We've all seen images of trash on beaches, or floating on the surface of the ocean. But a surprising amount ends up on the deep seafloor, at depths so great that it's been very hard for us to really know what the situation is. Because it's no very practical to fund a deep sea mission just to look for trash, researchers at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute instead decided to comb through thousands of hours of video recorded by remotely controlled vehicles over the past 20+ years, specifically looking for debris.
OSLO, June 14 (Reuters) - Norway is set to permit offshore oil and gas exploration in Arctic waters vulnerable to sea ice, angering some opposition politicians and environmentalists who say ice sharply raises risks of accidents.
Norway's centre-left government, seeking new resources to offset a decline in production to a 25-year low, has often said it will not allow drilling in ice-covered seas. But the exact definition has been unclear.
A draft law, agreed by parliament's energy and environment committee this week, will allow drilling in an offshore border zone with Russia the size of Switzerland, part of which was covered by sea ice in a chill 2003 winter.
Glaciers in the Mount Everest region have shrunk by 13 percent and the snow-line has shifted 180 meters (590 feet) higher during the past 50 years, according to a study that will be presented this week at a conference organized by the American Geophysical Union.
There is significant risk of London being hit by a devastating storm surge in the Thames estuary by 2100 that could breach existing flood defences and cause immense damage to the capital, a study of global sea-level rise has found.
Melting of polar ice sheets and mountain glaciers could increase sea levels significantly over the coming decades leading to a 1 in 20 risk that the existing Thames Barrier would be unable to cope with an extreme storm surge, the study concluded.
Extreme storm surges that can breach the barrier would in the past have occurred with a frequency of about 1 in 1,000 years, but in a warmer world they could occur as frequently as 1 in every 10 years, scientists said.
If you happen to know of any female fish of the Mangarahara cichlid variety, the London Zoo would very much like to introduce her to a couple of extremely eligible bachelors.
The zoo's aquarium is home to two of the three remaining Mangarahara cichlids known to exist -- the only problem is, they're all males. So now, in a last-ditch bid to preserve the species from impending extinction, the zoo has issued a personal ad of sorts to find them a mate, titled 'Male Seeking Female: Must Want Kids'.
This spring, southern California has seen a massive number of sea lion pup strandings. Over 1,300 baby sea lions, born last summer, have stranded themselves and are being found up and down the coastline emaciated, dehydrated and enduring hypothermia. Scientists are looking for clues to understand why the sea lion youngsters seem to have been cut off from their food supply, leading to what NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service has deemed an "unusual mortality event."
Meanwhile, conservation photographer Morgan Heim travelled to the Pacific Marine Mammal Center to document the phenomenal effort workers and volunteers are putting into rescuing and caring for these youngsters so they can be released back into the wild. Here is their story in photos.
A ‘global conveyor belt’ stirs the oceans from top to bottom, with surface currents transporting warm water to the poles while cold water in the depths flows back to the tropics. But it operates in fits and starts, with the strength of the currents varying widely. Eager for a better understanding of how the vagaries of the conveyor belt shape weather and climate, oceanographers are planning two new large-scale projects to watch over Atlantic currents.
An array of instruments between Florida and the Canary Islands has been continuously monitoring the strength of the North Atlantic portion of the global conveyor belt since 2004. In December, if all goes well, an international project led by the United States will begin another set of continuous measurements of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC), using an array of sensors strung between South Africa and Argentina. And this month, US and British funding agencies are set to decide whether they will support a new surface-to-bottom monitoring array between Labrador in Canada and Scotland, UK. The United Kingdom will also decide whether to continue operating the existing array.
On 15 April more than 100 fishermen demonstrated in the streets of Fort de France, the main town on Martinique, in the French West Indies. In January they barricaded the port until the government in Paris allocated €2m ($2.6m) in aid, which they are still waiting for.
The contamination caused by chlordecone, a persistent organochlorine pesticide, means their spiny lobsters are no longer fit for human consumption. The people of neighbouring Guadeloupe are increasingly angry for the same reason. After polluting the soil, the chemical is wreaking havoc out at sea, an environmental disaster that now threatens the whole economy.
Two 19th-century glassmakers created a collection of anatomically perfect sculptures of marine creatures. Now, a hunt is on to find the animals that inspired them. ...
I’ve been a marine biologist my entire professional life, spending more than 25 years researching the health of corals and sustainability of reefs. I’m captivated by the magic of sessile invertebrates like corals, sponges and sea squirts — creatures vital to the ecosystem yet too often overlooked in favor of more visible animals like sharks and whales.
The filmmaker David O. Brown and I want to change that. To make a documentary, “Fragile Legacy,” we are on a quest to lure these elusive and delicate invertebrates in front of the camera lens.
Migratory shorebird populations are at great risk from rising sea levels due to global climate change, warns a recent paper in Proceedings of the Royal Society B. These birds play an important role in the distribution of nutrients within wetland and coastal ecosystems, and their loss could have unknown consequences for the rest of the world. Many scientists have documented the accelerated melting of land ice that had led to higher sea levels, but until now researchers have not known how this would impact shorebirds. But utilizing a mathematical technique that models flow of water through a pipeline, scientists have developed an innovative method to measure the effect habitat loss on shorebirds.
esterday’s announcement of the removal of trout from a small creek in the Alpine National Park to protect a critically endangered native fish highlights the problem that is trout.
Trout have been so successfully and so pervasively introduced into Australian freshwater systems that most people now think that they are native. The truth is that trout have caused the extinction or demise of many freshwater fish and invertebrate species, including some excellent angling fish such as the Murray cod, Macquarie perch and trout cod.
It sounds ludicrous, but it could just be true: scientists say seagulls may be responsible for hundreds of southern right whale moralities off the Argentine coastline. Since 2003, scientists have documented the deaths of 605 southern right whales (Eubalaena australis) near Península Valdés which the whales use as a nursery. Notably, 88 percent of these were newborn calves. The death rate is so high that researchers now fear for the whales' long-term survival.
"The southern right-whale population is still only a small fraction of its original size, and now we have reason to worry about its recovery," Vicky Rowntree with the Ocean Alliance and the University of Utah says. "Our long-term data indicate that the Península Valdés whales were increasing steadily at close to 7% per year until recently. Elevated calf mortality is reducing that growth rate substantially (by nearly a third in one estimate). If this continues, we just don’t know what will happen."
Chinese white dolphins, nicknamed "pink dolphins," are rarely spotted in Hong Kongwaters. However, the near-threatened species is becoming even more uncommon, and conservationists warn that Hong Kong risks losing the dolphins altogether unless immediate action is taken.
According to the Hong Kong Dolphin Conservation Society, the number of pink dolphins in waters surrounding the city have dropped significantly in recent years from 158 in 2003 to 78 in 2011, the Agence France-Presse reports. However, the current pink dolphin population may be even smaller since the 2012 statistics have yet to be released.
Scientists from Norway's Center for International Climate and Environmental Research monitored widespread changes in ocean chemistry in the region. They say even if CO2 emissions stopped now, it would take tens of thousands of years for Arctic Ocean chemistry to revert to pre-industrial levels. Many creatures, including commercially valuable fish, could be affected. They forecast major changes in the marine ecosystem, but say there is huge uncertainty over what those changes will be.