Surfing for Science: Ocean Enthusiasts Could Help Gauge Coastal Warming

2017-11-22T09:08:21+00:00 November 22, 2017|

Researchers want to enlist surfers, scuba divers and anglers to monitor hard-to-reach areas vulnerable to climate change. Satellites are good at measuring temperatures over vast stretches of ocean, but less accurate at monitoring a particularly important type of marine environment—coastlines. Now help could come from an unlikely source: a water sports “navy” of surfers, anglers, scuba divers and others. A U.K.-led team of researchers has proposed this alliance to help gather coastal climate data in a recent paper in Frontiers in Marine Science.

Scientists Develop Tool Which Can Predict Coastal Erosion And Recovery In Extreme Storms

2017-10-17T15:12:49+00:00 October 17, 2017|

The damage caused to beaches by extreme storms on exposed energetic coastlines and the rate at which they recover can now be accurately predicted thanks to new research led by the University of Plymouth. Working with the University of New South Wales, scientists have developed a computer model which uses past wave observations and beach assessments to forecast the erosion and/or accretion of beach sediments over the coming year.

The High Cost Sand Mining Extracts From Coastal Ecosystems

2017-09-21T10:21:21+00:00 September 21, 2017|

Researchers say the world faces a sand crisis as skyrocketing demand for the building material leads to the destruction of coastal environments and marine life. When people picture sand spread across idyllic beaches and endless deserts, they understandably think of it as an infinite resource. But as we discuss in a just-published perspective in the journal Science, overexploitation of global supplies of sand is damaging the environment, endangering communities, causing shortages and promoting violent conflict.

Breakthrough Could Help Predict A Catastrophic Loss Of Ocean Oxygen

2017-08-22T12:38:02+00:00 August 22, 2017|

IF THE CURRENT deoxygenation of the ocean mirrors past events, the area of oxygen-deprived waters might double over the next 100 to 350 years, according to a new study. But it could also happen much faster than that, the researchers say. The ocean is losing oxygen due to nutrient pollution and the climate change effects of rising water temperatures and decreased mixing of marine layers.

Sea Level Rise Is Speeding Up In Parts Of The Southeastern U.s.

2017-08-15T09:31:13+00:00 August 15, 2017|

Sea-level rise isn’t just happening; it’s accelerating. And some areas of the United States—like Florida—are seeing “hot spots” where the ocean can creep up six times faster than average. Those are the findings of two new studies published yesterday, which have potentially troubling implications for urban planners trying to address sea-level rise. They also help explain why residents of Florida and North Carolina have seen sharp increases in coastal flooding in recent years.

Will The Great American Eclipse Make Animals Act Strangely? Science Says Yes

2017-08-11T10:13:25+00:00 August 11, 2017|

It’s not just humans who will be affected by the Great American Eclipse coming on Aug. 21 — expect animals to act strangely too. Anecdotal evidence and a few scientific studies suggest that as the moon moves briefly between the sun and the Earth, causing a deep twilight to fall across the land, large swaths of the animal kingdom will alter their behavior.

Marine Reserves A Solution To Bycatch Problem In Oceans

2017-08-08T16:46:55+00:00 August 8, 2017|

Commercial fishermen may be able to catch more of the profitable fish they want with marine reserves than without them, according to a study in the journal PNAS led by the University of California, Davis. Using marine reserves as a management tool could also help the recently rebounded West Coast groundfish fishery sustain itself, the study notes. Marine reserves are a subset of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs). Some MPAs allow fishing, but marine reserves are areas of the ocean closed to fishing and other extractive activities.

Member Highlight: Ecosystem Cascades Affecting Salmon

2017-08-07T11:50:02+00:00 August 7, 2017|

Interpreting relationships between species and their environments is crucial to inform ecosystem-based management (EBM), a priority for NOAA Fisheries. EBM recognizes the diverse interactions within an ecosystem -- including human impacts -- so NOAA Fisheries can consider resource tradeoffs that help protect and sustain productive ecosystems and the services they provide. In the coastal ocean of California -- seabird predators, forage fish on which they feed, and the survival of salmon out-migrating to sea are each of particular interest, and an improved understanding of their interactions could in turn improve the management of the ocean ecosystem.

Sharks Revealed As The Great Protectors Of Seagrass

2017-07-27T16:40:52+00:00 July 27, 2017|

Sharks, marine scientists say, are often misunderstood, described as ravenous man-eaters. In reality, sharks are critically important to the health of the world's oceans, yet a quarter of all shark species are threatened with extinction. For more than two decades, Florida International University marine scientist Mike Heithaus has been immersed in the world of sharks and other predators that help the sea maintain a delicately balanced food web. Heithaus' work is focused on predators in the waters of South Florida and across the globe in Shark Bay, Australia.

Seawalls: Ecological Effects Of Coastal Armoring In Soft Sediment Environments

2017-07-26T15:38:28+00:00 July 26, 2017|

For nearly a century, the O'Shaughnessy seawall has held back the sand and seas of San Francisco's Ocean Beach. At work even longer: the Galveston seawall, built after America's deadliest hurricane in 1900 killed thousands in Texas. These are just two examples of how America's coasts -- particularly those with large urban populations -- have been armored with humanmade structures.

Shifting Storms To Bring Extreme Waves, Seaside Damage To Once Placid Areas

2017-07-24T17:18:31+00:00 July 24, 2017|

The world's most extensive study of a major storm front striking the coast has revealed a previously unrecognised danger from climate change: as storm patterns fluctuate, waterfront areas once thought safe are likely to be hammered and damaged as never before. The study, led by engineers at University of New South Wales (UNSW) in Sydney, was published in the latest issue of Scientific Reports.

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