Beaked whales are incredibly elusive and rare, little-known to scientists and the public alike—although some species are three times the size of an elephant. Extreme divers, beaked whales have been recorded plunging as deep as 1,800 meters (5,900 feet) for over an hour. Few of the over 20 species are well-known by researchers, but now scientists have discovered a new beaked whale to add to the already large, and cryptic, group: the pointed beaked whale (Mesoplodon hotaula).
Scientists call for new stewardship of the deep ocean: Earth's last frontier EurekAlert (press release) As humans ramp up exploitation of deep-sea fish, energy, minerals, and genetic resources, a new "stewardship mentality" across countries,...
Marian Locksley's insight:
Lisa Levin, a biological oceanographer at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego, believes the vital functions provided by the deep sea—from carbon sequestration to nurturing fish stocks—are key to the health of the planet. As humans ramp up exploitation of deep-sea fish, energy, minerals, and genetic resources, a new "stewardship mentality" across countries, economic sectors, and disciplines is required, Levin says, for the future health and integrity of the deep ocean.
Groups challenge Navy's plan to step up offshore sonar, bomb training OCRegister (subscription) A group of environmentalists and conservationists is accusing the fisheries service, an agency mandated to protect marine life, of allowing the Navy to...
If we are going to worry about climate change, oil spills, and nuclear radiation effecting our planet, we need to admit that this is just as bad. Blowing up the underwater environment and polluting it with harmful frequencies is not an acceptable thing for our US Navy to participate in << by: Sarah Chilcott
Climate change caused by human activities is by far the worst threat to biodiversity in the Arctic. Some of these changes are already visible. Unique and irreplaceable Arctic wildlife and landscapes are crucially at risk due to global warming caused by human activities according to a new report prepared by 253 scientists from 15 countries.
Top ten reasons to LOVE the ocean Greenpeace UK (blog) Hermaphroditic sea hares, a type of sea slug, form long chains to share the love, acting as both males and females to different partners at the same time.
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Marian Locksley's insight:
He has responded to and performed necropsies on numerous large stranded whales. Many of these animals had died from months of starvation and fatigue after being entangled in rope, line, and nets from fishing and lobster gear.
Design & Trend Deadliest catch: Overfishing pushes quarter of sharks, rays to extinction Tehran Times c_330_235_16777215_0___images_stories_edim_09_catch.jpg A quarter of the world's sharks and rays are at risk of extinction, according to a new...
Marian Locksley's insight:
The pressure put on the species from both intentional and unintentional catches is exacerbated by the animals' relatively Slow Reproduction, with fish taken out of the ocean faster than they can be replaced.
In this new effort, the research duo pulled out atmospheric data (from balloons, surface temperature readings and satellite observations) relevant to southern hemispheric oceans, covering the past thirty years.
Abstract Periodic behavior in the climate system has important implications not only for weather prediction but also for understanding and interpreting the physical processes that drive climate variability. Here we demonstrate that the large-scale Southern Hemisphere atmospheric circulation exhibits marked periodicity on time scales of approximately 20 to 30 days. The periodicity is tied to the Southern Hemisphere baroclinic annular mode and emerges in hemispheric-scale averages of the eddy fluxes of heat, the eddy kinetic energy, and precipitation. Observational and theoretical analyses suggest that the oscillation results from feedbacks between the extratropical baroclinicity, the wave fluxes of heat, and radiative damping. The oscillation plays a potentially profound role in driving large-scale climate variability throughout much of the mid-latitude Southern Hemisphere.
The conversion produces significantly more energy than it requires and results in transportation fuels -- diesel, for example -- that can be blended with existing ultra-low-sulfur diesels and biodiesels. Other products, such as natural gas, naphtha (a solvent), gasoline, waxes and lubricating oils such as engine oil and hydraulic oil also can be obtained from shopping bags.
Americans throw away about 100 billion plastic shopping bags each year, according to the Worldwatch Institute. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency reports that only about 13 percent are recycled. The rest of the bags end up in landfills or escape to the wild, blowing across the landscape and entering waterways.
Plastic bags make up a sizeable portion of the plastic debris in giant ocean garbage patches that are killing wildlife and littering beaches. Plastic bags "have been detected as far north and south as the poles," the researchers wrote.
"Over a period of time, this material starts breaking into tiny pieces, and is ingested along with plankton by aquatic animals," Sharma said. Fish, birds, ocean mammals and other creatures have been found with a lot of plastic particles in their guts.
Whole shopping bags also threaten wildlife, Sharma said.
"Turtles, for example, think that the plastic grocery bags are jellyfish and they try to eat them," he said. Other creatures become entangled in the bags.
A hitchhiker's ride to New Zealand: alien voyages by sea and air The Conversation In the sub-tropical Pacific Ocean, 160 kilometres south-west of Raoul Island, Lieutenant Tim Oscar stared out of the window of the ship's bridge.
A parasite that lives in domestic cats has spread to beluga whales in the Arctic which scientists believe have been infected through water or fish that have been contaminated with cat faeces washed into the sea.
Local Inuit have changed many of their traditional habits and have brought pet dogs and cats to their settlements, he said.
“Toxoplasma is a cosmopolitan parasite. It tends not to cause disease in its immediate host but some strains can be quite pathogenic,” Dr Grigg said.
“A cat can excrete 100 million infectious Toxoplasma oocysts [seeds] and all it takes is for one of these oocysts to infect a warm-blooded vertebrate like ourselves.
“They are incredibly stable in the environment. You can put them in 100 per cent chlorine bleach and it won’t kill them. The only way to kill them is to freeze them, dessicate them or boil them,” he said.
“If there is infection in whales and the meat is not appropriately cooked then there is a risk of infection,” he added.
As the Arctic continues to see dramatic declines in seasonal sea ice, warming temperatures and increased storminess, the responses of marine mammals can provide clues to how the ecosystem is responding to these physical drivers.
Crew of Sea Shepherd Vessel the Brigitte Bardot to Assist in Enforcement Patrols, Spread Conservation Awareness in Guatemala (Sea Shepherd Global & Sea Shepherd USA Team Up With Guatemalan Officials for Anti-Poaching Patrols