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, [...]

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