Need more factual information on oceans?
One great devil ray species (Mobula mobular) was doing well in the Mediterranean Sea last year, but it is still classed as endangered, whether in Gaza or migrating to the Tuscan Sea. As it isnt a food item, this probably saves it from the fate of its smaller relatives. They are disappearing fast, and there has been little effort at conservation.
The sailfish is a magnificent specimen, but not for any static display. It deserves to be given its niche in the open ocean, at the highest speeds of 70mph (110kph), perfecting their hunting of tuna, mackerel. sardine and squid. The fish grows rapidly, lives only around 4 years and inhabits warm waters and as we see here, hunts with that great, vicious bill, by damaging as many prey as it catches!
Dolphin worlds are no longer circus-like recreation for humans, but one oceanic species has found it possible to settle down in a relatively restricted habitat. Here is the story of their novel world, with Im sure, more evolutionary possibilities to come.
The mechanisms of shelf-sea fronts are poorly understood. As a front passes, how do plankton and their consumers contribute to the ecology of sea and land nearby? Many species of predator specialise in visiting these fronts, whether transient or fixed, and using the warmer temperatures, the varying productivity and the food supply that gannets find a valuable diet during the breeding season.
The research effort on the sunfish now has its genome: one of the most useful tools to use on a species to discover how it has evolved such remarkable anatomy. It has been called a natural mutant, but it has simply and rapidly adapted to its oceanic habitat and food chain. How this was achieved within the genome is a story that will now unravel with more and more research into this fish, its adaptations and population genetics and that of many others.
The humpback was hunted until only 1400 animals were left. Life seems more secure, though they are still endangered, but is there a future for any oceanic life if we turn a blind ear to the noise we emit, and all the rest of the pollution we dump on the sea?
We need to know how predators such as sharks and the ocean giants, the whales, can influence our ecosystems. Here, numbers count!
The science of ocean chemistry tells us much more about carbon in the atmosphere and water. Here a major new technique unveils what happens in every reef. The need to encourage people to understand exactly how important these corals are also appears to be a major factor in battling global warming, climate change and this acidification that is changing the oceans.
The revealing of the oceans wealth probably postdates the almost-total human exploitation of perhaps our most valuable resource. Here is an important indication that wealth remains deep below our puny explorations. The hope must be that it can be preserved or conserved and not canned.
What a mess the oceans are becoming. Climate change and surface temperatures currently occupy our thoughts, alongside the acidification so drastically affecting reefs and molluscs. Light pollution on beaches has misled turtle egg-laying habits and now is proved to prevent corals from spawning in this paper. When we finally reduce carbon footprints, it is likely the sea can breathe easier, but human ecologies must soon recover their ethics as far as all of these neglected species are concerned.
When we have learned of the sensory abilities of marine creatures such as the superb world traveller, the leatherback, perhaps then we will be able to both use new linked technology and understand the oceans better.
Both climate and ecosystem research is important, as our ocean temperatures and pH change. It is an acidic and a
basic problem. How will we cope, if even more fish disappear? And there is more to this than just what we eat. The whole atmosphere and our coastal communities are affected .
As the oceans change due to anthropomorphic and climatic change, the whales are perhaps our best way of monitoring their vast areas, even though this study only covers the Gulf of California.
We all dream of a perfect world where grass is green and rivers flow through forests surrounding clean cities. Reality is a human concentration on warfare and greed for land. To make up for the sins of the past alone, we have to spend a lot of time and money in disposing of the mistakes. Now for the future of no forest, polluted land, and nothing left alive in the rivers and oceans.
The damage afforded by our emissions on changing the climate are compounded by large-scale pollution of the oceans and overfishing as if they are going out of fashion. And they are! The realisation here is that we are going to lose many more marine plants and animals than we thought, unless the stress of conservation shifts to less-known animals and plants.
When an animal population is hard to sample because they are low in numbers or hard to catch, genetics can now come to the rescue. If we dont discover a species secrets, we will never be able to conserve them. The seahorse, like any fish, is able to survive cold by relying on the more constant temperature of the ocean.
How do we know how the oceans and winds will deliver when global warming destroys or present climate systems? The answer will depend on how this new information on Arctic sea-ice fits with various modelling experiments. We need to have information on these unexpected floods, violent hurricanes and killer droughts if we are to have any chance of preventing their worst excesses.
The late Pliocene has a lot in common with our projected temperature rise above two degrees Celsius. Carbon dioxide levels were high then too, so there is comparability which could help us in our quest to get ourselves out of the polluted mess we find ourselves in. The answer is deep down in ocean sediments and tied to glaciation and sea ice !
The marvels of the Pacific Islands were not discovered by Europeans. The Polynesians made brave and fantastic voyages across giant stretches of water to colonise much of Oceania. They may have been helped by favourable winds before 1300AD but the means of their success were giant canoes, carrying livestock, food and colonists. Here is the germ of their story.
How can science cope with the vast expanses of maritime area and all the problems the oceans have? Employ everybody whos out there, thats how. Sailors and lubbers, sinners and saints can all join in to add to the desperately deficient data. We do need to know what and why, how and why the denizens of the deep are coping with the world we are changing for them.
