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Human impacts

This category contains 126 posts

The HyperDiver: A New, (Hyper-) Intelligent Way to Map the Ocean

Coral reefs are facing unprecedented change. A new high-tech, diver-operated imaging system promises to be the future of coral reef monitoring.

New York City’s poop is a source of greenhouse gas emissions. What now?

The Hudson River has been a Superfund site since 1984, but pollution continues to be a problem today. Nyla HusainI’m a 4th year PhD student at the University of Rhode Island Graduate School of Oceanography. I use models to study small-scale turbulence at the air-sea interface induced by airflow over surface gravity waves to understand how […]

You are Now Entering the Twilight Zone: Exploring the Unique Realm of Mesophotic Reefs

200 feet below the surface of the ocean, light slips away from view. But even here, in the mesophotic zones, life thrives. As scientists learn more about the beautiful fishes and corals that live at these depths we are finding out that they are not immune to human-induced threats. Ashley MarranzinoI received my Master’s degree […]

Who Governs the Ocean Around Antarctica?

Antarctica is often considered an untouched wilderness. While its location is remote, the region is hardly undisturbed by human activity. Exploitation of marine species, tourism, scientific research activities, and anthropogenic climate change are all impacting Southern Ocean ecosystems. A recent policy paper examines the governance challenges for the Antarctic, particularly those due to climate change. […]

Not So Organic Marine Snow

What happens when plastic pollution mixes into the ocean carbon cycle? Read to find out more about how plastic from the surface ocean might reach mussels living at the bottom of the sea! Melanie FeenI am a first year graduate student at the Graduate School of Oceanography at University of Rhode Island. I use robots […]

Fixin’ to lose: Trichodesmium reacts to climate change

Nitrogen is vital for all life on the planet. One of the main global sources for nitrogen, the bacteria Trichodesmium, may stop providing nitrogen to the global cycle in an ocean affected by climate change. LeAundra JeffsI am a Master’s Candidate at University of Delaware where I study the evolution of microbes in the sediments […]

Tracking Global Fisheries with the Help of Computer Neural Networks

Fisheries are vital to global economies and to the billions of people who rely on fish for their primary source of protein. How do we track and manage these fisheries? Read how a new study looks at the global footprint of fisheries and analyzes what drives this market. Ashley MarranzinoI received my Master’s degree from […]

Pteropods are Ptough: How one of the ocean’s most fragile creatures may cope with climate change

Climate change, due to the increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide from fossil fuel burning, is arguably the most important issue facing our planet. One of the most detrimental changes already in progress is the shifting pH of the world’s oceans, known as ocean acidification. Although the speed with which the planet is changing does not […]

Plastics increase disease risks for corals

You have probably heard about the troubles coral reefs are facing and about the detrimental effects of plastic pollution in our oceans. Now these two issues appear to be linked: corals are getting sick when they come in contact with plastic. Find out more here. Ashley MarranzinoI received my Master’s degree from the University of […]

Just Put on the Market: Ideal for Coral Reef Development

Scientists Identify Best Spots for Reef Restoration Coral reefs have been front and center in the news lately, as rising temperatures, increased acidity, and nutrient pollution cause mass bleaching events and scientists lament losses they say mark the “death” of coral reefs around the world. Conservation superstars have even weighed in on the issue; Suzuki, […]

Baby come back: capture-induced premature birthing in elasmobranchs

Capturing pregnant elasmobranchs can induce stress-related abortions. Read more to understand why and what can be done to prevent this! Aditi TripathyHello! I am an undergraduate student majoring in Marine Biology with a minor in Acoustics at the University of Rhode Island. I am a science geek to the core, and my research interests lie […]

Facts not enough to stop whale watching vessels from disturbing killer whales

  Marine-based eco tourism is a fast-growing industry for many countries and vital part of coastal economies. In many places, it can also be a boon to the conservation of charismatic species that draw in the tourists. The Soundwatch Boater Education Program at the Whale Museum in Washington has been monitoring the behaviour of tourists […]

How our Fear is Killing Sharks

Through my journey as a shark defender, I have realized the most challenging obstacle to tackle is the fear of sharks, rather than the actual killing of sharks; most people never encounter a shark in their lifetime, yet they are still scared of them and therefore don’t take the time to think much about shark […]

Oceanic Outlook in the New Government Climate Report

Ocean warming, acidification, sea-level-rise, and increased coastal storm intensities are just some of the stark projections highlighted in a recently-released U.S. Government climate report. Zoe GentesZoe has an M.S. in Oceanography and a B.S. in Geologic Oceanography from URI, with a minor in Writing and Rhetoric. She was recently a Knauss Marine Policy Fellow in […]

Crude oil cripples sandpiper flights

Maggini, I., L.V. Kennedy, A. Macmillan, K.H. Elliott, K. Dean, and C.G. Guglielmo. 2017. Light oiling of feathers increases flight energy expenditure in a migratory shorebird. J. Exp. Biol. 202:  2372-2379; doi: 10.1242/jeb.158220. The Deepwater Horizon oil spill On the evening of April 20th 2012, an explosion on the Deepwater Horizon oil drilling rig rocked the Gulf […]

BAD BOYZ 2.0. Emerging environmental contaminants

Our generation is facing environmental challenges not only from commonly-known contaminants, but also emerging ones, which have been lurking in the shadows until recently. Check this week’s post to know more about these (sometimes surprising) pollutants, and their effects! Prabarna GangulyI’m a fourth year PhD candidate in the Department of Psychology at Northeastern University. My […]

New Nitrogen in Town: Nitrogen Deposition on the Open Ocean

Life in the ocean depends on a variety of nutrients, an important one being nitrogen. Phytoplankton, at the bottom of the oceanic food chain, require it to photosynthesize. Burning fossil fuels releases nitrogen into the atmosphere, and a portion of it is known to settle into the ocean. Has the ocean started to show signs […]

Happy World Oceans Day!

Happy World Oceans Day! A day to celebrate and appreciate the fantastic oceans, while also raising awareness of the importance of minding and minimizing our impacts. Anne M. HartwellHello, welcome to Oceanbites! My name is Annie, I’m a marine research scientist who has been lucky to have had many roles in my neophyte career, including […]

Ctrl+P: 3D printing applications for oceanography

3D printing and oceanography? Check out the fascinating new research advancements made in ocean sciences using one of the most innovative technologies of the 21st century! Prabarna GangulyI’m a fourth year PhD candidate in the Department of Psychology at Northeastern University. My research focuses on the impact of early life stress in the form of […]

Tarballs invading our coastlines: Ghosts of oil spills past

We live in a world that is torn between reliance on fossil fuels and renewable energy. Although we have made great strides towards increasing wind and solar energy, the ghosts of oil spills past are washing up on our shorelines. Katherine BarrettKate is a 4th year PhD candidate in the Biological Sciences Department at the […]

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