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.


Ascent or no ascent? How hot material is stopped in Earth's mantle
Gigantic volumes of hot material rising from the deep earth's mantle to the base of the lithosphere have shaped the face of our planet. Provided they have a sufficient volume, they can lead to break-up of continents or cause mass extinction events in certain periods of the Earth's history. So far it was assumed that because of their high temperatures those bodies -- called mantle plumes -- ascend directly from the bottom of the earth's mantle to the lithosphere. Scientists explain possible barriers for the ascent of these mantle plumes and under which conditions the hot material can still reach the surface. In addition, the researchers resolve major conflicts surrounding present model predictions.
Publ.Date : Fri, 24 Apr 2015 08:50:05 EDT

Phytoplankton, reducing greenhouse gases or amplifying Arctic warming?
Scientists have presented the geophysical impact of phytoplankton that triggers positive feedback in the Arctic warming when the warming-induced melting of sea ice stimulates phytoplankton growth.
Publ.Date : Tue, 21 Apr 2015 10:53:46 EDT

Let it snow: Intricacies of marine snow formation in the Gulf of Mexico following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill
Before Deepwater Horizon, scientists didn't know that oil and marine snow had anything to do with each other. "Marine snow is like dust bunnies in the house," explained a research scientist who has studied the phenomenon for a long time. "All the gunk and little pieces in the ocean stick together, and underwater it looks like a snow-storm. The little particles aren't heavy enough to sink, but marine snow is big enough to sink very fast, 100 meters or more per day. It's the only way in which material that grows on the surface, where there is light, goes to depth.
Publ.Date : Mon, 20 Apr 2015 13:07:21 EDT

Vampire squid discovery shows how little we know of the deep sea
Among soft-bodied cephalopods, vampire squid live life at a slower pace. At ocean depths from 500 to 3,000 meters, they don't swim so much as float, and they get by with little oxygen while consuming a low-calorie diet of zooplankton and detritus. Now, researchers have found that vampire squid differ from all other living coleoid cephalopods in their reproductive strategy as well.
Publ.Date : Mon, 20 Apr 2015 12:28:28 EDT

Strong currents promote release of Arctic greenhouse gas
Ocean and Earth Science researchers reveal how the interplay between ocean currents and marine microbiology serve to regulate potentially damaging emissions of the potent greenhouse gas methane, created beneath the Arctic Ocean.
Publ.Date : Mon, 20 Apr 2015 12:26:23 EDT

Greenland continuing to darken
Darkening of the Greenland Ice Sheet is projected to continue as a consequence of continued climate warming, according to experts.
Publ.Date : Fri, 17 Apr 2015 10:37:43 EDT

Repeated marine predator evolution tracks changes in ancient and Anthropocene oceans
Scientists synthesized decades of scientific discoveries to illuminate the common and unique patterns driving the extraordinary transitions that whales, dolphins, seals and other species underwent as they moved from land to sea. Drawing on recent breakthroughs in diverse fields such as paleontology, molecular biology and conservation ecology, their findings offer a comprehensive look at how life in the ocean has responded to environmental change from the Triassic to the Anthropocene.
Publ.Date : Thu, 16 Apr 2015 14:55:47 EDT

Wind bursts strongly affect El Nino severity
A new study finds that prolonged wind bursts originating in the western Pacific can have a strong effect on whether an El Nino event will occur and how severe it is likely to be. The paper also identifies three distinct varieties of El Nino, and explains how these westerly wind bursts can determine which variety will take shape. The findings should help refine future predictions of these global-scale climate events.
Publ.Date : Wed, 15 Apr 2015 15:53:58 EDT

Iceberg armadas not the cause of North Atlantic cooling
Armadas of icebergs were probably not the cause of abrupt episodes of cooling in the North Atlantic over the past 440,000 years, according to new research.
Publ.Date : Wed, 15 Apr 2015 13:33:06 EDT