After our story on the global warming effects that were discussed last week in Montreal, new discoveries on ocean heat sinks have revealed we may have accelerated warming, once this present slowdown is reversed. Now, that is bad news!
How long can we allow shark-fin soup to decimate and make extinct the top predators of our oceans? The shark is not just one fish. The range of shapes and sizes is vast in these ancient cartilaginous fish. We need that diversity and presence in the ecosystem. Here is one species we hardly notice, as their time is spent far from us, where they are probably better off!
In the Indian Ocean and the Pacific there are the volcanic islands of the Tahitian and Hawaiian archipelagos. Many other island nations based on coral atolls now live almost beneath the waves as our carbon emissions literally force global warming to drown them.
The Atlantic runs the larger Pacific pressure system? Not quite, but the links between these two great ocean basins are closer than anyone thought.
World Oceans Day 2014; protect our oceans, or we haven't got a chance of survival ourselves!
Known for migration, their sweet songs and the tremendous breaching behaviour they exhibit near some coasts, the humpbacks are unique, like many whale species. Now it looks like their uniqueness could be threefold.
At last, the Pacific is being reconverted from a plastic waste dump into the original coral island ecosystem we all know it deserves to be. Wake up, the rest of Oceania, and take part in the big oceanscape they are planning in the western ocean.
Air pollution is rarely linked to water pollution, but the strong links will soon be obvious, just as the surface air movement is influenced by the ocean currents and the temperatures of both. While scientific models can tell us what is going to happen as the earth warms, climate change will also be influenced by small so far neglected fluctuations in chemistry such as these pH changes in our oceans, affecting billions of creatures, and of course, us.
After the World Ocean Summit, the long term future is not assured. We can hope that the more positive nations move on aggressively, to combat those people and industries who would violently continue their unthinking habits. Some fishing and eating habits became obsolete when so many species, great and small, started to disappear
How can we protect our coastal, oceanic and even little seas. As we don't often travel on water nowadays, we need to figure just how 'successful' our various pollutions, fish consumptions and farming and of course the limited conservation efforts have been.
How do marine animals cope with raised acidity in the sea? We have to study how adjustment can work, if species are able to adjust to future levels at all.
Many carnivores are in trouble, especially in the oceans and the urban areas of Europe and Asia. The ancestor of our domestic dog is one species that does seem able to bounce back, given some reasonable conditions of a little wilderness and a plentiful supply of deer herds. Good luck, Bouncer!
Out there in the Pacific and the other oceans, the mid-depth temperatures are still increasing rapidly. Science techniques have discovered the temperature regime changes over 10, 000 years and it is certainly warming up out there!
When rivers flowed and heat was bearable, ice still remained on the Arctic Ocean and Antarctica was safe from development. Fond memories!
Evidence is needed for the survival of many critically endangered animals when they disappear from our sight and reappear many years later in situations such as the open ocean or the dense tropical forests. Conservationists desperately need to know how they can be helped through their young stages and brought back from the brink of extinction.
What do we do to help the crisis as the Arctic ice disappear? Gather more statistics, with the effect of that on the problem - an absolute zero.
The strange and unique feeding system of these deep-sea crabs has fascinated us since they were first found, in the deep trenches of the Pacific, then the Atlantic and Indian oceans. Now their relatives have been worked out.
David McGuire of Shark Stewards gives his account of the state of the shark nation and insight into the diabolical shark finning trade. It's great to have personal accounts of the real animal in its element, the open ocean.
All the fish in the sea couldn't tell you the enormous significance of marine ecosystems and the effects we are just discovering that they have on the atmosphere, climate and of course, global warming. Celebrate the magnificent ocean today!
While the warming has been catastrophic, the underlying effects of our treatment of the Arctic have been overlooked. This is a truly enormous chemical change, joining with global warming to destroy communities and possibly ecosystems.
Reports from the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Admin (NOAA) paper in Science last week point to a drastic change in climate. This opposes the previous view, especially from the US, that climate change was gradual and even negligible..
The three hazards associated with climate change that affect the marine environment are no strangers to air and land either. As temperature has caused ice to melt and currents to change, the oceans have increased in temperature more than the land.
The ''high seas'' are certainly spoilt and polluted; certainly in no way comparable to the oceanic treasure house left to us a century ago, or even before the production of plastic wastes.
A new species of eelpout has been discovered in the Kermadec Trench. The eelpout is named because of its long body, but it's actually in the perch group, related to the little blenny or the large ocean pout.
At one point in time the temperate oceans of the Caribbean were filled with billions of sea turtles. Not any more..
Unnatural islands, created from litter strewn throughout the oceans. This marine pollution eventually accumulates as floating trash islands.
Possibly the largest earthquake of its kind has been recorded in the Indian Ocean. At least four faults in the Indo-Australian plate caused a magnitude-8.7 earthquake in April last year, say seismologists.
New wave energy project for Australia. The 19 MW marine energy project is the next step in the on-going relationship between American wave power technology designer Ocean Power Technologies and Lockheed Martin.
Sea ice covering the Arctic Ocean is now the smallest ever size seen since satellite monitoring of the Arctic polar cap started.
