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climate change

This tag is associated with 120 posts
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Why the Southern Ocean is getting less salty

The Southern Ocean has been getting less salty for decades, and scientists have finally proved that sea-ice is responsible for the extra fresh water in the ocean.

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Tiny but tough: calcification in marine phytoplankton

Coccolithophores stand out from other marine phytoplankton in their ability to form calcified plates. Why is it beneficial for coccolithophores to calcify and how may these plates hold up under future ocean conditions?

Fig. 1. Polar Bear (climate change refugee). Source: Wikimedia Commons, Author Arturo de Frias Marques.

If You Must, Adjust? Polar Bears Leaving Sea Ice in the Arctic

Everyone knows that polar bears have become the poster children for species threatened by climate change. And it’s for good reason that they are. Polar bears rely on sea ice for access to prey, finding mates, and creating dens. The persistence of the species depends on the state of sea-ice and more generally a healthy marine ecosystem in the Arctic. Unfortunately, the volume and extent of sea ice have been decreasing by 28% and 14% per decade. Is there a way for polar bears to adapt to the changing sea ice coverage in this sensitive habitat?

Meltwater flows through off the Greenland Ice Sheet. Credit: Wikicommons.

Greenland ice melt may impact Atlantic Ocean temperature and climate

Paper: Claus W. Böning, et al. 2016.  Emerging impact of Greenland meltwater on deepwater formation in the North Atlantic Ocean. Nature Geoscience, v.9: 523–527. We know the ocean is warming due to climate change. But did you also know there are huge paths that heat and energy takes through the global ocean? Although the ocean […]

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Seals put on their thinking caps for under-ice science

Scientists investigate warm water that drives melting in Antarctica with the help of some seals with high-tech hats.

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Changing with the environment: how resilient are coral reef fish?

Coral reef fish are some of the most sensitive animals to climate change. How will coral reef fish respond to predicted increases in temperature and carbon dioxide? Do they have the ability to adapt to future conditions or is it already too late?

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Ocean Acidification Disrupts Yellowfin Tuna Development

We’ve heard a lot about ocean acidification and how it negatively impacts calcified organisms like corals or shellfish. But did you know that acidification also has wide-ranging impacts on other marine species? Researchers recently found lethal and sublethal effects of acidification on yellowfin tuna.

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Aliens attack: Predicting the spread of marine invasive species

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?

Pretty, isn't it? "The Blue Marble" photograph of Earth, taken when the Apollo 17 mission travelled to the moon in 1972. This picture is featured on the official Earth Day Flag. [Wikimedia]

Go Green for Earth Day!

Do Mother Nature a solid with these helpful tips & tricks to go green today!

Credit: Gérald Tapp.

Iceberg Buffet: How giant icebergs bring food to plankton

While icebergs are calving from Antarctic glaciers at alarming rates, they may provide a negative feedback for the carbon cycle. Giant icebergs bring large amounts of iron to iron-poor areas of the Southern Ocean, stimulating primary productivity and boosting carbon sequestration.

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Larval Donkey’s ear abalone threatened by climate change

Abalone are an economically and culturally important group of edible sea snails, and a new study demonstrates that they’re at serious risk of decline due to ocean acidification.

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The Atlantic Ocean is the Culprit in the Case of the Cooling Eastern Pacific

A classic climate “Whodunit”? Can researchers get to the bottom of the mystery of the cooling eastern Pacific Ocean, three decades in the making?

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Arctic could become more biologically productive as ice melts

As Arctic sea-ice melts away, organisms will be exposed to more light and, potentially, more nutrients. Recent model work suggests that this combination will result in a more biologically active Arctic. But the net result might not be as positive as you think.

The Nathaniel B. Palmer, the icebreaker used in this study. Source: commons.wikimedia.org

Lead Pollution in Antarctic Waters: Have We Cleaned Up Our Act?

Researchers traveled to the far reaches of Antarctica to determine whether lead levels there have declined since humans started cleaning up their act by halting lead emissions. They found that global warming might be negating some of the good we’ve done, as melting glaciers could release stored natural and industrial lead into the ocean.

Was the California drought the worst in history?

California has seen longer droughts and drier years in the past, but a new reconstruction shows that 2012-2015 was the driest 4-year period in the last 2000 years.

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Can the ocean take the heat?

Things heat up as scientists investigate deeper to find out how much heat the ocean can take.

Hubbard Glacier in the St. Elias mountain range, Alaska. Credit: wikicommons.

Mountains vs. Climate, Recorded in Marine Sediment

Mountain ranges can actively evolve with Earth’s climate. A new study of the St. Elias Range in coastal Alaska demonstrates how dynamic and coupled our planet’s crust is to climate, and how we can investigate past erosion through marine sediments.

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Blue New Year’s Resolutions

New Year’s resolutions are a great way to work towards being the person you want to be. This year, why not be a little bluer? Along with the rest of the Oceanbites writing crew, I’ve put together a list of suggested New Year’s resolutions that positively impact our troubled oceans, along with links to posts we’ve published this year that address the marine issues you’d be helping to solve!

Figure 1: Seagrass meadow in Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. Photographer: Heather Dine. Source: NOAA Photo Library via https://www.flickr.com/photos/51647007@N08/5077876455/

Seagrass, Disturbance, and the Blue Carbon Cycle

Seagrass beds bury carbon incredibly well! What happens to that carbon when you uproot, plow through, or otherwise disturb seagrasses? Does that carbon get released again? And how long does it take to capture that much carbon again once the seagrass grows back? All great questions with answers in today’s oceanbites!

With the Voices of the Sea interactive exhibit, you can explore acoustics from various marine mammals including whales, dolphins, and seals. The exhibit is featured in various aquariums throughout the US. Credit: voicesinthesea.org

A Career in Marine Mammal Acoustics and the Arctic

This week, I interviewed Joshua Jones, a Ph.D. student in biological oceanography at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography. The focus of his thesis research is marine mammals in the Arctic, their acoustic behavior and relationships with sea ice, and the effects of human activities on the underwater acoustic environment.

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