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anthropogenic

This tag is associated with 23 posts
Fig. 3. Entangled Sea Turtle. Source: NOAA.

Let’s Ghost Fishing for Halloween!

Ghost fishing is ghastly because it creates underwater graveyards for wildlife. The authors covered here wrote a new review of gear entanglement among mammals, reptiles, and sharks. Find out what they discovered by reading today’s post!

Fig. 1. Polar Bear (climate change refugee). Source: Wikimedia Commons, Author Arturo de Frias Marques.

If You Must, Adjust? Polar Bears Leaving Sea Ice in the Arctic

Everyone knows that polar bears have become the poster children for species threatened by climate change. And it’s for good reason that they are. Polar bears rely on sea ice for access to prey, finding mates, and creating dens. The persistence of the species depends on the state of sea-ice and more generally a healthy marine ecosystem in the Arctic. Unfortunately, the volume and extent of sea ice have been decreasing by 28% and 14% per decade. Is there a way for polar bears to adapt to the changing sea ice coverage in this sensitive habitat?

Coral fish

Changing with the environment: how resilient are coral reef fish?

Coral reef fish are some of the most sensitive animals to climate change. How will coral reef fish respond to predicted increases in temperature and carbon dioxide? Do they have the ability to adapt to future conditions or is it already too late?

Fig 1: Marine debris on the beach at Green Island in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. Author: Keeley Belva, NOAA. Source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Kure_debris_440.jpg

To I.D. Debris: LIDAR as a tool to identify trash on the beach

Scientists may have a new option for figuring out how much debris litters our beaches and what it all is! Find out more in today’s World Oceans Day post on marine debris!

Pretty, isn't it? "The Blue Marble" photograph of Earth, taken when the Apollo 17 mission travelled to the moon in 1972. This picture is featured on the official Earth Day Flag. [Wikimedia]

Go Green for Earth Day!

Do Mother Nature a solid with these helpful tips & tricks to go green today!

SICB_Logo

Oceanbites at the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology: Part II

This year’s annual meeting for the Society of Integrative and Comparative Biology brought together over 2000 scientists to share their research. With a slew of exciting topics ranging everywhere from ecology to biomechanics, there were plenty of talks worth reporting. But, for the second post on SICB, I will share my most memorable marine talks.

header

Trawling selects for faster fish

A new study suggests that differences in exercise performance make some individuals more vulnerable to capture by trawling than others, and that this may drive the evolution of commercially-important fishes (Photo: Wikimedia).

Let me cover your ears! We’re going to make some noise! 
Photo Credit: GettyImages 
Hands from: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Spotted_Pufferfish_Arothron_meleagris_02.JPG

Small boats drowning out natural reef noise?

Don’t you hate when noises interfere with your daily activities and conversations? We create lots of noise in the environment and need to know more about it. Today’s oceanbites focuses on a study of man-made noise on coral reefs. Check it out!

Polychaetes

Making potable water safe for the seafloor

SWRO desalinization is a great way to get potable water. Unfortunately its production results in a high salinity low nutrient discharge that impacts the benthic communities. This study shows how a simple mitigation effort can reverse damage from discharge in just months!

Feature

Sound waves: dolphins in a noisy ocean

As human influence in Earth’s oceans increases, so does the background noise. How might dolphins cope with changes in environmental noise levels, particularly in areas where it has seen a substantial, recent increase? Do chattier dolphins have to invest more energy into their aural physiological systems?

Plankton

Carbon sinks: Diatoms in the deep sea

Fast-sinking phytoplankton particles deliver carbon from the surface to the deep ocean. Are plankton cells still able to survive when they sink to the deep ocean? If so, how long may they survive without any sunlight?

Besseling 2015 - Figure 1

Tiny plastic pieces accumulate in a huge marine filter-feeder

Scientists find microplastic pieces in the intestines of a baleen whale for the first time.

Image: © EPFL Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne

Out of sight, out of mind: The effect of gas & oil spills on deep-sea communities

When undersea wells blowout, toxic concentrations of hydrocarbons can be rapidly released into the environment. The media presents these blowouts with dramatic images of flora and fauna covered in black tar along coastlines and on the sea surface. What are rarely shown in glossy photographs, however, are the consequences to the unseen deep-sea.

SealandDiver

Are Fisheries Scientists Ringing the Dinner Bell for Marine Mammals?

Acoustic telemetry is a valuable technique used by fisheries scientists to track fish movements. However, a new study suggests that these anthropogenic signals may make tagged fish an easy target for marine mammal predators like dolphins and seals.

photo courtesy of www.shedexpedition.com

The Great Barrier Reef is worth $15 billion – $20 billion AUS a year: A quick lesson in ecosystem economics

When discussing the value of an ecosystem, tensions run high. Some people evaluate ecosystems with heavy emphasis on non-use values, like aesthetics and spiritual appreciation. Other people value ecosystems based on things like natural resource availability and the potential for direct monetary revenue. It is difficult to assess the relative importance (or value) of these differing goals because the economic benefits of one are easily quantified while the other is more difficult to assess.

Florida Museum of Natural History  (flmnh.ufl.edu)

Catfish sharks on catnip? Nope, just ocean acidification

Researchers from the University of Gothenburg in Sweden found that ocean acidification may cause hyperactivity in catfish sharks.

TheSixthExtinction

Deep Blue Reads: The Sixth Extinction, by Elizabeth Kolbert

As a novelist writing about oceanography, I spend a decent amount of time parsing scientific studies. Over the past several years my vocabulary has expanded to include terms like band saturation, turbidity currents, and foraminifera—phrases and words that had not existed in my wildest dreams when I first started writing. I’ve relied on studies and […]

Mahi Mahi Dolphin Fish Dorado Bull Jumping

Too much acid in the mahi: Ocean acidification and larval dolphinfish

How will increased atmospheric carbon dioxide affect your dinner? Larval dolphinfish (or, ‘mahi mahi’) are apparently very sensitive to increased ocean acidification, a product of rising atmospheric CO2. This is one of the first studies of the effects of ocean acidification on the early life stage of a pelagic fish species.

Screen Shot 2014-07-09 at 3.40.16 PM

Fight of the Century: CO2 vs. Calcifying Phytoplankton

From the very first sentence of the abstract, these scientists make clear they are not messing around, “Ocean acidification is a result of the uptake of anthropogenic CO2 from the atmosphere into the ocean and has been identified as a major environmental and economic threat.” In other words, humans are causing ocean acidification and the consequences will hit everything from the blue of the sea to the green in our wallets. So how is the most abundant species of calcifying phytoplankton being affected?

Curvier's beaked whale (Ziphius cavirostris). Photo courtesy of the Smithsonian Institute

The problem with data sets: Cuvier’s beaked whales vs. Navy acoustic testing

Congratulations on the longest and deepest dive EVER! Please, ignore the regular acoustic testing….

The elusive Curvier’s beaked whale (Ziphius cavirostris) is officially the deepest diver in the sea mammal community, annihilating both the sperm whale and southern elephant seal for the illustrious title. Until now, its diving abilities have been underestimated owing to the paucity of direct observations and sufficient study periods. Ziphius cavirostris (hereafter Ziphius) is not only a species of remarkable divers, but also is thought to be acutely affected by Mid-Frequency Active (MFA) sonar exposure during military exercises. Schorr et al. use the largest data set ever collected on this mysterious cetacean to examine both incredible behavioral patterns and the possibility that they may be able to adapt to a certain amount of acoustic disturbance.

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