Recent Posts - page 2

  • Simmering Seas & Weather Ahead

    Parts of the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Oceans all hit the record books for warmth last month, according to the U.S. National Centers for Environmental Information. The high temperatures could offer clues on the ferocity of the Atlantic hurricane season, the eruption of wildfires from the Amazon region to Australia, and whether the record heat and severe thunderstorms raking the southern U.S. will continue.

  • MPAs Could Help Oceans Recover

    “We are at a point where we can choose between a legacy of a resilient and vibrant ocean or an irreversibly disrupted ocean,” Carlos Duarte, a marine biologists at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology in Saudi Arabia and lead author of the new research, said in a statement.

  • Air Guns Threaten Right Whale Extinction

    In June 2017, NOAA Fisheries published proposed whale protections for the surveys. By winter the division’s biologists saw a problem: The protections for the North Atlantic right whale were too weak and put airguns in their direct path.

    The agency had proposed a seasonal ban on using airguns up to 47 kilometers (about 29 miles) from shore between November and April, when the whales were known to migrate and give birth along the mid- and south-Atlantic coast.

    But peer-reviewed research led by a NOAA Fisheries analyst concluded the whales were traveling farther from shore than ever before — and directly into the path of the proposed survey activity. A draft report for the Navy reached a similar conclusion.

  • Two Marine Mammals Critically Endangered

    (Vaquitas are) the world’s most rare marine animal, and it’s “on the edge of extinction,” WWF says.
    Only 10 individuals are still living in Mexico — and it has already been declared “functionally extinct.”

  • Warming Oceans Increasing Whale Entanglements

    “With the ocean warming, we saw a shift in the ecosystem and in the feeding behavior of humpback whales that led to a greater overlap between whales and crab fishing gear,” said Jarrod Santora, a researcher in applied mathematics at UCSC’s Baskin School of Engineering and first author of the study, published January 27 in Nature Communications.

  • Dungeness Crab Impacted by Acidification

    “This is the first study that demonstrates that larval crabs are already affected by ocean acidification in the natural environment, and builds on previous understanding of ocean acidification impacts on pteropods,” said lead author Nina Bednarsek, senior scientist with the Southern California Coastal Water Research Project. “If the crabs are affected already, we really need to make sure we start to pay much more attention to various components of the food chain before it is too late.”

  • New report connects ocean changes with human activities on land.

    The report makes clear that to protect the ocean, we must first reduce our dependence on fossil fuels. But we must also reduce ocean stress, caused by overfishing and pollution, so the ocean is healthy enough to weather the changes already underway.

    “The bottom line is that we need the ocean. And right now, the ocean needs us,” said Julie Packard, executive director of the Aquarium. “It’s not too late to take courageous climate action and safeguard the ocean from further damage.” 

  • A Sea Bird Dead Zone

    In a study published Wednesday in the journal PLOS ONE, a group of scientists from various state and federal agencies, universities and bird rescue organizations documented the die-off and concluded from the data that it was caused by a record-breaking ocean heat wave in 2014 through 2016 that triggered systemic changes throughout the ocean ecosystem.

  • From Visible Plastics to Nanoplastics in the Ocean

    What we commonly see accumulating at the sea surface is “less than the tip of the iceberg, maybe a half of 1% of the total,” says Erik Van Sebille, an oceanographer at Utrecht University in the Netherlands.

  • Pacific West Coast Acidification Rate Larger than Other Oceans

    The ocean absorbs carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, which reduces pH levels and concentrations of calcium carbonate, a mineral used by shellfish to calcify their shells. As more carbon is released into the atmosphere, concentrations of calcium carbonate decrease and the shells of organisms like foraminifera get thinner, a trend Osborne saw clearly in the sediment cores she examined.

    “The shell thickness record instantly showed a long-term declining trend,” she said. “It was really obvious across entire record.”