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|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
Prehistoric crocodiles' evolution mirrored in living species
Crocodiles which roamed the world's seas millions of years ago developed in similar ways to their modern-day relatives, a study has shown. Fresh research into a group of prehistoric marine crocs known as Machimosaurus reveals key details of how and where they lived.
Publ.Date : Wed, 15 Oct 2014 10:17:25 EDT
Importance of dead jellyfish to deep-sea ecosystems
Dead jellyfish contribute to the deep-sea food chain, unlike previously thought, innovative experiments show. Researchers deployed lander systems to look at how scavengers responded to jellyfish and fish baits in the deep sea off Norway. The experiments were carried out in areas with jellyfish blooms near the ocean surface and showed that when the creatures fell to the seabed they were rapidly eaten by scavengers.
Publ.Date : Wed, 15 Oct 2014 10:15:43 EDT
Sharks that hide in coral reefs may be safe from acidifying oceans
The epaulette shark displays physiological tolerance to elevated carbon dioxide in its environment after being exposed to carbon dioxide levels equivalent to those that are predicted for their natural habitats in the near future.
Publ.Date : Wed, 15 Oct 2014 10:15:39 EDT
Method for detecting extremely rare inert gas isotopes for water dating
In earth and environmental sciences, radioactive isotopes, atom variants that decay over time, play a major role in age determination. A radioactive isotope of the inert gas argon 39, for example, is used to determine the age of water or ice. Such isotopes are extremely rare, however -- only a single 39 Ar isotope occurs in a thousand trillion argon atoms. Hence researchers' attempts to isolate and detect such atoms remain the proverbial search for the needle in a haystack. Physicists have now succeeded in rendering usable an experimental method developed in basic research for ground water dating using 39 Ar.
Publ.Date : Wed, 15 Oct 2014 09:04:48 EDT
Rising sea levels of 1.8 meters in worst-case scenario, researchers calculate
The climate is getting warmer, the ice sheets are melting and sea levels are rising -- but how much? The report of the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in 2013 was based on the best available estimates of future sea levels, but the panel was not able to come up with an upper limit for sea level rise within this century. Now researchers have calculated the risk for a worst-case scenario. The results indicate that at worst, the sea level would rise a maximum of 1.8 meters.
Publ.Date : Tue, 14 Oct 2014 08:59:02 EDT
Icebergs once drifted to Florida, new climate model suggests
Using a first-of-its-kind, high-resolution numerical model to describe ocean circulation during the last ice age about 21,000 year ago, oceanographers have shown that icebergs and meltwater from the North American ice sheet would have regularly reached South Carolina and even southern Florida. The models are supported by the discovery of iceberg scour marks on the sea floor along the entire continental shelf.
Publ.Date : Sun, 12 Oct 2014 13:48:36 EDT
Fish moving poleward at rate of 26 kilometres per decade
Large numbers of fish will disappear from the tropics by 2050, finds a new study that examined the impact of climate change on fish stocks. The study identified ocean hotspots for local fish extinction but also found that changing temperatures will drive more fish into the Arctic and Antarctic waters.
Publ.Date : Fri, 10 Oct 2014 08:38:47 EDT
Urine of tiny migrating marine animals affects ocean chemistry
Tiny animals migrating from the ocean's surface to the sunlit depths release ammonia, the equivalent of our urine, that plays a significant role in marine chemistry, particularly in low-oxygen zones.
Publ.Date : Thu, 09 Oct 2014 16:38:01 EDT
Mangroves protecting corals from climate change
Corals are finding refuge within the red mangroves at Hurricane Hole, a mangrove habitat in the US Virgin Islands, from threats such as warming ocean temperatures, solar radiation and increased ocean acidification.
Publ.Date : Wed, 08 Oct 2014 13:16:01 EDT
Slime-producing molecules help spread disease from cats to endangered sea otters
Sticky polymers that form slimy biofilms and large, waterborne particles speed the transmission of a parasitic disease from cats to marine snails to endangered sea otters in California's coastal waters, this study finds.
Publ.Date : Wed, 08 Oct 2014 12:21:08 EDT