By Live Science
- The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution’s research vessel Knorr docked before its departure on Sept. 6 to study salinity in the mid-Atlantic ocean. (NASA)
By Wynne Parry
Over the past 50 years, the salty parts of the oceans have become saltier and the fresh regions have become fresher, and the degree of change is greater than scientists can explain.
Researchers are heading out into one particularly salty ocean region, in the middle of the North Atlantic Ocean, in the hopes of better understanding what drives variation in salinity in the upper ocean.
Ultimately, they hope, research like this will offer insight on the dynamics behind the dramatic changes in the ocean’s salt content.
Many oceanographers have a hunch about what is going on: Climate change, Ray Schmitt, a senior scientist at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, told journalists during a news conference Wednesday (Sept. 5).
“Climate is changing all the time, and some of that change is due to natural variation,” Schmitt said. “The 50-year trend we are talking about, most of us believe is really due to the general trend of Read more…
|Antarctica’s Brunt Ice Shelf.
CREDIT: British Antarctic Survey
When it comes to melting ice shelves in Antarctica, the danger comes from below, new research suggests.
By discovering the anatomy of ice loss across this chilly expanse, research may be able to forecast how the continent will melt in the future — and also how much global seas may rise.
Team member David Vaughan, a scientist at the European Union initiative ice2sea, said this study “shows the key to predicting how the ice sheet will change in the future is in understanding the oceans.”
Water or wind?
Scientists have long known that the wide platforms of ice extending from the southernmost continent have been shrinking away. But what’s behind the melting hasn’t been clear — whether warm ocean currents or surface winds have a bigger impact on the ice.
Now, a new satellite survey of Antarctica places the blame largely on the water. “In most places in Antarctica, we can’t explain the ice-shelf thinning through melting of snow at Read more…
VANCOUVER — When dead sea mammals started washing ashore on Canada’s west coast in greater numbers, marine biologist Andrew Trites was distressed to find that domestic animal diseases were killing them.
Around the world, seals, otters and other species are increasingly infected by parasites and other diseases long common in goats, cows, cats and dogs, marine mammal experts told a major science conference.
The diseases also increasingly threaten people who use the oceans for recreation, work or a source of seafood, scientists told reporters at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, held this year in this western Canadian city.
The symposium “Swimming in Sick Seas” was one of many sessions at the meeting that drew a bleak picture of the state of
A global study has questioned claims that jellyfish are increasing worldwide.
Blooms, or proliferation, of jellyfish have shown a substantial, visible impact on coastal populations — clogged nets for fishermen, stinging waters for tourists, even choked intake lines for power plants — and recent media reports have created a perception that the world’s oceans are experiencing increases in jellyfish due to human activities such as global warming and overharvesting of fish. Now, a new global and collaborative study questions claims that jellyfish are increasing worldwide and suggests claims are not supported with any hard evidence or scientific analyses to date.
Dr Cathy Lucas, a marine biologist at the University of Southampton, who is based at the National Oceanography Centre, Southampton was involved in the study, which appears in the latest issue of BioScience. Her co-authors are composed of experts from the Global Jellyfish Group, a consortium of approximately 30 experts on gelatinous organisms, climatology, oceanography and socioeconomics from around the globe, that Read more…
(PhysOrg.com) — Two years ago, scientists at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colo., released a study claiming that inconsistencies between satellite observations of Earth’s heat and measurements of ocean heating amounted to evidence of “missing energy” in the planet’s system.
Where was it going? Or, they wondered, was something wrong with the way researchers tracked energy as it was absorbed from the sun and emitted back into space?
An international team of atmospheric scientists and oceanographers, led by Norman Loeb of NASA’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, Va., and including Graeme Stephens of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., set out to investigate the mystery.
They used 10 years of data — spanning 2001 to 2010 — from NASA Langley’s orbiting Clouds and the Earth’s Radiant Energy System Experiment (CERES) instruments to measure changes in the net radiation balance at the top of Earth’s atmosphere. The CERES data were then combined with estimates of the heat content of Earth’s ocean from three independent ocean-sensor sources.
Their analysis, summarized in a NASA-led study published Jan. 22 in the Read more…
This article was published a few years back but it is still very interesting.
Scientists scanning the deep interior of Earth have found evidence of a vast water reservoir beneath eastern Asia that is at least the volume of the Arctic Ocean.
The finding, made by Michael Wysession, a seismologist at Washington University in St. Louis, and his former graduate student Jesse Lawrence, now at the University of California, San Diego, will be detailed in a forthcoming monograph to be published by Read more…