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Archive for December, 2014

Pomacentrus amboinensis
Photo Source:
http://www.kudalaut.eu/en/dph/3135/Photos-Sale/Ambon-damsel

Don’t let your guard down: a cautionary tale from reef fish in degraded habitat.

Reef fish on degraded reef are somewhat like misguided slasher flick protagonists that ignore all warning cues and are therefore less likely to survive.

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Local natural resource management can combat the effects of global environmental disturbances

Global environmental problems can’t be solved overnight by one person, but there are things we can do locally to positively impact natural resource supplies in the midst of these large-scale problems. This article describes one successful strategy used to increase fishing revenues in southern Kenya.

Arctic vegetation

Increasing Earth’s Plant Life Would Help Combat Warming… Right?

Everyone knows that plants are essential to life on Earth. They use up climate-altering carbon dioxide and provide us with oxygen. But what happens when plants start growing in places where they aren’t wanted? Researchers attempt to model new plant growth in the Arctic with interactions between the atmosphere and sea-ice.

Dinner, come to papa.

Shocking behavior: Electric eels use remote control to locate, stun their prey

Electric eels are something more than shocking.

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Sea ice and Albedo: Should We Be Worried?

The glaciers are melting, sea level is rising; you’ve heard it all. But did you know that both of these events are increasing how much solar energy the earth is absorbing? Scientists study 30 years of data from the Arctic Ocean to quantify the role of diminishing sea ice in global warming.

Figure 6. Beautiful scenery of one of the Pacific Islands.

How Does Pacific Island Climate Change Under Various El-Niño

El Niño impacts vary among different geographic regions and El Niño types. A single El Niño event may bring drought to one Pacific Island country while increasing rainfall in another.

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Species respond differently to climate shifts over time

Large-scale climate variably is well-known to have impacts on marine ecosystems. However, the response of species over time is not as simple as it seems. This study reveals that the relationships between seabirds and Pacific climate varies over time.

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How do jellyfish find their prey?

Jellyfish bloom have multiplied over the years, gathering in large quantities in the Norwegian fjords. Researchers used this opportunity to study the jellyfish and understand how efficiently jellyfish can find their zooplankton prey.

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Do you want more salt in that? Changes in salinity impact sea level rise more than previously thought

The main mechanisms driving sea level rise were thought to be through the melting of land-based ice (such as glaciers) and through the thermal expansion of sea water with increasing global temperature. However, a recent study published by a team of scientists from the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory shows that there might be another driving force behind sea level rise: salinity.

Crabs in study.

Detach claw & flee: Strategies for porcelain crabs to evade immediate death from different predators

Autotomy or shedding an appendage can be a useful trick to escape from predators. Studies have shown that autotomy is an effective strategy for porcelain crabs to escape immediate death from larger predatory crabs. But how do porcelain crabs fare against rockfish with a different attack method? Read more to find out!

Figure 1: Vibrio vulnificus under a microscope. Source: safeoyster.org

O Vibrio, Vibrio, wherefore art thou Vibrio?

Three statistical models used to predict the presence of the dangerous pathogen Vibrio in Chesapeake Bay all give different responses to temperature changes. This suggests that a lot more data is needed before we can accurately decide how climate change will dictate the distribution and presence of Vibrio in coastal waters.

Fig 1: Female sea turtles making their ways from the open ocean to the beach to dig nests and lay their eggs (marinebio.org).

Nest Mess: rising seas change the environment of sea turtle nests, hindering hatching success

As a poster child for conservation, threats to sea turtles, such as fishing nets and coastal development, have been highly publicized. But recent research has shown that sea level rise, as a function of climate change, is affecting the emergence of turtle hatchlings.

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Sea-ing fewer stars: Virus linked to sea star mass die offs.

Sea stars have been dying by the millions on the Pacific coast of the U.S. and now we have an explanation.

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Puncture wounds hold the key to new marine forensic technique

Identifying the culprits responsible for injury is a very useful thing, but tricky in the ocean, where saltwater cleans wounds quickly. Researchers have recently developed new DNA recovery techniques that can identify species and even individuals biting others in the sea.

Pier 59, Seattle

How Our Love of Living Near Water Impacts Estuarine Ecosystems and Pacific Salmon

We all love a beautiful view from a pier looking out over the water. However, piers are just one example of human development along the waterfront that may be impacting natural aquatic communities.

Left: Oyster drill, Urosalpinx cinerea
Right: American starsnail, Lithopoma americanum

Prozac and Cons: How Marine Snails React to Antidepressants

Ever wonder where our antidepressants go after they pass through our systems? Like all waste, our drugs pass out of our body and into our wastewater systems, where they eventually enter the ocean. If these drugs can affect people, do they affect marine life, too? Read on to find out.

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Double Whammy: A Second Source of the 2011 Tohoku Tsunami

A powerful offshore earthquake was quickly identified as the source of the catastrophic 2011 Tohoku tsunami, which devastated portions of coastal Japan. Numerous studies have shown that an earthquake was not the sole contributor to the tsunami and that an unidentified tsunami source remains at large. New research has identified a second suspect.

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