Archive for March, 2009

New Omnibus Land Act Contains Key Provisions Related to National Ocean Service Programs

This item was filled under News
The Omnibus Public Land Management Act of 2009 signed into law by President Barack Obama on March 30 contains several provisions related to ocean and coastal research, monitoring, and conservation--central responsibilities of NOS. We have a rundown of the highlights....

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Can the ocean freeze?

This item was filled under Basics, Facts
Ocean water freezes just like freshwater, but at lower temperatures. Fresh water freezes at 0 degrees Celsius (32 degrees Fahrenheit), but seawater freezes at about -1.9 degrees Celsius (28.4 degrees Fahrenheit) because of the salt in it. When seawater freezes, however, the ice contains very little salt because only the water part freezes. It can be melted down to use as drinking water....

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What is a tsunami?

Tsunamis are giant waves caused by earthquakes or volcanic eruptions under the sea. Out in the depths of the ocean, tsunami waves do not dramatically increase in height. But as the waves travel inland, they build up to higher and higher heights as the depth of the ocean decreases. The speed of tsunami waves depends on ocean depth rather than the distance from the source of the wave. Tsunami waves may travel as fast as jet planes over deep waters, only slowing down when reaching shallow waters. While tsunamis are often referred to as tidal waves, this name is discouraged by oceanographers because tides have little to do with these giant waves....

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What is marine debris?

This item was filled under Facts, Health, Ocean Life
Each year, three times as much rubbish is dumped into the world's oceans as the weight of fish caught. Marine debris injures and kills marine life, interferes with navigation safety, and poses a threat to human health. Our oceans and waterways are polluted with a wide variety of marine debris ranging from soda cans and plastic bags to derelict fishing gear and abandoned vessels. ...

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What is a current?

This item was filled under Facts, Tides and Currents
Ocean currents are driven by wind, temperature changes, and tides...

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Scientists Explore Waters in the U.S. Caribbean

This item was filled under News
From March 23 through April 3, NOS scientists will embark on a scientific mission to study the coral reefs and fish habitats off the coast of Vieques, Puerto Rico....

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Can marine debris degrade on its own in the environment?

This item was filled under Facts, Health, Ocean Life
Human-made products are not completely biodegradable. These products will take a long time, possibly hundreds of years, to degrade. Some products such as glass never degrade. To determine how long it will take for debris to degrade depends on several factors such as material type, size, thickness, and environmental conditions (e.g., amount of exposure to sunlight or location - on the beach or floating at sea)....

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What does peanut butter have to do with the ocean?

This item was filled under Facts, Health, Ocean Life
When it comes to eating, the ocean provides much more than just seafood. Many of the foods and products found in your local grocery store contain ingredients from the ocean....

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WaterLife: Where Rivers Meet the Sea

This item was filled under News
Want to learn about estuaries and the threats that endanger them AND have some fun? Check out NOS’s new educational online game: "WaterLife: Where Rivers Meet the Sea."...

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In what types of water do corals live?

This item was filled under Facts, Ocean Life
Reef-building corals cannot tolerate water temperatures below 64° Fahrenheit (18° Celsius). Many grow optimally in water temperatures between 73° and 84° Fahrenheit (23°–29°Celsius), but some can tolerate temperatures as high as 104° Fahrenheit (40° Celsius) for short periods....

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