As the Earth warms, sea ice declines. What happens to those animals who rely on the ice? Today’s oceanbites looks at one animal, the ringed seal, and how it may be affected by climate change!
Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) are a popular conservation tool and are in many situations very effective. Unfortunately, as with many plans, there may be some unintended consequences, as seen in the case of small MPAs in Fiji, where they appear to have attracted corallivorous crown-of-thorns sea stars (Acanthaster spp.). Find out more in today’s oceanbites!
Fish have provided sustenance for millions of people, but in a world where stocks are rapidly depleting, what are the consequences of trying to save and rehabilitate their populations?
The coast is very dynamic and at the constant mercy of wind and water energy. Often times, humans will try to control the coast by constructing seawalls and groins. Such projects have major impacts on sediment transport that can affect natural ecosystems and recreational beaches. Read here about a group of scientists who sought to quantify just how much of an impact seawall and groin development had on a section of coast in southeast India.
Most of the time coral reef communities are discussed, it seems the focus is whether they’re dominated by hard coral or algae. It turns out there may be other possible outcomes for reefs in the future. Find out more in today’s oceanbites!
Many scientific studies have shown that kelp species are sensitive and vulnerable to climate change. Some scientists think of them as sentinel species, or early warning indicators of climate change. Recently, a large mass of warm water, affectionately known as “The Blob,” covered the northeast Pacific, resulting in a long-term elevation of ocean temperature. With existing ecological records of kelp forests in California, this provided an opportunity for researchers to test whether these giant kelps are indeed a sentinel species and can warn us about the looming effects of climate change.
Humans are drawn to beautiful beaches and warm water, and with us come the conveniences of modern day civilization. While life may be flourishing in the shops, restaurants and luxury hotels, this development is taking its toll on the fragile reef community just off shore. Although reefs may appear healthy to the naked eye, researchers have discovered coastal development impacts their biological diversity, and this may be an indication of more serious, long-term damage.
Happy Halloween! This is the true, spooky tale of life, death, and rebirth beneath the waves. To end off OceanBites’ haunting Halloween theme week, read the story of USS Independence – an aircraft carrier that participated in atomic bomb trials at Bikini Atoll.
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!
We humans don’t always take time to assess how we impact other environments; more often we survey before we enter the ecosystem, but what happens when we leave? Oil rigs in the North Sea have provided a great opportunity for scientists to start investigating. Click here to find out more!
Many believe we are in the midst of another mass extinction both on land and in the ocean. What marine animals are most at risk of extinction? Using current and past extinction data, researchers were able to pinpoint the most vulnerable types of marine animals.
Pollution of metals could be getting into the tissue of seahorses–the very tissues that are used to make a special Chinese medicine. Now scientists fear that the metal pollutants could harm the patients who take the medicine. Read more to find out what they learned about the accumulation of metals in seahorse tissues.
Using radiocarbon dating, scientists have discovered that the Greenland shark can live longer than any other known vertebrate. How long have some of these individuals been alive?
The human norovirus persisted longer than 6 weeks in contaminated oysters held at lower water temperatures, suggesting that the water temperature oysters are held at during depuration should be considered when determining if a contaminated oyster bed is safe to eat .
Marine animals living below the surface have to put up with noise generated by human activity. Heavy shipping traffic can bring a lot of noise. How does the common prawn respond?
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!
Species invasions have become serious issues in the marine environment, mostly as a result of increased ship traffic. Once a new species invades an area, it is next to impossible to draw it out. What if there was a way to predict the arrival of alien species to new locations in the ocean? Would this predictive power help minimize future invasions?
Do Mother Nature a solid with these helpful tips & tricks to go green today!
Trillions of tiny plastic fragments are floating in the Earth’s ocean. These microplastics can attract organic pollutants, be ingested by marine organisms, and even end up in table salt. This Earth Week post gives a broad introduction to microplastics and examples of how we can all help to reduce this problem!
We rely heavily on the oceans as a source of food. Unfortunately, fish populations have declined by over 50 percent over the past several decades. This can spell disaster for us and ocean ecosystems. Read on for to find out more about how we are impacting the oceans through overfishing.