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Human impacts

This category contains 153 posts

From ancient blood come modern cures, or, How Horseshoe Crabs and Medicine Intertwined

If you’ve ever had a vaccination, congratulations, you’re linked to the ocean! Somewhere along the way, that vaccine batch was deemed safe thanks to a test that uses chemicals only found (naturally) in horseshoe crab blood. Though as the human population grows, we’re realizing this natural source will come under more pressure. Click here to […]

Climate Change Is Causing A Stormy Future

A new study verifies a decades-old prediction that tropical cyclones are becoming more intense due to climate change, using a novel, satellite data-driven approach. 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 […]

SURFO Special: Has COVID-19 Affected Plane Emissions?

Since March, COVID-19 has had a huge impact on how we live our day-to-day lives. But how has it changed our carbon emissions? SURFO student Bella Luikart spent this summer with the Palter Lab at GSO to find out. Nyla HusainI’m a PhD student at the University of Rhode Island’s Graduate School of Oceanography. I […]

The Need for Speed: The velocities of tides in the Mid-Atlantic

Every 12 hours and 25 minutes, a rush of water move into the coast to create a high tide. How fast does this water move? Currently, global sea levels are rising and it is becoming significantly important to understand how these coastal tides move as millions of Americans live along the eastern seaboard. Two scientists […]

Homing in on a hammerhead’s range

Over the decades, many shark species have become endangered. In an effort to save these fishes, humans have set up “safe zones” where the sharks are less likely caught by fishing vessels. But do we know if these zones match with the sharks’ natural stomping grounds? Andrea SchlunkI am a former PhD student from the […]

Ocean Noise Pollution Changes How Fish Grow

The noise we make pollutes natural soundscapes and can impede how animals communicate, move, and behave. Researchers now have evidence that man-made noise impacts fish from the very beginning of their life, altering how they develop and grow.  Ashley MarranzinoI received my Master’s degree from the University of Rhode Island where I studied the sensory […]

Stop Clowning Around: Cyanide Fishing in the Indo-Pacific

What does cyanide have to do with the tropical reef fish sold as pets and showcased in aquariums? A recent paper by Madeira et al. explore how illegal cyanide fishing is devastating Indo-Pacific reef ecosystems. Ashley MickensI recently graduated with a degree in Environmental Earth Science and Sustainability from Miami University of Ohio, and I’m […]

Stuck in the mud: a drilling downer for corals

Oil and gas play huge roles in shaping modern lifestyles, providing ease and comfort; while our lives may be simplified, those of larval cold-water corals could be getting cut short—even if their home reef isn’t right next door to a wellhead. Click here to find out about the culprit! Andrea SchlunkI am a former PhD […]

Peace for Coral Reefs

As the world has learned over the past several months, a little solitude goes a long way towards a healthy life. What if coral reefs need time away from humans to be able to live their best lives? Coral reefs, often called the rainforests of the sea, are known to be marvelous colorful ecosystems that […]

Make Earth Blue Again

A team of the world’s leading marine scientists reports that we are capable of rebuilding many components of marine life by 2050—if we are up to the challenge. 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 […]

Slowing a Thorny Invasion – Managing for COTS with DNA

Crown-of-Thorns Starfish are a natural scourge on coral reefs… or are they? The cycle of outbreaks is cruel, since it tends to focus on areas that have been spared bleaching. What eats a COTS anyway? Can we harness natural predators to minimize the impacts of these coral-eaters? One team is trying.

Ocean acidification and baby “squidlife” crises?

Ocean acidification has been known to cause problems for marine mollusks (like oysters and pteropods), because these animals have shells or hard parts that can weaken as acidity increases. There’s another mollusk though with eight arms and two tentacles that may have a larger bag of tricks with which to cope with acidity, but teasing […]

Life in the Abyss: the ecological impacts of deep-sea mining

Did you know that about 95% of the ocean is unexplored? The deep ocean is logistically very difficult to access, so how do scientists study organisms that live hundreds of meters below the sea surface? The landscape of the deep-sea is diverse and certain structures such as polymetallic nodules, supports a vast array of marine […]

Sargassum: An Overlooked Solution

Sargassum, a type of brown seaweed, provides important ecosystem services in the Atlantic. However, this new study explores how sargassum may provide one solution to marine pollution. Ashley MickensI recently graduated with a degree in Environmental Earth Science and Sustainability from Miami University of Ohio, and I’m currently working as a marine mammal observer in […]

Envisioning a better world with climate impact modeling

After October 2018, the global perspective on climate change started to shift. We dive into climate impact models, and how they could help us plan for a future in which climate change impacts every aspect of our lives. Nyla HusainI’m a PhD student at the University of Rhode Island’s Graduate School of Oceanography. I use […]

Deep Breathing Underwater

The Labrador Sea is one of the lungs of the ocean. A new study finds that it is taking an even deeper breath than expected—making it more vulnerable to climate change than thought. Emily ChuaI am a Ph.D. candidate at Boston University where I am developing an underwater instrument to study the coastal ocean.  I […]

An Ocean on Fire

Heatwaves in Australia are stoking the flames of the wildfires currently ravaging the country.  While the effects are not as visible, the ocean, too, is suffering from extreme temperatures.  Recent research reveals that underwater heatwaves are escalating, with devastating impacts. Emily ChuaI am a Ph.D. candidate at Boston University where I am developing an underwater […]

Deep Sea: The Final Frontier

With the decade drawing to a close, it is a good time to look toward the future and start thinking about what the next decade holds for scientific discovery. Star Trek has popularized the idea of outer space as “the final frontier.” But what if it’s really the deep sea? Ashley MickensI recently graduated with […]

Barnacles as a Forensic Tool

Barnacles are among the first organisms to colonize hard marine substrates. This means they quickly settle on rocks, ships, or even human remains! Find out how these small crustaceans help forensic investigators solve crimes. Constance SartorConstance is a graduate student at the University of Guam studying coral genetics. She also paints murals integrating art and […]

Larval fish foraging grounds inundated by plastic pollution

If the adage “you are what you eat” holds true, we may be in some big trouble. A recent study found that pieces of plastics are becoming concentrated in areas where larval fish hunt for food, which could be a big problem for fish and humans alike. Ashley MarranzinoI received my Master’s degree from the […]

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