Climate connections: Examining climate changes of the past
Global climate has undergone periods of stability, but also instability, with abrupt, rapid and substantial climate changes occurring as a consequence of natural processes scientists still don't understand. A paleoceanographer has contributed to the field in a recent paper, which demonstrates the influence of rapid climate change on marine ecosystems near Venezuela tens of thousands of years ago and shows how changes there were accompanied by simultaneous changes globally.
Publ.Date : Tue, 14 Apr 2015 21:25:21 EDT

Bone eating worms dined on marine reptile carcasses
A species of bone-eating worm that was believed to have evolved in conjunction with whales has been dated back to prehistoric times when it fed on the carcasses of giant marine reptiles.
Publ.Date : Tue, 14 Apr 2015 21:24:47 EDT

New method relates Greenland ice sheet changes to sea-level rise
Early schemes to model the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets and their impact on sea levels failed to accurately account for changes caused by snowfall and snow melt. These changes depend on ice sheet elevation and region. Researchers developed a new method that includes the effects of elevation and region.
Publ.Date : Tue, 14 Apr 2015 09:35:50 EDT

Fragment of continental crust found under south east Iceland
Scientists have shown that south east Iceland is underlain by continental crust.
Publ.Date : Mon, 13 Apr 2015 11:06:28 EDT

Giant sea lizards in the age of dinosaurs: A new beginning for baby mosasaurs
They weren't in the delivery room, but researchers have discovered a new birth story for a gigantic marine lizard that once roamed the oceans. Thanks to recently identified specimens, paleontologists now believe that mighty mosasaurs -- which could grow to 50 feet long -- gave birth to their young in the open ocean, not on or near shore.
Publ.Date : Fri, 10 Apr 2015 16:53:16 EDT

Panama debate fueled by zircon dating
New evidence by geologists dates the closure of an ancient seaway at 13 to 15 million years ago and challenges accepted theories about the rise of the Isthmus of Panama and its impact on world climate and animal migrations.
Publ.Date : Thu, 09 Apr 2015 18:29:55 EDT

Dynamic dead zones alter fish catches in Lake Erie
Lake Erie's dead zones are actually quite active, greatly affecting fish distributions, catch rates and the effectiveness of fishing gear, scientists report. "Our study shows that Lake Erie contains a patchwork of low and high-density fish populations," said a researcher. "This understanding of fish distributions can inform policy decisions, such as how many walleye, yellow perch and others can be fished from the lake."
Publ.Date : Thu, 09 Apr 2015 16:24:51 EDT

'Warm blob' in Pacific Ocean linked to weird weather across the US
An unusually warm patch of surface water, nicknamed 'the blob' when it emerged in early 2014, is part of a Pacific Ocean pattern that may be affecting everything from West Coast fisheries and water supplies to East Coast snowstorms. The blob is just one element of a broader pattern in the Pacific Ocean whose influence reaches much further -- possibly to include two bone-chilling winters in the Eastern U.S.
Publ.Date : Thu, 09 Apr 2015 14:30:41 EDT

Greatest mass extinction driven by acidic oceans, study finds
Changes to the Earth's oceans, caused by extreme volcanic activity, triggered the greatest extinction of all time, a study suggests. The amount of carbon added to the atmosphere that triggered the mass extinction was probably greater than today's fossil fuel reserves, the team says. However, the carbon was released at a rate similar to modern emissions. This fast rate of release was a critical factor driving ocean acidification, researchers say.
Publ.Date : Thu, 09 Apr 2015 14:30:33 EDT

Arctic: Ferromanganese crusts record past climates
The onset of northern hemispheric glaciation cycles three million years ago has dramatically changed Arctic climate. Scientists have now for the first time reconstructed the history of Arctic climate based on records archived in ferromanganese crusts.
Publ.Date : Thu, 09 Apr 2015 12:04:51 EDT

Small-scale cloud processes characterized: Will improve climate projections
Predicting the types of clouds over the ocean is critical for climate projections. However, current climate models lack the spatial resolution necessary for accurate characterization of certain processes.
Publ.Date : Wed, 08 Apr 2015 12:45:10 EDT