Member Highlight: More Sharks Ditching Annual Migration As Ocean Warms

2018-06-18T10:21:19+00:00 June 18, 2018|

Blacktip sharks usually travel in the tens of thousands from North Carolina to Florida. But thanks to climate change, more are staying put. (From National Geographic / By Eric Niiler ) -- The annual migration of blacktip sharks from southern Florida to North Carolina has begun—and researchers who track this amazing ritual say there are seeing only about one-third the usual [...]

Member Highlight: Alien Waters: Neighboring Seas Are Flowing into a Warming Arctic Ocean

2018-05-14T14:17:29+00:00 May 14, 2018|

(Credit: Pablo Clemente-Colon / National Ice Center) Above Scandinavia, on the Atlantic side of the Arctic Ocean, mackerel, cod, and other fish native to the European coast are migrating through increasingly ice-free waters, heading deeper into the Arctic Basin toward Siberia. . (From Yale Environment 360/ By Cheryl Katz) -- Thousands of miles to the west, [...]

Sea Butterflies Repair Shell Damage From Ocean Acidification

2018-01-31T15:26:52+00:00 January 30, 2018|

(Credit: British Antarctic Survey) A new study of tiny marine snails called sea butterflies shows the great lengths these animals go to repair damage caused by ocean acidification. The paper, led by researchers at British Antarctic Survey, is published this month in the journal Nature Communications. (From Phys.org) --The ocean absorbs around one [...]

2017 Was The Hottest Year Yet In The World’s Ocean

2018-01-29T17:19:52+00:00 January 29, 2018|

(Credit: Mario Tama, Getty) Oceans aren't likely to cool any time soon, a new study finds. In fact, 2017 was the warmest year on record in the ocean, according to researchers from the Chinese Academy of Sciences. (From National Geographic/ By Sarah Gibbens) -- Their findings indicate a "long-term warming trend driven by human [...]

Member Highlight: New Study: Industry Conservation Ethic Proves Critical To Gulf Of Maine Lobster Fishery

2018-01-29T13:07:28+00:00 January 26, 2018|

(Credit: Gulf of Maine Research Institute) A new study, led by scientists at the Gulf of Maine Research Institute and colleagues at the University of Maine and NOAA, demonstrates how conservation practices championed by Maine lobstermen help make the lobster fishery resilient to climate change. (From Phys.org) -- For generations, lobstermen in Maine [...]

New Eocene Fossil Data Suggest Climate Models May Underestimate Future Polar Warming

2018-01-24T10:05:33+00:00 January 24, 2018|

(Credit: Laura Cotton) A new international analysis of marine fossils shows that warming of the polar oceans during the Eocene, a greenhouse period that provides a glimpse of Earth's potential future climate, was greater than previously thought. (From Science Daily) -- By studying the chemical composition of fossilized foraminifera, tiny single-celled animals that [...]

Member Highlight: New Study Identifies Thermometer For Global Ocean

2018-01-08T15:47:05+00:00 January 5, 2018|

(Credit: Jay Johnson/ IDDO) There's a new way to measure the average temperature of the ocean thanks to researchers at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California San Diego. In an article published in the Jan. 4, 2018, issue of the journal Nature, geoscientist Jeff Severinghaus and colleagues at Scripps Oceanography [...]

The Caribbean Is Stressed Out

2018-01-03T17:50:22+00:00 January 3, 2018|

(Credit: Karen Koltes) Forty percent of the world's 7.6 billion people live in coastal cities and towns. A team including Smithsonian marine biologists just released 25 years of data about the health of Caribbean coasts from the Caribbean Coastal Marine Productivity Program (CARICOMP).  (From Science Daily) -- The study provides new insights into [...]

Antarctic Glacier’s Rough Belly Exposed

2017-11-28T16:54:45+00:00 November 28, 2017|

The melting Antarctic ice stream that is currently adding most to sea-level rise may be more resilient to change than previously recognized. New radar images reveal the mighty Pine Island Glacier (PIG) to be sitting on a rugged rock bed populated by big hills, tall cliffs and deep scour marks.

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.

