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human impacts

This tag is associated with 27 posts

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 Gentes Zoe 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 […]

Sea snakes join the dark side to cope with pollution

Black sea snakes are more common in contaminated sites. Why? Brittney G. Borowiec Brittney is a PhD candidate at McMaster University in Hamilton, ON, Canada, and joined Oceanbites in September 2015. Her research focuses on the physiological mechanisms and evolution of the respiratory and metabolic responses of Fundulus killifish to intermittent (diurnal) patterns of hypoxia.

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 […]

Paper or plastic? Policies inspired by research to find a solution to plastic pollution

Paper or plastic? In a lot of grocery stores, this is an innocent question, but recently it’s become a controversial issue. We talk about how plastic pollution research has inspired a barrel of policies, and some of the creative new ways people are trying to clean up the earth! Laura Zinke I am a PhD […]

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 Ganguly I’m a fourth year PhD candidate in the Department of Psychology at Northeastern University. […]

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 […]

Current connections: how far away coastlines influence marine reserves

A research team used a state-of-the-art model to map how four remote Marine Protected Areas are connected to the surrounding oceans, and how human activities are impacting them from afar. Veronica Tamsitt I’m a PhD student at Scripps Institution of Oceanography in La Jolla California. My research is focused on the Southern Ocean circulation and […]

The end of the line for ocean plastics

A team of researchers set out on an Expedition around the Arctic Ocean to prove what scientists have long suspected: plastic debris is carried by ocean currents to a far corner of the Arctic Ocean where it reaches a dead end and is causing a massive plastic pile up. Veronica Tamsitt I’m a PhD student […]

Throwing Babies out with the Sea Ice: Ringed Seals Response to Ice Decline

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! Rebecca Flynn I am a graduate of the University of Notre Dame (B.S.) and the University of Rhode Island (M.S.). […]

Small MPAs: the new all-you-can-eat buffets?

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! […]

Let’s Ghost Fishing for Halloween!

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! Rebecca Flynn I am a graduate of the University of Notre Dame (B.S.) and the University of Rhode Island […]

Big animals face big trouble in our oceans

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. Sean Anderson I am a first year MS candidate at […]

Pet trout: domestication rapidly alters gene expression

The impact of domestication can be detected within one generation in steelhead trout, and may involve adaptation to highly crowded conditions. Brittney G. Borowiec Brittney is a PhD candidate at McMaster University in Hamilton, ON, Canada, and joined Oceanbites in September 2015. Her research focuses on the physiological mechanisms and evolution of the respiratory and […]

Ancient swimmers: Greenland sharks live for centuries

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? Sean Anderson I am a first year MS candidate at the University of Rhode Island, Graduate School of Oceanography. I am interested in plankton ecology and the dynamics […]

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 […]

Why don’t sharks go deep?

Happy Shark Week! Today we examine a persistent and interesting biogeographical puzzle: why are there so few deep sea sharks? Brittney G. Borowiec Brittney is a PhD candidate at McMaster University in Hamilton, ON, Canada, and joined Oceanbites in September 2015. Her research focuses on the physiological mechanisms and evolution of the respiratory and metabolic […]

Eavesdropping prawns get more than they bargained for

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? Sarah Giltz I am a doctoral candidate in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Tulane University. My research focuses on the larval dispersal and development […]

To I.D. Debris: LIDAR as a tool to identify trash on the beach

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! Rebecca Flynn I am a graduate of the University of Notre Dame (B.S.) and the University of Rhode Island (M.S.). I now work […]

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 […]

Go Green for Earth Day!

Do Mother Nature a solid with these helpful tips & tricks to go green today! Brittney G. Borowiec Brittney is a PhD candidate at McMaster University in Hamilton, ON, Canada, and joined Oceanbites in September 2015. Her research focuses on the physiological mechanisms and evolution of the respiratory and metabolic responses of Fundulus killifish to […]

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