The Earth Is Humming—Here’s What It Means

2017-12-15T12:10:20+00:00 December 15, 2017|

Ocean floor. (Credit: Paul Nicklen, National Geographic Creative) Our blue planet spins suspended in outer space—and it hums, too. European researchers say the Earth's incessant hum originates from the bottom of the ocean. This study, published by researchers from the Paris Institute of Global Physics in the journal Geophysical Research Letters in November, gleans material from ocean-bottom seismometer [...]

An Entrepreneurial Bootcamp For Scientists?

2017-12-11T16:13:03+00:00 December 11, 2017|

What It Was The House Science, Space, and Technology Subcommittee on Research and Technology held a hearing titled “From lab to market: A review of NSF Innovation Corps” to discuss successes and improvements to the six-year-old program. Why It Matters The number of global problems that could find solutions from the fields of science, [...]

A Model Explains Effects Like The Formation Of Clouds From The Sea

2017-12-04T17:37:40+00:00 November 30, 2017|

All liquids always contain gases in a greater or lesser concentration depending on the pressure and temperature to which it is subjected. These gases almost always end up as more or less small bubbles on the surface of the liquid. When these bubbles explode, especially if they are microscopic, minuscule drops are expelled at great velocity, and the drops almost instantly travel notable distances from the surface of the liquid that they came from.

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.

South Africa Tackles Crime At Sea With Ship-Spotting Satellites

2017-11-14T17:53:28+00:00 November 14, 2017|

In October last year, a fishing boat set out from Velddrif, a small town on South Africa’s west coast. It sailed northwest for about 25 nautical miles (46 kilometres), then turned sharply and headed back the way it had come. Staying clear of coastal settlements, it entered the West Coast National Park marine protected area — a strictly no-fishing zone — where it slowed down and began to sail in a zigzag pattern. “It was obvious what they were doing,” says Niel Malan, a marine biologist who works in South Africa’s Department of Environmental Affairs in Cape Town. “They were poaching.”

Ocean Sound Waves May Reveal Location Of Incoming Objects

2017-11-02T09:06:22+00:00 November 2, 2017|

New acoustic analysis could pinpoint impacts by meteorites or possibly plane debris. The ocean can seem like an acoustically disorienting place, with muffled sounds from near and far blending together in a murky sea of noise. Now an MIT mathematician has found a way to cut through this aquatic cacaphony, to identify underwater sound waves generated by objects impacting the ocean’s surface, such as debris from meteorites or aircraft. The results are published this week in the online journal Scientific Reports.

Senators Agree Science Is Key

2017-11-30T15:29:48+00:00 October 30, 2017|

The Senate Commerce, Science, & Transportation Subcommittee on Oceans, Atmosphere, Fisheries, and Coast Guard held a hearing on the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (MSA; P.L 109-479) reauthorization on Tuesday titled “Reauthorization of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act: Fisheries Science.” The MSA, the nation’s primary law to regulate commercial and recreational fisheries, has enabled rebuilding of numerous U.S. fish stocks and decreased overfishing. Over the last 41 years, science-based management has played an increasingly important role, which should continue with this reauthorization.

Research: Show Us The Value

2017-11-30T15:30:50+00:00 October 23, 2017|

The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Subcommittee on Federal Spending Oversight and Energy Management held a hearing, “Broken Beakers: Federal Support for Research.” Subcommittee members agreed on the importance of research and its daily benefits, but the role government should play in funding studies was split along party lines. The three main points of contention had to do with research merit, proposal selection process, and return on investment.

Sticky Tech: Robots That Mimic Remoras Could Expand Ocean Exploration

2017-10-24T12:32:27+00:00 October 18, 2017|

Scientists studied how remoras hitch rides on sharks, rays, and other animals to develop a device that does the same and that potentially could be used to study marine life and further the reach of underwater autonomous vehicles. Li Wen first noticed remoras in 2012. A postdoc at Harvard University at the time, he was working on 3D printing of synthetic shark skin. “I tried to find a nice image of a real shark online, then I noticed that there is always a parasitic fish attached to the shark,” said Wen, now a professor of bio-robotics at Beihang University in Beijing.

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