Zooplankton Resilient To Long-Term Warming

2017-09-07T10:36:56+00:00 September 7, 2017|

Temperature plays an important role in the distribution of ocean plankton communities and has the potential to cause major distribution shifts, as recently observed in the Arctic. A new study from scientists at British Antarctic Survey shows that zooplankton, tiny animals that drift in the sea making up the base of the food web, which live in the Southern Ocean have been resilient to warming ocean temperatures.

Ocean Warming In Antarctic Triggers Surprising Changes, Study Shows

2017-09-06T12:02:18+00:00 September 6, 2017|

A single degree of warming in the shallow waters off the Antarctic Peninsula could significantly benefit some species at the expense of others, a new study has found. In what is claimed to be the "most realistic ocean warming experiment to date" researchers placed heated panels on the sea floor and monitored the growth of sediment-dwelling species on the panels over nine months. While the panels only warmed the water a few millimetres above the panel surface, it was enough to trigger major changes in the seabed communities, the scientists reported in the journal Current Biology.

Race To Decode Coral DNA To Save World’s Reefs From Extinction

2017-09-06T11:29:50+00:00 September 6, 2017|

New genetic technologies are enabling scientists to identify traits that may help corals survive warming ocean temperatures that threaten the survival of coral reefs critical to marine ecosystems. Marine biologist Ruth Gates sat down in an oversized wooden rocking chair at an oceanside resort here last week to talk about the next frontier in coral science and a new hope for saving coral reefs reeling from climate change: genetic technology.

Warming Waters Could Mean Smaller Fish

2017-08-31T09:39:00+00:00 August 31, 2017|

An increase of two degrees Celsius could cause fish to grow as much as 45 percent smaller. Fish will struggle to breathe as the ocean waters warm, researchers say, and bigger fish will have bigger problems. That means important species could soon top out well short of their current sizes—shrinking fisheries and potentially causing problems up the food chain. Fish have proved sensitive to subtle changes, and higher temperatures could present them with two problems—a change in the water and a change in their biology.

A Galapagos Seabird’s Population Expected To Shrink With Ocean Warming

2017-08-28T12:34:41+00:00 August 28, 2017|

Within the next century, rising ocean temperatures around the Galápagos Islands are expected to make the water too warm for a key prey species, sardines, to tolerate. A new study by Wake Forest University biologists, published in PLOS ONE Aug. 23, uses decades of data on the diet and breeding of a tropical seabird, the Nazca booby, to understand how the future absence of sardines may affect the booby population. Researchers have studied diet, breeding and survival of Nazca boobies as part of a long-term study at Isla Española in the Galápagos Islands for more than 30 years. In 1997, midway through the study, sardines disappeared from Nazca booby diet samples and were replaced by the less-nutritious flying fish.

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.

‘Weedy’ Fish Species To Take Over Our Future Oceans

2017-07-07T10:40:11+00:00 July 7, 2017|

University of Adelaide researchers have for the first time demonstrated that the ocean acidification expected in the future will reduce fish diversity significantly, with small 'weedy' species dominating marine environments. Published today in Current Biology, the researchers studied species interactions in natural marine environments at underwater volcanic vents, where concentrations of CO2 match those predicted for oceans at the end of the century. They were compared with adjacent marine environments with current CO2 levels.

Seagrasses In World Heritage Site Have Not Recovered Years After Heat Wave

2017-04-10T12:08:39+00:00 April 10, 2017|

(Click to enlarge) (Credit: NOAA) Massive seagrass beds in Western Australia’s Shark Bay — a UNESCO World Heritage Site — haven’t recovered much from the devastating heat wave of 2011, according to a new study demonstrating how certain vital ecosystems may change drastically in a warming climate. (From Science Daily) — The peer-reviewed study, [...]

Climate Change Indicator: Arctic Ocean Getting Warmer, Becoming More Like The Atlantic

2017-04-07T13:48:07+00:00 April 7, 2017|

A large international team of researchers has found another troubling indicator of climate change: the Arctic Ocean around the North Pole is getting warmer, and in the process, becoming more like the Atlantic Ocean to its south. Specifically, the eastern Eurasian Basin is now more ice-free and showing mixing of vertical layers of water, a phenomenon common in the Atlantic. Record-breaking loss of sea ice has become a common feature in the Arctic every summer the last 10 years or so. Since 2011, the eastern Eurasian Basin region has been nearly free of ice at the end of every summer.

