(Credit: Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute) While the lives of squid are mysterious in many ways, one gruesome truth is that after mating comes death. First the male dies. Next the female, after making a little pouch of eggs, begins to starve. (From The New York Times/ By Veronique Greenwood) -- “She is [...]
HALF MOON BAY, CALIFORNIA – While waves that once a year become the monster swells ridden by surfers in the Mavericks surf contest roll toward the harbor of this small fishing town south of San Francisco, oceanographer Tim Janssen sits in an office a block from the sea with a handful of colleagues and two dogs. They’re working on a small sensor-laden device he hopes to deploy by the thousands to gather data on those waves and other ocean conditions. Called the Spotter, the yellow space capsule-shaped float is about the size of a beach ball. Solar panels keep its batteries charged and the data gathered by its sensors is beamed via satellite to scientists’ laptops and smartphones. The Spotter is part of an explosion of new, cheaper tools for oceanographic research, giving scientists access to more real-time data about the ocean.
UNDERWATER ROBOTS DO a lot of neat things—take photos of underwater volcanoes, track leopard sharks, and explore shipwrecks—but they could still learn a few things from fish. Especially the rocket-fast, insanely agile tuna. Tuna are built to cruise across oceans, usually at around 2 mph. But they can crank up to 45 mph at the drop of a snack (Michael Phelps races at around 5 or 6 mph, for comparison). And tuna are agile, too, able to whip after fast-turning squids or sardines.
There is growing interest in developing offshore wind and wave energy facilities in the Pacific Northwest. But not much is known about the sediment and animal life along the sea floor in the region. That presents a problem for renewable energy companies because they need to consider environmental implications before constructing facilities in the ocean.
Scientists have gathered “unprecedented data” about some of the coldest oceanic abysses on Earth – thanks to Boaty McBoatface. The yellow submersible research vehicle returned home to the UK last week after its first voyage through the Antarctic Bottom Water, capturing data on temperature, speed of water flow and underwater turbulence in the Orkney Passage.
The University of Gothenburg soon will have its first autonomous underwater vehicle for research use. This will make it possible to conduct detailed studies of the seabed at great depths and track the climate thousands of years back in time. After more than two years of preparation, the University of Gothenburg has signed a contract that will make Sweden's first autonomous underwater vehicle for research use a reality.
The largest migration on Earth is very rarely seen by human eyes, yet it happens every day. Billions of marine creatures ascend from as far as 2km below the surface of the water to the upper reaches of the ocean at night, only to then float back down once the sun rises. This huge movement of organisms – ranging from tiny cockatoo squids to microscopic crustaceans, shifting for food or favourable temperatures – was little known to science until relatively recently.
Scientists discovered impressive abundance and diversity among the creatures living on the seafloor in the Clarion-Clipperton Zone -- an area in the equatorial Pacific Ocean being targeted for deep-sea mining. The study found that more than half of the species they collected were new to science, reiterating how little is known about life on the seafloor in this region.
An astronaut who's flown five missions in space and climbed Mount Everest has just wrapped up a scientific mission to what divers call the "Mount Everest of Shipwrecks," the S.S. Andrea Doria.
The hydrothermal vents and methane seeps on the ocean floor that were once thought to be geologic and biological oddities are now emerging as a major force in ocean ecosystems, marine life and global climate.