(Credit: NASA/ Earth Observatory) In December, a team of researchers and students at the University of California, Santa Barbara made the best of a local tragedy. The Thomas Fire, the largest in the state’s history, burned nearly 300,000 acres (120,000 hectares) in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties north of Los Angeles. The smoke [...]
As climate change continues to grip the Arctic—causing the oceans to rise, permafrost to thaw and sea ice to melt—scientists believe they've discovered an unexpected consequence of the shifting landscape. Changes along the coastline are altering the composition of the Arctic Ocean, in ways that could fundamentally transform the local food chain. (From Scientific [...]
Scientists have discovered the reason why some deep-sea coral reefs glow in the dark. Researchers from the University of Southampton found corals in deep water survived by making a special type of fluorescent protein. The research found the proteins responsible for acting as sunblock in corals in shallow waters worked differently in deep-sea reefs.
Marine seismic surveys used in petroleum exploration could cause a two to three-fold increase in mortality of adult and larval zooplankton, new research published in leading science journal Nature Ecology and Evolution has found. Scientists from IMAS and the Centre for Marine Science and Technology (CMST) at Curtin University studied the impact of commercial seismic surveys on zooplankton populations by carrying out tests using seismic air guns in the ocean off Southern Tasmania.
In principle, there is no lack of iron on Earth as the metal is one of the most abundant elements in Earth's crust. However in the ocean, dissolved iron is very rare, since it reacts rapidly with oxygen forming iron minerals which are poorly soluble and therefore unavailable for organisms. Nevertheless, dissolved iron is an essential nutrient for life. Without iron there would be no plankton growth, no food chain, no photosynthesis and no carbon fixation in the oceans.
A new multiyear study from scientists at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) has shown for the first time how changes in ocean temperature affect a key species of phytoplankton. The study, published in the October 21 issue of the journal Science, tracked levels of Synechococcus -- a tiny bacterium common in marine ecosystems -- near the coast of Massachusetts over a 13-year period. As ocean temperatures increased during that time, annual blooms of Synechococcus occurred up to four weeks earlier than usual because cells divided faster in warmer conditions, the study found.
Scientists have discovered that Antarctic krill – a tiny shrimp-like crustacean – plays a key role in fertilising the Southern Ocean with iron, which stimulates the growth of phytoplankton, the microscopic plants at the base of the marine food web. This finding is important for understanding the oceans' capacity for carbon capture.
Methane is stored under the sea floor, concentrated in form of hydrates, crystalline ice structures that stay stable under high pressure and in low temperatures. Several studies suggest that as the ocean warms, the hydrates might melt and potentially release methane into the ocean waters and atmosphere.
A new study of nearly 22,000 fossils finds that ancient plankton communities began changing in important ways as much as 400,000 years before massive die-offs ensued during the first of Earth's five great extinctions.
(Click to enlarge) Phytoplankton that is stressed by oil or chemicals pump out a sticky mucus nicknamed sea snot. (Credit: Arne Diercks) As nations across the globe negotiate how to reduce their contributions to climate change, researchers at Penn are investigating just how the coming changes will impact the planet.(From ScienceDaily) -- What's clear is [...]