, 08 Apr 2014 11:22:16 EDT

More Earthquakes for Chile? Seismic gap has not been closed
After the strong earthquake that struck Chile on April 2 (CEST), numerous aftershocks, some of them of a considerable magnitude, have struck the region around Iquique. Seismologists doubt that the strong earthquake closed the local seismic gap and decreased the risk of a large earthquake. On the contrary, initial studies of the rupture process and the aftershocks show that only about a third of the vulnerable zone broke.
Publ.Date : Fri, 04 Apr 2014 14:00:35 EDT

What's going on under the ice? Researchers take a peek
Most people are fed up with winter, but some scientists love it. Ice and snow give them a chance to do something few others can: Study the Great Lakes under a cover of ice. The GLRC's under-ice observatory is collecting data for scientists to analyze.
Publ.Date : Fri, 04 Apr 2014 13:59:20 EDT

The Indian cousin of El Niño: The second climatic problem child
Floods in East Africa and India, as well as drought and fires in Australia, are periodic catastrophes caused by a second climate disruptor less well known than its cousin El Niño: the Indian Ocean Dipole. A new study shows that this recently developed phenomenon affects the climate in this part of the world. The researchers also show that the phenomenon has been occurring more frequently over the past 30 years. The number of extreme meteorological events that it causes should continue to increase in the coming years due to climate change.
Publ.Date : Fri, 04 Apr 2014 08:56:41 EDT

Hot mantle drives elevation, volcanism along mid-ocean ridges
Using data from seismic waves, scientists have shown that temperature deep in Earth's mantle controls the elevation and volcanic activity along mid-ocean ridges, colossal mountain ranges that line the ocean floor. The findings bolster the idea that warm mantle plumes are responsible for 'hot spot' volcanism, and shed new light on how temperature in the depths of the mantle influences the contours of the Earth's crust.
Publ.Date : Thu, 03 Apr 2014 14:20:25 EDT