The Famous ‘Global Warming Hiatus’ Of The Early 21st Century Never Existed, New Data Confirm

2017-01-09T14:44:59+00:00 January 9, 2017|

Changes in the way that ocean temperatures were measured in recent decades made it look like the oceans were getting cooler, but now independent data has confirmed that this so-called 'hiatus' in global warming never actually happened. The cause of the apparent hiatus in rising sea-surface temperatures was first identified in 2015 in a paper in the journal Science by scientists at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The paper proved controversial, but since its publication, several studies have backed up the idea that the hiatus didn't in fact happen. The apparent hiatus has been linked to poor statistical methods, among other factors.

Ocean Temperatures Faithfully Recorded In Mother-Of-Pearl

2016-12-21T09:11:56+00:00 December 21, 2016|

Mother-of-pearl or nacre (pronounced nay-ker), the lustrous, tough-as-nails biomineral that lines some seashells, has been shown to be a faithful record of ancient ocean temperature. Writing online Thursday, Dec. 15, in the journal Earth and Planetary Science Letters, a team led by University of Wisconsin-Madison physics Professor Pupa Gilbert describes studies of the physical attributes of nacre in modern and fossil shells showing that the biomineral provides an accurate record of temperature as the material is formed, layer upon layer, in a mollusk.

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.

Antarctica Ice Shelf Is Breaking From The Inside Out

2016-12-05T08:53:17+00:00 December 5, 2016|

An ice sheet in West Antarctica is breaking from the inside out. The significant new findings published yesterday in Geophysical Research Letters show that the ocean is melting the interior of the Pine Island Glacier, which is about the size of Texas. The crack seems to be accelerating, said Ian Howat, associate professor of earth sciences at Ohio State University and the study’s lead author. The findings are the first confirmation of something glaciologists have long suspected was happening, he said.

The Arctic Is Seriously Weird Right Now

2016-11-30T10:05:47+00:00 November 30, 2016|

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.

Oceans Act As A ‘Heat Sink’: No Global Warming ‘Hiatus’

2016-12-05T17:10:58+00:00 November 28, 2016|

A new multi-institutional study of the so-called global warming "hiatus" phenomenon -- the possible temporary slowdown of the global mean surface temperature (GMST) trend said to have occurred from 1998 to 2013 -- concludes the hiatus simply represents a redistribution of energy within Earth system, which includes the land, atmosphere and the ocean.

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.

Ocean Warming Primary Cause Of Antarctic Peninsula Glacier Retreat

2016-07-20T10:54:15+00:00 July 21, 2016|

A new study has found for the first time that ocean warming is the primary cause of retreat of glaciers on the western Antarctic Peninsula. The Peninsula is one of the largest current contributors to sea-level rise and this new finding will enable researchers to make better predictions of ice loss from this region.

Ocean Temps Predict US Heat Waves 50 Days Out

2016-06-28T19:24:19+00:00 March 31, 2016|

The formation of a distinct pattern of sea surface temperatures in the middle of the North Pacific Ocean can predict an increased chance of summertime heat waves in the eastern half of the United States up to 50 days in advance, according to a new study led by a scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR).

Warming Ocean Water Undercuts Antarctic Ice Shelves

2016-06-28T19:24:22+00:00 March 18, 2016|

"Upside-down rivers" of warm ocean water threaten the stability of floating ice shelves in Antarctica, according to a new study led by researchers at the University of Colorado Boulder's National Snow and Ice Data Center published today in Nature Geoscience.

Ocean Heating Doubles

2016-01-27T17:06:50+00:00 January 27, 2016|

(Click to enlarge) Earth’s oceans are now absorbing twice as much heat as they were 18 years ago, new research shows. Warming water can contribute to coral bleaching (shown) and the collapse of coral ecosystems. (Credit: Wikimedia Commons) The ocean is taking heat. That’s the conclusion of a new study that finds that Earth’s [...]

Oceans Are Getting Hotter Than Anybody Realized

2014-10-09T16:49:28+00:00 October 9, 2014|

The RV Kaharoa motored out of Wellington, New Zealand on October 4, loaded with more than 100 scientific instruments, each eventually destined for a watery grave. Crewmembers will spend the next two months dropping the 50-pound devices, called Argo floats, into the seas between New Zealand and Mauritius, off the coast of Madagascar.

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