Seaweed-eating fish are becoming increasingly voracious as the ocean warms due to climate change and are responsible for the recent destruction of kelp forests off the NSW north coast near Coffs Harbour, research shows. The study includes an analysis of underwater video, covering a 10-year period between 2002 and 2012, during which the water warmed by 0.6 degrees. "Kelp forests provide vital habitat for hundreds of marine species, including fish, lobster and abalone," says study first author Dr Adriana Vergés of UNSW and the Sydney Institute of Marine Science.
President Barack Obama responded to appeals from Alaska Native villages and gave them more of a say in the federal management of marine resources of the Bering Sea. Obama signed an executive order Friday to create a Northern Bering Sea Climate Resilience Area that will focus "locally tailored" protections on marine resources. The newly created resilience area covers 112,300 square miles and stretches from north of the Bering Strait to north of Bristol Bay. The order requires more focused federal consultation with Alaska tribes and 39 communities that line the west coast of Alaska, along with state officials. The area supports what may be the world's largest annual marine mammal migration of bowhead and beluga whales, Pacific walrus, ice seals and migratory birds.
Emblematic of the effects of climate change, polar bears have once again been shown to be highly vulnerable due to shrinking sea ice levels throughout the range of their habitat. A study published Wednesday by an international team of researchers found a 71 percent chance that over 30 percent of Earth’s polar bear population could be gone in 35-41 years.
Coastal storms can cause surges, sea-level rise, and cyclone winds that devastate communities. But emergency management experts in a new study detail a method for involving local stakeholders in planning for such extreme events and thereby helping such vulnerable areas in becoming more resilient. Coastal communities' ability to plan for, absorb, recover and adapt from destructive hurricanes is becoming more urgent. As of 2010, approximately 52 percent of the United States' population lived in vulnerable coastal watershed counties, and that number is expected to grow. Globally, almost half of the world's population lives along or near coastal areas.
(Click to enlarge) A new report on the Great Barrier Reef has revealed that the coral die-off is now the most devastating on record. (Credit: NASA) Coral across Australia’s Great Barrier Reef has suffered its most devastating die-off on record, a new report says. (From CNN / by Ben Westcott)– In just nine months, [...]
Incentives that are designed to enable smarter use of the ocean while also protecting marine ecosystems can and do work, and offer significant hope to help address the multiple environmental threats facing the world's oceans, researchers conclude in a new analysis. Whether economic or social, incentive-based solutions may be one of the best options for progress in reducing impacts from overfishing, climate change, ocean acidification and pollution, researchers from Oregon State University and Princeton University say in a new report published this week in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Passengers simmered in Jacuzzis and feasted on gourmet cuisine this summer as the 850-foot cruise ship Crystal Serenity moved through the Northwest Passage. But in the summer of 1778, when Capt. James Cook tried to find a Western entrance to the route, his men toiled on frost-slicked decks and complained about having to supplement dwindling rations with walrus meat. The British expedition was halted north of the Bering Strait by "ice which was as compact as a wall and seemed to be 10 or 12 feet high at least," according to the captain's journal.
Global warming’s transformation of the Arctic is having a cascading effect, with some changes to the region worsening others. The loss of sea ice is the most visible, and temperatures almost 40 degrees above normal certainly garner attention. However, there are other important changes such as the loss of permafrost, the collapse of certain species in the food chain and the damage to fisheries caused by higher sea temperatures.Perhaps more troubling is that those changes are often interlinked, and one shift can trigger a series of others, a new report has found.
We already know that climate change-induced rise in ocean temperature and acidity has killed at least a quarter of the corals in the northern and central parts of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef. It turns out these aren’t the only corals bearing the brunt of global warming. In a new study published in the latest edition of the journal Royal Society Open Science, a team of researchers revealed that deep-sea corals in the North Atlantic Ocean are now under threat from climate change-caused rise in average winter temperatures in Western Europe.
Using a new theory, Erwin Lambert shows that more freshwater in the Arctic may strengthen the Gulfstream's extension into the polar regions -- the opposite of what has generally been anticipated with future climate change .A new study from researchers at the Bjerknes Centre for Climate Research gives less reason to fear a weakening of the Gulfstream due to climate change. One of the suggested 'tipping points' in the climate system is a substantial slow-down or even collapse of the Gulfstream due to increased freshwater input in the northern seas.
The sun set on the North Pole more than a month ago, not to rise again until spring. Usually that serves as a cue for sea ice to spread its frozen tentacles across the Arctic Ocean. But in the depths of the polar night, a strange thing started to happen in mid-October. Sea ice growth slowed to a crawl and even started shrinking for a bit. Intense warmth in both the air and oceans is driving the mini-meltdown at a time when Arctic sea ice should be rapidly growing. This follows last winter, when temperatures saw a huge December spike.
Scientists studying naturally high carbon dioxide coral reefs in Papua New Guinea found that erosion of essential habitat is accelerated in these highly acidified waters, even as coral growth continues to slow. The new research by the University of Miami Rosenstiel School's Cooperative Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Studies (CIMAS), NOAA, and the Australian Institute of Marine Science has important implications for coral reefs around the world as the ocean become more acidic as a result of global change.