Archive for December, 2010

System for detecting noise pollution in the sea and its impact on cetaceans

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Researchers have developed the first system equipped with hydrophones able to record sounds on the seafloor in real time over the Internet. The system detects the presence of cetaceans and makes it possible to analyze how noise caused by human activity can affect the natural habitat of these animals and the natural balance of oceans. A new EU directive on the sea has ruled that all member states must comply with a set of indicators for measuring marine noise pollution before 2012....

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Back to the Dead Sea: Climate change study digs into half a million years of history

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A new study is digging underneath the Dead Sea to reveal the historical health of the planet through the last 500,000 years -- and to learn more about what climate change may hold in store for our planet....

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What is a salt marsh?

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Salt marshes are coastal wetlands that are flooded and drained by salt water brought in by the tides....

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Decline of West Coast fog brought higher coastal temperatures last 60 years

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Summertime fog, a common feature along the West Coast, has decline since 1950 while coastal temperatures have increased slightly, new research shows....

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Drifting fish larvae allow marine reserves to rebuild fisheries

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Marine ecologists have shown for the first time that tiny fish larvae can drift with ocean currents and "re-seed" fish stocks significant distances away -- more than 100 miles in a new study from Hawaii....

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Growing hypoxic zones reduce habitat for billfish and tuna

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Billfish and tuna, important commercial and recreational fish species, may be more vulnerable to fishing pressure because of shrinking habitat, according to a new study. An expanding zone of low oxygen, known as a hypoxic zone, in the Atlantic Ocean is encroaching upon these species' preferred oxygen-abundant habitat, forcing them into shallower waters where they are more likely to be caught....

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First Unmanned, Underwater Robot to Cross An Ocean Highlighted at Smithsonian Ocean Hall [What's New]

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The first underwater robotic vehicle - or "glider" - to cross an ocean is the centerpiece of a new exhibit in the Sant Ocean Hall at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History. The exhibit opened on Dec. 9. The U.S. Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS®) glider, operated by Rutgers University, carried out the trans-Atlantic journey last year, just months before scientists applied the technology to the Deepwater Horizon BP response....

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Sea-level study brings good and bad news to Chesapeake Bay

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A study of sea-level trends brings both good and bad news to localities concerned with coastal inundation and flooding along the shores of Chesapeake Bay. Dr. John Boon, the study's lead author, says the good news is that "absolute sea level in Chesapeake Bay is rising only about half as fast as the global average rise rate." The bad news, says Boon, is that "local subsidence more than makes up for it."...

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Ocean acidification changes nitrogen cycling in world seas

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Increasing acidity in the sea's waters may fundamentally change how nitrogen is cycled in them, say marine scientists. Nitrogen is one of the most important nutrients in the oceans. All organisms, from tiny microbes to blue whales, use nitrogen to make proteins and other important compounds....

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Polar bears no longer on ‘thin ice’: researchers say polar bears could face brighter future

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In the snowy spring of 2009, researcher traveled onto the frozen Arctic Ocean north of Alaska to study and survey polar bear populations. These findings may have implications for citizens and natural resource managers in the Pacific Northwest working to manage resources for a warming climate, particularly in high mountain areas....

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