The Ocean Sentinel, one of just a few test facilities for wave energy technology has begun work in Oregon, USA.
Marine scientists launch the Ocean Health Index. This is an assessment of the health and benefits of the global ocean.
Earth and nature help us out by continuing to soak up carbon emissions. Carbon sinks, such as oceans and forests are still soaking up half of the greenhouse gases produced by human activity.
A massive ancient ice rift, up to one mile deep in places, has been found in Antarctica. The rift basin is linked to the warming ocean that effects ice flow, say the British scientists that found it.
For those who havent read our earlier episodes, this is an update on the GREEN RIDERS: Southeast Asia's ongoing adventure among forest and city, oceans and villages.
Fishing gear and methods such as longlines, trawls, gillnets and other types of gear catch sea turtles unintentionally, as bycatch. Sea turtles lives reflect the depths and mysteries of the ocean world - their survival is critical to the health of our oceans and environment.
New research finds a hotspot of accelerated rate sea-level rise (SLR) in the ocean off the North American Atlantic coast. The actual accelerated rate of SLR occurs along a 1000km stretch north from Cape Hatteras in North Carolina to Cape Cod near Boston, MA.
The Project AWARE Foundation is a 20-year-old group of thousands of conservation-minded scuba divers who care passionately about the oceans and marine environment. Sharks in Peril and Dive Against Debris are just two of the current conservation campaigns running. They are also looking for an ocean hero as part of their Ocean Action Project, could it be you?
Australia announced new protected areas of ocean and huge marine reserve in the Coral Sea this week. Unfortunately the oceans are dying and we must start protecting them before it is too late.
Time is running out for the oceans of the world. Most people are aware of the critical nature of the situation, but seem reluctant to take any action. The future hope lies with young people who are better informed than the older generation and show more motivation to address te problem.
Oceanic flora and vegetation like terrestrial forests are carbon sequesters, they store tons of carbon, blue carbon. In the climate change debate the impacts to air have dominated, with water not having featured as a critical medium of impact.
A new study on ice loss in Antarctica by the British Antarctic Survey confirms what we already know about the effects of global warming but it differentiates between the effects of ocean currents, their cause and the air temperature effects at the ice surface.
Marine scientists have delved back 700 years to find out how fishermen achieved high yields and sustainable management - and says they provide lessons for us today.
Research published in the Journal of Vertebrate Palaeontology shows how a relative of beluga whales and narwhals used to live in warm oceans.
Proof that the people of Madagascar are of Indonesian origin. Genetics have provided evidence of the Polynesian DNA (mitochondrial) in Madagascar from remote Oceania and Y chromosome 'haplogroups' from south-east Asia and Oceania.
Humpback whales at opposite ends of the Indian Ocean are singing different songs, a study has revealed for the first time. Normally, humpbacks in the same area of the ocean sing similar themes.
Ecotricity has introduced green gas and many other clean energy innovations. Searaser, invented by Alvin Smith and manufactured by Ecotricity, converts ocean wave power into clean renewable energy and harnesses the power of the ocean.
The Galapagos trench and many other Pacific, Indian Ocean (possibly related to a SW Pacific biogeographic province) and mid-Atlantic trenches have been slowly 'unearthed', until recently the faunal diversity was found to be centred on the Antarctic Ocean.
A mini-submarine, shaped like a penguin, has been created by a German university team to dive 6,000 metres and locate amazing deep-sea creatures and valuable raw materials.
It's a new model of how bluefin tuna (Thunnus thynnus) influence each other's populations from both sides of the ocean. This is one of the largest and fastest bony fish on earth and presents a special predatory function over many smaller fish and squid.
As well as raising global temperatures, rising CO2 levels are making our oceans more acidic. Until now it was thought that fish would not be damaged but new research shows their eggs and larvae could be devastated by acidification.
Why great white sharks are such bad news for Cape fur seals. A pair of scientists have put the ocean's greatest killing machines under the spotlight to find they rely on cunning, speed and stealth to get their prey.
Most eco-labels are little better than farmed fish when it comes to protecting the ocean, a new study from Victoria University, Canada, claims.
World experts from the International Ocean Acidification Reference User Group (RUG) have called for an urgent decision to address the growing problem of ocean acidification. The announcement, along with the IUCN has been made at the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.
Scientists are discovering the truth about the potential fate of coral reef ecosystems in relation to how ocean acidification is affecting them.
More disturbing news for environmentalists, with the announcement that starting next year, the US Department of the Interior has granted Shell tentative approval to begin drilling exploratory wells to begin exploiting the vast oil and gas resources in the Arctic Ocean.
It was originally thought that climate change would see a much more rapid relocation of land species than of ocean life as the temperature rise in oceans would be slower. However, this way of thinking is beginning to change based on new research that has been published in Science magazine.
Perhaps the ugliest fish in the world, the marine hagfish. For years, scientists theorised about how it might absorb nutrients while it was slowly scavenging the ocean floors. Video has now been taken to convict it of the hunting and killing of cute little fish.
A previous explanation for the warming that ended the last ice age has been called into doubt. The last ice age was lengthy, taking place over a period of 25,000 years. It covered over a third of the earth and ended over 10,000 years ago. How the glacial period ended has been a matter of dispute, but one accepted theory was that a significant release of carbon dioxide from the ocean was the cause.
