This tag is associated with 25 posts

Fight of the Century: CO2 vs. Calcifying Phytoplankton

From the very first sentence of the abstract, these scientists make clear they are not messing around, “Ocean acidification is a result of the uptake of anthropogenic CO2 from the atmosphere into the ocean and has been identified as a major environmental and economic threat.” In other words, humans are causing ocean acidification and the consequences will hit everything from the blue of the sea to the green in our wallets. So how is the most abundant species of calcifying phytoplankton being affected?

The problem with data sets: Cuvier’s beaked whales vs. Navy acoustic testing

Congratulations on the longest and deepest dive EVER! Please, ignore the regular acoustic testing….

The elusive Curvier’s beaked whale (Ziphius cavirostris) is officially the deepest diver in the sea mammal community, annihilating both the sperm whale and southern elephant seal for the illustrious title. Until now, its diving abilities have been underestimated owing to the paucity of direct observations and sufficient study periods. Ziphius cavirostris (hereafter Ziphius) is not only a species of remarkable divers, but also is thought to be acutely affected by Mid-Frequency Active (MFA) sonar exposure during military exercises. Schorr et al. use the largest data set ever collected on this mysterious cetacean to examine both incredible behavioral patterns and the possibility that they may be able to adapt to a certain amount of acoustic disturbance.

Baby Beluga is at Heightened Risk: Pollutant Accumulation in Arctic Predators Affects Gene Expression

Analyzing changes in gene transcription is a way to detect adverse effects in organisms before they are observable on the whole organism level. Here, a Canadian research group set out to determine whether beluga whales in the relatively pristine Beaufort Sea are accumulating toxic pollutants at levels that could affect the future health of the beluga population.

Now you see it, now you don’t!

BRMs (Burial Recording Mines) are cylindrical instruments that capture 4-D data of small scale sediment position on the sea floor in intervals as close as every 15 minutes. Scientists can use the information they collect to model the evolution of sediment geomorphology on the sea floor in response to normal and extreme conditions and use that information to predict how the sediment buries and shifts objects lying on the seafloor.

Waiter, there’s a whale in my soup: investigating the South Pacific garbage patch

Plastic debris has been found in both the North Pacific and North Atlantic since the early 1970s. It accumulates in naturally forming gyres located in the subtropical zones of the world’s oceans, creating a “plastic soup.” Recent investigations have confirmed the presence of a similar garbage patch in the South Pacific.

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