Archive for May, 2014

Delving into the spread of marine life: Understanding deep-sea limpets

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Deep-sea limpets are conches with shells about 1 cm long. They have been confirmed to live in the long, narrow seabed known as the Okinawa Trough, located at an average of depth of 1000 meters and northwest of the Nansei and Ryukyu Islands. In a new article, three major findings are reported: new limpet habitats in the Okinawa Trough, the process of limpet population formation surmised from their shell length, and limpet reproduction patterns....

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Antarctic Ice Sheet unstable at end of last ice age

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A new study has found that the Antarctic Ice Sheet began melting about 5,000 years earlier than previously thought coming out of the last ice age -- and that shrinkage of the vast ice sheet accelerated during eight distinct episodes, causing rapid sea level rise....

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NASA IceBridge concludes Arctic field campaign

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Researchers with NASA's Operation IceBridge have completed another successful Arctic field campaign. On May 23, NASA's P-3 research aircraft left Thule Air Base, Greenland, and returned to Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia marking the end of 11 weeks of polar research....

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Melting Arctic opens new passages for invasive species

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For the first time in roughly 2 million years, melting Arctic sea ice is connecting the north Pacific and north Atlantic oceans. The newly opened passages leave both coasts and Arctic waters vulnerable to a large wave of invasive species, biologists assert....

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Detecting oceanic carbon dioxide sink today and in the future

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The ocean has steadily taken up excess anthropogenic carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, but a slow down is expected in various parts of the ocean. The current observational network needs to be improved to monitor these changes. Using the latest collection of data and state-of-the-art Earth system models, researchers confirm that ocean partial pressure of carbon dioxide has steadily increased following the atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration in the past four decades. A large portion of this increase is attributed to the ongoing invasion of anthropogenic carbon dioxide into the ocean, whereas increase in sea surface temperature contributes only marginally....

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Seafloor experts publish new view of zone where Malaysia Airlines flight 370 might lie

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A new illustration of the seafloor, created by two of the world's leading ocean floor mapping experts that details underwater terrain where the missing Malaysia Airlines flight might be located, could shed additional light on what type of underwater vehicles might be used to find the missing airplane and where any debris from the crash might lie....

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New biodiversity study throws out controversial scientific theory

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Scientists have released ground-breaking findings that dismiss the 'Neutral Theory of Biodiversity'. The theory has dominated biodiversity research for the past decade, and been advocated as a tool for conservation and management efforts. The study, the largest of its kind, covers a broad range of marine ecosystems on Earth and has important implications for how marine conservation areas are managed....

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DNA testing to help save corals

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To avert coral demise, experts report the establishment of DNA markers that might be applicable to all species of the?Acropora?reef-building coral, giving accurate identification to individual corals. The technique, similar to DNA profiling in humans, enables scientists to study genetic diversity and connectivity among the?Acropora?coral populations, thus finding clues to help with the conservation of coral reef ecosystems in waters around the world....

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Deep Earth recycling of the oceanic floor: New insight into the temperature of deep Earth

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Scientists have recreated the extreme conditions 600 to 2900 km below the Earth's surface to investigate the melting of basalt in the oceanic tectonic plates. They exposed microscopic pieces of rock to these extreme pressures and temperatures while simultaneously studying their structure. The results show basalt produced on the ocean floor has a melting temperature lower than the peridotite which forms the Earth's mantle....

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More than 12 million pounds of trash collected during international coastal cleanup

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The total amount of trash picked up during the 28th year of Ocean Conservancy’s International Coastal Cleanup weighed more than 12 million pounds, the most ever collected in the event’s history, according to a report. This new total is an indicator of the tremendous amount of ocean trash found on shorelines and in the ocean and waterways around the globe....

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