Nazca Boobies, related to other ocean travellers such as the famous wandering albatross, live in the Galapagos. Unfortunately, parents have to leave nestlings frequently to fish long-distance. On the islands, such as this booby colony on Isla Espanola, there is an intense interest by certain adults in unrelated chicks, especially when its parents are necessarily absent for long periods.
The President of the Marshall Islands, Jurelang Zedkaia, declared the world's biggest shark sanctuary on October 2nd. The parliament or Nitijela unanimously passed a law prohibiting commercial shark fishing in the two million km2 piece of ocean surrounding the Pacific islands.
In the UK, TV chefs have done wonders to energize the debate on the peril that the world's fisheries and ocean's are in. Now it must be over to the masses to turn their purchasing-power into real-world change, that can stop the plunder of the world's marine resources.
So relevant to all life forms and our climate, the sea's salt has now been estimated by NASA's Aquarius/SAC-D satellite observatory. After two and a half weeks, since only August 25th, the preliminary data have been exemplary, providing us with an early view of large-scale ocean patterns.
As global emissions of greenhouse gases have risen, the rise in temperatures has not followed exactly in their path, but scientists using new computer models believe they have found the 'missing heat' of global warming in the depths of the oceans.
A new paper in Science has gone a long way to clearing-up why primitive jelly-fish are often able to out-compete hard-pressed fish. The inclusion of their low-energy use into the modeling equations used by ecologists, shows that jellyfish and fish are on more of an equal footing than previously believed - and so jellyfish may carry on winning-out whilst over-fishing continues.
A coalition of conservationists and scientists are at the UN this week to argue that the organisations own rules on sustainable fishing in our deep oceans are being routinely flouted by member states.
A United Nations top scientist believes that coral reefs will potentially be the first ecosystem that human activity effectively destroys. A new book released this week in the United States, Professor Peter Sale, who leads the United Nations University Institute for Water, Environment and Health, states his concern that the world's coral reef ecosystems are likely to disappear this century.
Whales range across the oceans paying no heed to international boundaries, so a new deal between American and French Caribbean sancturies is good news for migrating humpback whales. Humpbacks travel more than 3,000 miles between the two safe havens, which will now better coordinate their conservation work and study the threats the majestic mammals face.
Not all MCS-labeled fish turn out to be true to their sticker, according to a new study on the make-up of the Chilean sea bass, commonly found in US grocery stores. Many of the fish labeled as sustainably-sourced in fact comes from different South American fisheries, or even from oceans on the other side the world, say the authors of the work published in Current Biology.
A NASA project has for the first time mapped the glacial flows of Antarctica, providing vital information in the monitoring of climate change. The map they have created shows glaciers as they snake their way from the desolate Antarctic interior to the southern oceans.
Scientists in California and Japan believe that high frequency radar which picked up the changes in the oceans as Japan was devastated by an earthquake and tsunami in March could form the basis of a new early-warning system.
Chile has banned the practice of shark-finning which costs up to 73 million sharks their lives each year. Shark fins are usually sold to the Far East, where they are made into shark fin soup. The toll on some of the ocean's biggest and baddest predators can be terrible - they are often de-finned before being dumped, still alive, back into the sea.
Just how much does the collapse of an ice shelf affect glaciers? Glacial ice may surge into the ocean for many years after an ice shelf's collapse. New research studying two ice shelf collapses provides the most accurate data yet on this phenomenon.
The fish on which we most rely are under threat of extinction says a new survey of scombrids, which include mackerel and tuna - overfishing, pollution and destruction of ocean habitat is the cause say the compilers of the Red List of Threatened Species.
Now that the dust has settled after the recent annual meeting of the International Whaling Commission (IWC), it is possible to assess the outcome and see who the winners and losers are. The biggest losers do appear to be the whales of the Southern Atlantic ocean.
Californian ecosystems could soon be affected by ocean acidification. Ocean acidification could significantly affect the number of California mussels (Mytilus californianus) reaching maturity and consequently, have a detrimental impact on the marine ecosystems of Californian coastal regions.
The Japanese have officially announced that they will return to the Southern Ocean to continue whaling, and now Sea Shepherd are preparing to battle once more. The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society has been battling hard against this barbarism by the Japanese whalers and sees this as simply one more battle to be fought.
Active volcanoes discovered deep under cold waters. Previously unknown volcanoes have been discovered under the Southern Ocean around the remote South Sandwich Islands. Scientists from the British Antarctic Survey (BAS) used sea-floor mapping technology to find 12 underwater volcanoes, some up to 3 kilometres high.
Warming oceans may be finding it harder to take their share of our CO2 emissions, says an upcoming study out in Nature Geoscience today. The three-decades of North Atlantic data analyzed suggest, for the first time, that climate change is causing the oceans to pass the CO2 buck straight back to us.
Yesterday, European Union waters were fished out for the year according to a new report, which says the day on which the continent has to rely on international waters is getting earlier each year. A report from OCEAN2012 and the new economics foundation says that the need to import seafood to the union comes six days earlier than it did last year.
