//archives

Archive for October, 2019

Power plays in low carbon pathways: how elite groups may influence a green transition

Learn how elite groups can guide and shape climate initiatives (spoiler alert: it’s spoooooky) – and what we can do to move towards a just transition away from fossil fuels. Nyla HusainI’m a PhD student at the University of Rhode Island’s Graduate School of Oceanography. I use a small-scale computer model to study how physical […]

Gentoo Penguins as Indicators of Climate Change in the Southern Ocean

Carpenter-Kling, T., et al. “Gentoo penguins as sentinels of climate change at the sub-Antarctic Prince Edward Archipelago, Southern Ocean.” Ecological Indicators 101 (2019): 163-172. The newest indicator of climate change is here, and it is penguin puke? While it might seem a little far-fetched, researchers in the Southern Ocean are using the stomach contents of […]

Who’s benefiting from increasing CO2?

Bach, L. T., Hernández-Hernández, N., Taucher, J., Spisla, C., Sforna, C., Riebesell, U., & Arístegui, J. (2019). Effects of elevated CO2 on a natural diatom community in the subtropical NE Atlantic. Frontiers in Marine Science, 6, 75. https://doi.org/10.3389/fmars.2019.00075 As the concentration of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere steadily increases, oceans are taking up more […]

Sunlight May Stimulate Breakdown of Ocean Plastic

A new study suggests that one form of plastic might not take as long to break down in the ocean as previously thought. Emily ChuaI am a Ph.D. candidate at Boston University where I am developing an underwater instrument to study the coastal ocean.  I have a multi-disciplinary background in physics and oceanography (and some […]

The Largest Belt on Earth?

What golden, gooey, and weighs 20 million metric tons?? Brandy BiggarI am a 2nd year Master’s student at the Memorial University of Newfoundland. I am researching the highly invasive species the European green crab, and the impact extreme weather events has on its population abundance and distribution.

Artificial photosynthesis uses CO2 drawdown for fuel

Can CO2 in the world oceans be used to create a fuel source and reduce atmospheric concentration at the same time? Patterson et al. (2019) reviews the technology, resources, and locations needed to make this a reality in the near future. Samantha SettaI’m a PhD student in the Rynearson Lab at the University of Rhode […]

Surprise impacts of desalination

The World Heath Organization predicts that by 2025, half of the world’s people will be living in water-stressed areas. Desalination plants make drinkable freshwater from the ocean, but return hypersaline water to bottom-dwelling marine communities. Design changes have mitigated the salinity, but the impacts of these design changes have not been fully tested… until now!

Phytoplankton Bloom Driven by Volcanic Eruption

A large volcanic eruption in 2018 deposited tons of lava into the Pacific Ocean. Scientists were puzzled that the lava-impacted region of the ocean had explosive growth of microalgae called phytoplankton. They discovered that the lava was heating nutrient-rich waters at the seafloor, which made them rise up to the surface. Channing PrendI’m a physical […]

Zombie worms in whale bones

Looking for a cool Halloween costume? Dress up as a zombie worm that lives under the sea and injects acid into whale bones! These exist – and scientists have just discovered a new species deep in the Atlantic Ocean near the Brazilian coast. Anastasia YandulskayaI am a PhD candidate at Northeastern University in Boston. I […]

Sailing Solo: An alternative way to monitor harmful algal blooms

Have you ever heard about a harmful algal bloom? Do you know what causes them? Or how scientists monitor them? Read on to learn about how a group of scientists from Mote Marine Lab in Florida paired up with Navocean, Inc to create the first autonomous small sailboat to monitor blooms in coastal, shallow water […]

The story behind the story: Understanding how mother whales communicate and the challenges of studying an endangered species

How do North Atlantic right whale moms talk to their calves? A recent paper describes new quiet calls which have only been recorded from mother/calf pairs. But there’s more to the story than just what makes it into the journal article, namely the logistical as well as emotional challenges of studying an endangered species. Julia […]

Fluid Lensing: Seeing through the Ocean’s Surface

What would the ocean look like without any water? With NASA’s up and coming FluidCam, we are able to see what’s going on underwater without even dipping below the surface. Chirayath, V., Alan, L. (2019) Next-generation optical sensing technologies for exploring ocean worlds—NASA FluidCam, MiDAR, and NeMO-Net. Frontiers in Marine Science. doi: 10.3389/fmars.2019.00521 One of […]

Humpback Whales Harmonize with Changing Environments

A recent study explores how the occurrence of humpback whale song is associated with shifts in their environment, including the abundance of food, concentration of neurotoxic algal blooms, and even sea levels. Rishya NarayananRishya is a multimedia science communicator with an MS in Media Advocacy from Northeastern University, specializing in Environmental Science Communications and Policy. […]

Caught in the Storm: Tropical Bird Sightings in Nova Scotia after Hurricane Dorian

Dorian was one of the biggest storms to hit Nova Scotia in recorded history, bringing with it Category 2 force winds and heavy precipitation that took roofs off buildings and flooded coastal areas throughout the province. It was also among the top 10 strongest hurricanes by barometric pressure at landfall and top 5 by sustained […]

How the anglerfish gets its light

Deep-sea anglerfishes are known for their prominent glowing lure extending from their heads. Bacteria are behind the scenes, enabling anglerfish to create their bioluminescence. How and when do anglerfish form the bond with their bioluminescent bacterial partners? Scientists may now have an answer. Ashley MarranzinoI received my Master’s degree from the University of Rhode Island […]

Sharks vs. Fishing Vessels: The fatal overlap

Article Global spatial risk assessment of sharks under the footprint of fisheries. Nuno Queiroz, Nicolas E. Humphries, et al. Nature (2019). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41586-019-1444-4   Background Over the past 50 years, world fisheries production has increased significantly. Many studies have shown fishing impacts on ocean health. Beyond the direct effects of fish removal, fishing causes an indirect […]

Clinging, cloning jellyfish: How an old species is coming back with new force

On the fourth of July, 2019, happy beach-goers in Rhode Island escaped the directness of the sun by wading into Point Judith Pond. For an unlucky few, this small pleasure turned out to be immensely painful. By July 5, people were being warned about clinging jellyfish. What was this new threat to unsuspecting swimmers? Turns […]

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