Editor’s note: The consistently disturbing news of marine mammals dying off or stranding in mass appears to be a global event. Gray whales are an iconic species that have survived throughout the centuries, including the great whale hunts of the… Read More ›
n February, southwest winds brought warm air and turned thin sea ice into “snow cone ice” that melted or blew off. When a storm pounded Norton Sound, water on Feb. 12 surged up the Yukon River and into Kotlik, flooding low-lying homes. Lifelong resident Philomena Keyes, 37, awoke to knee-deep water outside her house.
“This is the first I experienced in my life, a flood that happened in the winter, in February,” Keyes said in a phone interview.
Editor’s Note: A recent NY Times report is headlined, “The Great Barrier Reef was Seen as ‘Too Big to Fail.’ A Study Suggests It Isn’t.” The following is an abstract, “Global warming impairs stock–recruitment dynamics of corals” released Wednesday in… Read More ›
The study, published Monday in the journal Nature Climate Change, looked at the impact of marine heat waves on the diversity of life in the ocean. From coral reefs to kelp forests to sea grass beds, researchers found that these heat waves were destroying the framework of many ocean ecosystems.
According to Rebecca Vega Thurber, an associate professor of environmental microbiology at Oregon State University, who was not involved in the study, “What’s really exciting about this paper is the really strong correspondence between this temperature anomaly that occurred during that year when the sea stars started dying.”
Everywhere the warming went, the sunflower stars sickened and died.
The study showed a correlation between warming temperatures and the spread of the disease, not a direct cause. But it corroborates a hypothesis that was initially questioned because the virus that researchers think is responsible also shows up in healthy sea stars.
As the oceans continue to heat up, those effects will become more catastrophic, scientists say. Rainier, more powerful storms like Hurricane Harvey in 2017 and Hurricane Florence in 2018 will become more common, and coastlines around the world will flood more frequently. Coral reefs, whose fish populations are sources of food for hundreds of millions of people, will come under increasing stress; a fifth of all corals have already died in the past three years.
The blob is back. A meteorologist says unseasonable conditions in B.C. are likely once again causing a large area of the Pacific Ocean to heat up, emulating a phenomenon from past years called the “blob.” That mass of warm water was blamed… Read More ›
By Charmaine Coimbra Dominoes. It’s like 150 years of stacked dominoes collapsing in four directions from Rugby, North Dakota, North America’s geographical center and from every geographical center of every continent on Planet Earth—with the final dominos landing in every… Read More ›