Warming ocean currents could eat into polar ice-sheets from beneath, increasing the rate at which they flow into the sea, say researchers in a paper out in Nature Geoscience today. Their state-of-the-art climate models suggests a sea-level rise of 36 inches or more is on the cards by 2100.
A team of American researchers have travelled to the Pacific Ocean's dirtiest waters to find that nine per cent of the fish there are eating our waste in the form of tiny specs of plastic. The garbage patch is known more correctly as North Pacific Subtropical Gyre, 1,000 miles off the Californian coast, and it was discovered that fish are eating 12,000 to 24,000 tons of plastic each year.
Researchers from the University of Minnesota have created a remarkable new alloy, Ni45Co5Mn40Sn10, that can generate powerful magnetic currents - and so electricity - when warmth flips it from one phase to another. The material is described in a new science journal, Advanced Energy Materials, and the team hopes that its high efficiency will lead to better use of waste heat - and even to the sourcing of green electricity from the oceans.
After a decade of surveying that has pooled marine experts from institutions from across the globe, the first results of TOPP - a critical part of the Census of Marine Life are published in Nature today. They show that the Pacific Ocean's top predators move across an ever-changing oceanic landscape, in order to enjoy shifting biological feasts, that move with the the currents and the seasons.
Researchers at the Plymouth Marine Laboratory and the Marine Biological Association (UK) together with colleagues from the University of North Carolina (USA) have made an important contribution to our understanding of the relationship between marine plankton and ocean pH.
An unprecedented number of marine species are at risk of extinction. Increasing levels of CO2 contributes to rising temperatures. In turn, increased temperatures lead to more CO2 being absorbed into the ocean. Increased CO2 in the ocean leads to increasing ocean acidification and hypoxia, which are devastating for marine life.
North Carolina's salt-marsh back-waters have helped scientists to show that the 20th century has seen seas rising by more than 8 inches per century a rate unparalleled in 2000 years of data. The results, published today by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, will help climate scientists better constrain future predictions of the ocean's relentless rise as global warming progresses.
Worries about the growth of oxygen-depleted dead zones may be eased by a new study, which models the 50-year evolution of low oxygen tongues and plumes across the oceans. The paper in Science shows that bacteria have a big influence on the ebb and flow of oxygen through the seas but that a long term decline in oxygen, due to global warming, is still likely.
A dangerous toxin has been found in an endangered Hawaiian seal, further threatening its survival. Scientists from the American National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) discovered ciguatoxin in the Hawaiian monk seal and are concerned other marine mammals may have come into contact with the poison which is produced by marine algae.
Warm nighttime temperatures change wind patterns, trapping pollutants in cities. Amongst U.S. cities, Houston has some of the highest levels of pollutants like ozone at the ground level. In Houston, urban development inhibits winds from sweeping pollutants out to the ocean at night.
Ocean2012, the marine conservation group, launches its 2nd annual European Fish Week, hoping to influence decision-makers looking to the future of EU fishing policy. Ocean2012 is asking us to go back to the future, to find inspiration in the past in order to revitalize our oceans in the future - and bring them back to their former flourishing state.
Scientists look to volcanic fissures to examine the effects of rising acidification in the world's oceans. As the seas become more acidic through global warming and increased carbon dioxide levels, there's a real possibility that coral reefs and the sea life that relies coral reef habitat could become extinct by the end of the century.
Acidic hotspots in coastal waters can destroy local livelihoods, as well as damage marine ecosystems. But a Policy Forum paper in tomorrow's Science claims that US communities have the power in their own hands to practically deal with such hotspots - without waiting for foot-dragging state and federal authorities to lumber into action.
A paper in Nature today shows that anomalocaridids, giant predatory sea-creatures, survived 30 million years longer than was previously believed. The conclusion comes from the study of beautifully preserved soft-bodied fossils, found in Moroccan rocks, from the Ordovician period.
''Sat-nav'' to be used in new seabird programme to track birds around Europe's Atlantic coastline. The project, known as FAME - the Future of the Atlantic Marine Environment - is tracking the movements of seabirds to pinpoint areas that are important for these ocean travellers. This knowledge should assist the selection of marine protected areas which are vital for the survival of seabird species.
The city of Brantford, Ontario, has captured the attention of the world by becoming the first city in Canada to call a halt to the trade in shark fins. The World Wildlife Fund estimates that around 73 million sharks are killed every year, mostly for their fins. The majority of the fins are taken using barbaric methods where the shark is thrown back into the ocean alive and without its fin.
Scientists discover that the 'greenhouse' effect isn't constrained to the atmosphere. A team of geologists from Newcastle University in the UK have discovered evidence that 'greenhouse oceans' occurred in prehistoric times, resulting in areas of ocean with little or no life due to low levels of oxygen in the water.
A creature once thought extinct has been rediscovered in Colombia. Where would you expect to see a species last seen in 1898? Deepest jungle? At the bottom of the ocean? How about on your doorstep? The red-crested tree-rat, a little known guinea-pig sized rodent, casually appeared
Dr Henry Ruhl of the National Oceanography Centre, Southampton and Professor Monty Priede of the University of Aberdeen, argued for independent monitoring of the deep-sea hydrocarbon industry as a means to gain a better understanding of its potential ecological activity and as a means of providing early warning of problems.
