Archive for August, 2015

Plastic in 99 percent of seabirds by 2050

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Researchers from CSIRO and Imperial College London have assessed how widespread the threat of plastic is for the world's seabirds, including albatrosses, shearwaters and penguins, and found the majority of seabird species have plastic in their gut....

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Evidence of ancient life discovered in mantle rocks deep below the seafloor

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Ancient rocks harbored microbial life deep below the seafloor, reports scientists. This first-time evidence was contained in drilled rock samples of Earth's mantle -- thrust by tectonic forces to the seafloor during the Early Cretaceous period. The discovery confirms a long-standing hypothesis that interactions between mantle rocks and seawater can create potential for life even in hard rocks deep below the ocean floor....

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Sea temperature changes linked to mystery North Pacific ecosystem shifts

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Researchers have long been puzzled by two rapid and widespread changes in the abundance and distribution of North Pacific plankton and fish species that impacted the region's economically important salmon fisheries. Now, researchers suggest that longer, less frequent climate fluctuations may be contributing to abrupt and unexplained ecosystem shifts in the North Pacific....

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Technique designed to predict how much energy waves will be bringing

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Marine energy has a great future potential according to the experts, but there is still a long way to go before it can be used on a large scale. A team of researchers has now developed a technique to forecast wave energy several hours in advance....

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Better daily sea ice forecasts for the Arctic

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Ice experts have developed a straightforward new technique for estimating sea ice concentration in the Arctic Ocean, and the new method improves the US Navy's short-term sea ice forecast of ice edge location by almost 40 percent. With shipping on the rise in the Arctic Ocean, improving these short-term forecasts makes navigating in Arctic waters safer....

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NASA’s summer research on sea level rise in Greenland

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On Greenland's ice sheet, a vast icy landscape crisscrossed by turquoise rivers and dotted with meltwater lakes, a small cluster of orange camping tents popped up in late July. The camp, home for a week to a team of researchers, sat by a large, fast-flowing river. Just half a mile (a kilometer) downstream, the river dropped into a seemingly bottomless moulin, or sinkhole in the ice. The low rumble of the waters, the shouted instructions from scientists taking measurements, and the chop of the blades of a helicopter delivering personnel and gear were all that was heard in the frozen landscape....

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Greenland campaign takes flight to measure ice sheet

Earlier this month, a NASA instrument nestled in the belly of a small plane flew over Greenland's ice sheet and the Arctic Ocean's icy waters. Flying above creviced glaciers, chunks of ice floating in melt ponds, and the slushy edges of the ice sheets, the instrument used a rapidly firing laser to measure the elevation of the surface below....

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Intensity of desert storms may affect ocean phytoplankton

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Scientists have determined that once iron is deposited in the ocean, it has a very short residence time, spending only six months in surface waters before sinking into the deep ocean. This high turnover of iron signals that large seasonal changes in desert dust may have dramatic effects on surface phytoplankton that depend on iron....

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Improved NOAA Forecast for Red Tide in Florida

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Red tide forecasts for Florida will now be even more accurate thanks to an improved method of forecasting that will allow NOAA scientists to see more clearly where the harmful algal blooms (HABs) that cause this phenomenon are located. This will help local residents and visitors make better decisions about their recreational choices during a HAB event and aid public health managers who coordinate response efforts and mitigate the effects of red tide.

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Hurricane Katrina: 10 Years Later

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The most infamous storm in U.S. history, Hurricane Katrina carved a path of destruction from Miami to New Orleans, and up the Eastern United States. The storm reached a maximum intensity of Category 5 status, with 175 mph sustained winds. Hurricane Katrina made landfall in the morning of August 29, 2005.

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