Marine protected areas inadequate for protecting fish and ocean ecology, study finds

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A new study reports that an expansion of marine protected areas is needed to protect fish species that perform key ecological functions. According to investigators, previous efforts at protecting fish have focused on saving the largest numbers of species, often at the expense of those species that provide key and difficult-to-replace ecological functions....

NOAA’s Marine Debris Program reports on national issue of derelict fishing traps

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Thousands of fishing traps are lost or abandoned each year in US waters. A new NOAA report is the first of its kind to examine the derelict fish trap problem, nationally, and recommends actions to better manage and prevent it....

Pacific plate shrinking as it cools

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The Pacific tectonic plate is not as rigid as scientists believe, according to new calculations. Scientists have determined that cooling of the lithosphere -- the outermost layer of Earth -- makes some sections of the Pacific plate contract horizontally at faster rates than others and cause the plate to deform....

Potential influences on recent UK winter floods investigated by new scientific review

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A comprehensive review of all potential factors behind the 2013/2014 UK winter floods has been published by researchers. The paper does not definitively answer whether human activity played a role in the magnitude of the winter flood events. It does, however, examine how factors such as the state of the global oceans may have interacted with wind patterns and subsequent high-level atmospheric features....

Natural methane seepage on U.S. Atlantic ocean margin widespread

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Natural methane leakage from the seafloor is far more widespread on the U.S. Atlantic margin than previously thought, according to a study by researchers from Mississippi State University, the U.S. Geological Survey, and other institutions....

Southeast Coast Saltwater Paddling Trail

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If you've ever had the notion to paddle an unbroken marsh and river trail that meanders for hundreds of miles down America's picturesque Southeast coast, check out the Southeast Coast Saltwater Paddling Trail (SECT) website.

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Cold snap in the tropics: How tropical glaciers respond to cooling periods

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Tropical glaciers have responded to episodes of cooling in Greenland and the Antarctic over the past 20,000 years, according to a study that covers 21 Andean glaciers. As elsewhere on the planet, tropical glaciers (located on either side of the equator between 23°N and 23°S) have been retreating since the Last Glacial Maximum around 20,000 years ago. This retreat has been interrupted by stillstands and re-advances, although a detailed chronology of these events in tropical regions remained unclear until now....

NASA scientists watching, studying Arctic changes this summer

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As we near the final month of summer in the Northern Hemisphere, NASA scientists are watching the annual seasonal melting of the Arctic sea ice cover. The floating, frozen cap that stretches across the Arctic Ocean shrinks throughout summer until beginning to regrow, typically around mid-September....

From dandruff to deep sea vents, an ecologically hyper-diverse fungus

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A ubiquitous skin fungus linked to dandruff, eczema and other itchy, flaky maladies in humans has now been tracked to even further global reaches -- including Hawaiian coral reefs and the extreme environments of arctic soils and deep sea vents. The study considers the diversity, ecology, and distribution of the fungi of the genus Malassezia in light of new insights gained from screening environmental sequencing datasets from around the world....

Cause of global warming hiatus found deep in the Atlantic Ocean

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Observations show that the heat absent from the Earth's surface for more than a decade is plunging deep in the north and south Atlantic Ocean, and is part of a naturally occurring cycle. Subsurface warming in the ocean explains why global average air temperatures have flatlined since 1999, despite greenhouse gases trapping more solar heat at Earth's surface....