The announcement of 3 new advanced sensors for tracking oceanic acidity levels, made yesterday by the University of Alaska Fairbanks, will help scientists monitoring this worrying knock-on from rising CO2 levels. If CO2 levels keep pushing the ocean's acidity up, many organisms relying on limy shells will be threatened.
Scientists in America have unveiled information that suggests oceans can take vast amounts of time to recover from disasters such as mass extinctions. Researchers from the University of Chicago, West Virginia University and The Ohio State University examined fossil records dating from a mass extinction that devastated ocean life 360 million years ago, known as the Hangenberg event.
Oceanic eddies 300-miles wide don't just stretch across the surface of the ocean - they reach down to its depths, helping to connect isolated areas of the mid-oceanic ridges, and even providing 'lifts' to their inhabitants. So claims a new paper in Science which shows that these rotating currents help bring the 'seasons' of the surface to the darkest corners of the oceans.
In a wildlife spectacle, a massive aggregation of over 300 humpback whales followed the biggest swarm of Antarctic krill seen in twenty years into bays in the Western Antarctic peninsula. The humpbacks were gorging on swarms of the tiny shrimp-like crustaceans. Almost all life in the Southern Ocean is ultimately dependent on the protein-rich crustaceans, from seabirds, seals and penguins, to the filter feeding whales.
A new player in Europe's climate change story, as global warming continues its relentless rise, has been suggested by a paper in today's Nature. The 'Agulhas leakage' of warm salty waters from the Indian Ocean, appears to be increasing, says the study - and that could help prevent the predicted slow-down of the North Atlantic Drift.
Any schoolchild should know that gravity is the force that keeps us on the ground and that the force of gravity is 9.8 ms-2. However, the force of gravity is not exactly the same at all points on the planet. This is because the density of the earth is not uniform; the earth is not a perfect sphere and therefore the height of the surface above the core varies from ocean deeps to high mountains. The gravitational pull of the earth is inversely proportional to the height one is above it - if you are far enough from the surface you experience weightlessness, after all.
An estuary is defined as being the mixing zone where fresh river water meets the salt water of the ocean. The penetration of salt water into the fresh river water can extend backwards from the coast for some distance. Researchers at Stanford University recently published details of a battery which uses changes in salinity to produce electricity (see Nano Lett., 2011, 11 (4), pp 1810-1813).
According to an April 2011 report released by Greenpeace, the earth's oceans are in jeopardy due to the devastating effects of overfishing and bycatch. DThe report's findings indicate that careless industrial fishing practices continue to be a large part of our ocean's troubles, and are now responsible for reducing populations of ecologically vital animals like cod, sharks and tuna by up to 90 percent.
Humpback whale song - Whales singing in the vast expanses of the oceans introduce new song elements into their repertoire each year, creating new 'remixes'. And the most popular tunes quickly ripple across the oceans in a massive cultural interchange that has no known parallels outside of homo sapiens. So say scientists studying Pacific humpback whales.
A colony of endangered Northern Rockhopper penguins is facing a grim future after a ship grounded on an important breeding island in the South Atlantic Ocean. The remoteness of the Tristan islands and the fact that there is no air field on any of the islands has caused major headaches for the oil spill management efforts.
Rise in deaths of dolphins in the Gulf of Mexico prompts the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Association to declare it an ''Unusual Mortality Event.'' the NOAA has confirmed that more than 400 dolphins have been found stranded in the Northern Gulf of Mexico, but this number is most likely just a fraction of the total number of actual deaths.
Major studies of the oceans around Europe have led scientists to warn of possible changes in temperatures and sea conditions which will have a major impact on human and marine life. Scientists have raised alarming prospects for the future of the climate of north western Europe as meltwater pours south from the Arctic possibly slowing the warming ocean currents.
WWF forms new partnership with handline fishers in the Coral Triangle in an effort to lead them into the sustainable fishing market. Our oceans have long been regarded as limitless suppliers of food, but the technological advances in our fishing techniques allow us to harvest fish at an unnatural and devastating rate.
Scientists have discovered that the movement and melting of icebergs plays an important role in distributing phytoplankton and consequently absorbing and removing carbon dioxide from the oceans. The new findings have major implications for global climate research and management.
New techniques have shown that groups of dolphins are separated by environmental factors which are starting to produce new species. Conservationists from the Wildlife Conservation Society, the American Museum of Natural History, and other conservation and research groups found that currents are among the factors preventing dolphin mixing in the western Indian Ocean.
According to the new Blue Carbon Working Group, urgent action is needed to halt increasing carbon emissions from destroyed and degraded coastal marine ecosystems. Rapid and long-lasting emissions of CO2 are being released into the ocean and atmosphere due to the destruction of coastal carbon ecosystems, such as mangroves, seagrasses and tidal marshes.
Plastic is flooding the world's oceans, damaging sea-life. The stomach contents of a young sea-turtle found dead off the Argentinian coast were examined by scientists. It was found to contain hundreds of small pieces of plastic detritus. More than half of the 90 sea-turtles found dead of the coast of Brazil were found with similar shards of plastic in their guts or faeces.
