Archive for February, 2010

Tropics: Global warming likely to significantly affect rainfall patterns

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Ocean temperature patterns in the tropics and subtropics will change in ways that will lead to significant changes in rainfall patterns, according to new research....

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Climate change and coral reefs: Coral species has developed the ’skills’ to cope with rising temperatures

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Marine reserves are increasingly important for species that are being forced by climate change to move to a new home, adapt to new conditions or die. Biologists have now compared the relative benefits of large and small protected areas in perpetuating populations. Interestingly they have also found a coral species that has developed the "skills" to cope with rising temperatures....

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Large Iceberg breaks off Antarctica’s Mertz Glacier

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Scientists have discovered the calving of a large iceberg from Antarctica's Mertz Glacier. The iceberg -- 78 kilometres long with a surface area of roughly 2,500 square kilometres, about the size of Luxembourg -- broke off after being rammed by another iceberg, 97 kilometres long. The future position of the two giant icebergs will likely affect local ocean circulation, experts predict....

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Long-reigning microbe controlling ocean nitrogen shares the throne

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Marine scientists long believed that a microbe called Trichodesmium, a member of a group called the cyanobacteria, reigned over the ocean's nitrogen budget....

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Computer models show how skyborne seawater particles change cloud brightness, temperature, rain patterns

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Ships blowing off steam are helping researchers understand how human-made particles might be useful against global warming. New results from modeling clouds like those seen in shipping lanes reveal the complex interplay between aerosols, the prevailing weather and even the time of day the aerosol particles hit the air, according to new research....

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Optical system promises to revolutionize undersea communications

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In a technological advance that its developers are likening to the cell phone and wireless Internet access, scientists and engineers have devised an undersea optical communications system that -- complemented by acoustics -- enables a virtual revolution in high-speed undersea data collection and transmission....

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Geologists look for answers in Antarctica: Did ice exist at equator some 300 million years ago?

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Focusing on a controversial hypothesis that ice existed at the equator some 300 million years ago during the late Paleozoic Period, researchers have begun a project in search of clues to Earth's climate system....

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Barents Sea: An effective ocean cooler

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Stronger ocean currents have transported more heat to the Barents Sea over the last years. Despite this extra heat, the mean temperature has only increased modestly. The reason is a stronger heat loss caused by more open water during wintertime....

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Seamount scientists offer new comprehensive view of deep-sea mountains

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Lying beneath the ocean is spectacular terrain ranging from endless chains of mountains and isolated peaks to fiery volcanoes and black smokers exploding with magma and other minerals from below Earth's surface. This mountainous landscape, some of which surpasses Mt. Everest heights and the marine life it supports, is the spotlight of a special edition of the research journal Oceanography....

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Missing ‘ice arches’ contributed to 2007 Arctic ice loss

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In 2007, the Arctic lost a massive amount of thick, multiyear sea ice, contributing to that year's record-low extent of Arctic sea ice. A new NASA-led study has found that the record loss that year was due in part to the absence of "ice arches," naturally-forming, curved ice structures that span the openings between two land points. These arches block sea ice from being pushed by winds or currents through narrow passages and out of the Arctic basin....

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