Invasive Fish Threat To Kelp Forests

2016-12-19T11:24:10+00:00 December 19, 2016|

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.

Toxic ‘Marine Snow’ Can Sink Quickly, Persist At Ocean Depths

2016-12-19T17:05:39+00:00 December 6, 2016|

In a new study, researchers from North Carolina State University found that a specific neurotoxin can persist and accumulate in "marine snow" formed by the algae Pseudo-nitzschia, and that this marine snow can reach significant depths quickly. These findings have implications for food safety policies in areas affected by toxic marine algal blooms.

Marine Incentives Programs May Replace ‘Doom And Gloom’ With Hope

2016-12-12T19:04:20+00:00 December 2, 2016|

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.

New Study Shows Ocean Acidification Accelerates Erosion Of Coral Reefs

2016-11-29T11:31:06+00:00 November 29, 2016|

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.

Ocean Acidification Study Offers Warnings For Marine Life, Habitats

2016-11-23T12:11:44+00:00 November 23, 2016|

Acidification of the world's oceans could drive a cascading loss of biodiversity in some marine habitats, according to research published Monday in Nature Climate Change. The work by biodiversity researchers from the University of British Columbia (UBC) and colleagues in the U.S., Europe, Australia, Japan and China, combines dozens of existing studies to paint a more nuanced picture of the impact of ocean acidification.

Reef Degradation On Maui Linked To Quality Of Coastal Groundwater

2016-11-21T10:38:48+00:00 November 21, 2016|

Land-use practices on tropical oceanic islands can have large impacts on reef ecosystems, even in the absence of rivers and streams. Land-based pollutants, such as fertilizers and chemicals in wastewater, infiltrate into the groundwaters beneath land and eventually exit into nearshore ecosystems as submarine groundwater discharge (SGD) -- seeping into the coastal zone beneath the ocean's surface. In a study published recently in PLOS ONE, University of Hawai'i at Mānoa (UHM) scientists used a combination of field experiments and chemical analysis of water and algae to show that the quality of coastal groundwater plays a major role in determining the health of nearshore ecosystems in Hawai'i.

New Study Explains Mysterious Source Of Greenhouse Gas Methane In The Ocean

2016-11-18T13:32:41+00:00 November 18, 2016|

For decades, marine chemists have faced an elusive paradox. The surface waters of the world's oceans are supersaturated with the greenhouse gas methane, yet most species of microbes that can generate the gas can't survive in oxygen-rich surface waters. So where exactly does all the methane come from? This longstanding riddle, known as the "marine methane paradox," may have finally been cracked thanks to a new study from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI).

Bleached Corals In The Pacific Have Started Bouncing Back

2016-11-18T13:25:18+00:00 November 18, 2016|

In a ghost town of dead coral off a remote Pacific island, scientists have found a little more life. In excursions a year ago and then last April, scientists examined the normally-stunning coral reefs around the island of Kiritimati and pronounced it mostly a boneyard of dead coral. About 85 per cent of the coral was dead, 10 per cent was sick and bleached but still technically alive, and only 5 per cent was doing okay. The same scientists returned this month and found that 6 to 7 per cent of the coral is alive and not bleached, says Julia Baum, coral reef scientist from the University of Victoria, in Canada.

Kelp Forests Globally Resilient, But May Need Local Solutions To Environmental Threats

2016-11-18T13:10:02+00:00 November 18, 2016|

The first global assessment of marine kelp ecosystems shows that these critically-important habitats have exhibited a surprising resilience to environmental impacts over the past 50 years, but they have a wide variability in long-term responses that will call for regional management efforts to help protect their health in the future.The findings were published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Member Highlight: Mirroring A Drop In Emissions, Mercury In Tuna Also Declines

2016-11-28T16:44:43+00:00 November 17, 2016|

For years, public health experts have warned against eating certain kinds of fish, including tuna, that tend to accumulate mercury. Still, tuna consumption provides more mercury to U.S. consumers than any other source. But recently, as industry cuts down on its mercury emissions, research has found mercury concentrations in some fish are dropping.

Animals Eat Ocean Plastic Because It Smells Like Food

2016-11-14T11:28:01+00:00 November 14, 2016|

As the oceans fill with plastic debris, hundreds of marine species eat astonishing amounts of it. Yet the question of why so many species, from the tiniest zooplankton to whales, mistake so much of it for food has never been fully explored. Now a new study explains why: It smells like food.

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