Genetic analysis confirms the world's rarest albatross is a separate species. The Amsterdam albatross is classified as Critically Endangered on the IUCN Red List. It is an extremely large albatross that breeds only on Amsterdam Island in the southern Indian Ocean, where its total population is made up of just 130 individuals. The Amsterdam albatross's breeding range is restricted further still, to a single area of the island known as the Plateau des Tourbieres.
Honshu, Japan: At 05:46 UTC (02:46 PM - Local Time at the Epicentre) one of the most powerful earthquakes recorded in quake history, off the east coast of Japan, 130 km (80 miles) east of Sendai, Honshu, Japan. Filed in environmental issues: earthquake/tsunami/nature.
Climate change will have its most dramatic effects on the oceans so it's no surprise that the US Navy are looking at how they will operate in the future. A new report from the National Research Council says that America's navy will have to prepare to operate in the Arctic; expect more humanitarian missions and check whether its coastal facilities are prepared for changing sea-levels.
Creatures that currently live in warm, shallow waters, can often survive in much harsher environments a team at Southampton University has found. A team at University of Southampton's School of Ocean and Earth Sciences (SOES) used the aptly-named variable shrimp to test there hypothesis that as deep sea creatures were killed off by climate change their places were taken by their neighbours in the shallow water. Filed under environmental issues: Migration/Nature.
Discusses the problem of plastic 'islands' in the ocean and what we can do to correct it. It is a tragic fact the Atlantic has large amounts of plastic contamination which is cluttering up the ocean and causing problems with sea life and marine birds. The plastic containers come in all shapes and sizes take practically forever to biodegrade due to their chemical makeup
The miles-thick ice-sheets of Antarctica continue to surprise scientists, as they attempt to prise out the secrets from deep within the southern hemisphere's giant ice locker. Now a survey of the completely ice-submerged Gamburtsev Mountains has glaciologists rethinking ideas of ice-sheet dynamics. The Antarctic ice-sheets form the largest body of freshwater on the planet, making up 60% of all water outside the oceans.
It seems fish have to put up with more than just a voracious fishing industry and oceans becoming more acidic. Noise pollution, such as that from powerboats and jet skis, is also causing them to be distracted from eating. More research is needed to quantify the effects on fish populations, long-term.
Floods forecast for North Central US for the third year running. A recent forecast from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has predicted that there will be major flooding in the North Central region of the United States this spring for the third consecutive year.
Geomagnetic cues help young loggerhead turtles navigate the open ocean during their epic 8,000 mile journey between leaving their natal beaches in Florida, and returning 5-10 years later to breed. Researchers have just worked out how they do it. The loggerhead's secret is to use both the angle, or inclination; and the strength of the earth's magnetic field to deliver enough information to determine its exact position on the planet both east-west and north-south.
People are eating the oceans dry of the big predatory fish leaving the smaller fish to claim the waters. Scientists have confirmed that with humans overfishing the big predatory fish at the top of the food chain the smaller fish are thriving in their new niche. People's desire to eat the big fish species, such bluefin tuna, cod and grouper, has meant their numbers have reduced worldwide by a massive 60 percent.
The Japanese government has announced that they have decided to bring this year's Antarctic Ocean whaling season to an early end. A statement by the Japanese Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries they said their whaling fleet will be returning home shortly as a result of the ongoing harassment that they have been receiving from the anti-whaling activists in the Antarctic Ocean, naming the vessels run by the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society.
Scientists predict that a warming Indian Ocean will create drought conditions in Kenya and Ethiopia. Regular droughts have long been regarded as a feature of eastern Africa, but over the past 20 years the frequency of these droughts has noticeably increased. According to new research published in Climate Dynamics, this is likely to continue as global temperatures continue to rise.
A humble sea creature is being hailed as the possible solution in the campaign to save the world's oceans from pollution. Scientists at Newcastle University, in North East England, working with colleagues in Africa, say the sea cucumber is important because it is responsible for cleaning up the sea bed by consuming and mixing marine sediments.
New research suggests that a cyclical weather pattern in the Atlantic Ocean is responsible for the recent reported decline in striped bass populations. The striped bass was once one of the success stories of conservation. Previously overfished, then serious catch limits were put in place and the population of striped bass was able to recover: fishermen where then once again able to fish for these large, trophy fish along the East Coast of America.
How fluctuations in levels of oceanic oxygen affected the early evolution of animal life. The accepted view of the Earth's history is that for its first four billion years it was in an anoxic state and that about 600 million years ago the oceans became oxygen-rich to approximately the degree that they are today.
Anti-whaling activists are continuing to make life difficult for the whalers in the Southern Ocean and they may now return to Japan empty handed. The Sea Shepherd group has managed to intercept the ship that is supplying the Japanese vessels hunting for whales in the South Ocean. The conservation group is planning to prevent the Japanese whaling supply ship, the Sun Laurel, from delivering fuel and other supplies to both the whalers and their factory ship.
A recent scientific expedition looking at plastic levels in the Mediterranean Sea has revealed the severity of the micro-plastic pollution problem. The research work has been completed by Mediterranean EnDangered (MED), an international programme bringing together scientists, teachers, sailors, artists and associations for the protection of the Mediterranean Sea.
Growth rings in fossil and living deep sea corals tell scientists about Atlantic Ocean currents and may provide clues to links between these and global warming. Like tree rings and ice cores, the annual growth rings in deep sea gorgonian corals can tell us about the past environment, and are a new and dependable source of data about the deep ocean. Dr Owen Sherwood, a biogeochemist and lead author of a new study spoke to Earth Times today
The proposed construction of a new oil and gas platform on the coast of Sakhalin Island in Russia is putting more pressure on the survival of the critically endangered western gray whale population. The International Union for Conservation of Nature (ICUN) lists the western gray whale as critically endangered. The ICUN believes that about 130 of the whales remain in the oceans, with only 30 of these being mature females capable of reproducing.
A three-year dip in Bering Sea temperature has caused a change in the distribution of the staple food of pollock. The Bering Sea is considered to be one of the world's most productive fisheries and its northern portions are the home of sea ducks, grey whales, bearded seals and walruses, but a 30-year warming trend has been bad news for those animals that are adapted to a cold-water environment, causing them to migrate further north.
Large, oceangoing fish like the shark have been in steady decline for years, victims of poor regulation and overfishing by big industrial fleets. But now some reprive seems to be in sight thanks to a US law. The US Congress approved a bill prohibiting shark finning in all United States waters.
Satellite tracking technology has helped British scientists map the route taken by female leatherhead turtles for the first time. The marked decline seen in global populations of leatherback turtles can be partly attributed to the fact that their annual migratory routes force the animals to run the gauntlet of long-line fishing boats in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean.
There is a large amount of plastic rubbish floating in the oceans but the claims about the Great Garbage Patch in the middle of the Pacific between North America and Japan are exaggerated according to research by Oregon State University.
The Sea Shepherd has located the Japanese whaling boats in the Southern Ocean and has clashed before the whalers have managed to slaughter any whales. The goal of the anti-whaling fleet was to try to stop the Japanese boats from continuing their slaughter of whales in the Southern Ocean.
Six years after the tsunami disaster of 26th December 2004, the set-up of the German-Indonesian Tsunami Early Warning System for the Indian Ocean (GITEWS) has been completed. The Federal Government of Germany contracted the Helmholtz Association, represented by the Helmholtz Centre Potsdam - GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences, to work on and execute an early warning tsunami system in the Indian Ocean
Research suggests that climate change 7500 years ago created the (Persian) Gulf and flooded out an early civilisation. The Persian Gulf, or 'The Gulf' as it is now known, is relatively young in geological terms, being created around 8,000 years ago, probably as a result of some historic climate change causing the Indian Ocean to swallow up the whole area.
Research by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences at the University of Colorado shows that outdoor lighting that contributes to 'sky glow' over cities interferes with chemical reactions that clean the air.
The rich waters of the oceans surrounding Tasmania are to be monitored by a new state-of-the-art system, including autonomous undersea robotic vehicles, as scientists work to gather more information about this remarkable aquatic region. The new system for monitoring and observing the waters around the island is coming from the new Australian Integrated Observing System.
In a bold move, the Senate of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands has voted to prohibit all shark finning in its waters. Sharks living in the ocean around the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) have suffered from intense overfishing and poaching for their valuable fins. Sharks in particular are vulnerable to illegal fishing because, as a species, they reproduce very slowly.
Coral reefs around the world are in danger of disappearing in our children's lifetime, according to a leading expert. The combination of ocean acidification and rising temperatures could mean the end for some of the planet's most diverse ecosystems.
The Sea Shepherd's new anti-whaling boat was unveiled this week in efforts to step up this season's campaign against the Japanese whalers. The Sea Shepherd has just launched their new vessel, known as 'Gojira', to chase after Japanese whale boat harpooners who will be out hunting whales in the Antarctic Ocean.
A recent international meeting in Paris has agreed to increase global protection for sharks and sea turtles; but the bluefin tuna appears to have lost out. Representatives from 48 nations recently met to discuss the fate of fishing quotas in the Atlantic and Mediterranean seas.
Critically endangered populations of hammerhead and oceanic white tip sharks have plummeted by 70% and 99% in the North Atlantic respectively according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature. An unsustainable harvest of at least 1.3 million sharks were fished there in 2008, the last year for which data is available.
Narwhals are being used to explore the waters under the frozen arctic ocean and report in on under ice winter temperatures previously only possible using costly icebreaker cruises or helicopter charters, filling a vital hole in climate data for the rapidly warming region.
Five concept vacuum cleaners have been produced, built from waste plastic collected from the world's oceans. A new use has been found for some of the plastic waste contaminating the world's oceans. Five vacuum cleaners have been made from plastic waste, one from each of the oceans where the plastic was collected.
New research puts the entire life cycle of coral reefs at risk from acidification of the oceans. This is the first study to look at the impact of acidifying oceans on the reproductive cycle of corals, though its disastrous effects on the ability of marine creatures to build their calcium carbonate skeletons and shells is well known.