Archive for October, 2011

Mapping the formation of an underwater volcano

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On Oct. 9, 2011, an underwater volcano started to emerge in waters off El Hierro Island in the Canaries, Spain. Researchers only needed 15 days to map its formation in high resolution. The volcanic cone has reached a height of 100 m and the lava tongue flows down its side, even though its activity has slowed down in the past few days....

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NOAA Study Finds Over 50 Important Areas of Coral and Fish in Samoan Archipelago [What's New]

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A team of NOAA scientists have issued the first broad-scale biogeographic report to assess the Samoan Archipelago. They identified 51 regional areas of high coral and fish abundance. In addition, scientists found that less than 10 percent of coral reef ecosystems are located in marine protected areas.

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Prehistoric greenhouse data from ocean floor could predict Earth’s future, study finds

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New research indicates that Atlantic Ocean temperatures during the greenhouse climate of the Late Cretaceous Epoch were influenced by circulation in the deep ocean. These changes in circulation patterns 70 million years ago could help scientists understand the consequences of modern increases in greenhouse gases....

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Novel research seeks to locate Scotland’s next gold mine; Geologists apply new scientific methods to gold prospecting

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There really is gold in those hills – enough for a king’s ransom. Scotgold Resources Ltd has just been given planning permission to open Scotland’s first gold mine since gold was mined 500 years ago at Leadhills to make the Scottish crown jewels. Now the University of Leicester is involved in the search for the next natural treasure trove....

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Scientists predict faster retreat for Antarctica’s Thwaites Glacier; Underwater ridge critical to future flow

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The retreat of Antarctica's fast-flowing Thwaites Glacier is expected to speed up within 20 years, once the glacier detaches from an underwater ridge that is currently holding it back, according to a new study. The study is the latest to confirm the importance of seafloor topography in predicting how these glaciers will behave in the near future....

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Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary Condition Report Released [What's New]

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Within Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary, water quality has improved and the size and abundance of some fish species and spiny lobster in large sanctuary reserves are on the rise. However, coastal development, vessel groundings, marine debris, climate change, and poaching continue to threaten the more than 2,900 square nautical miles of marine habitat that the sanctuary protects. Also, many historically abundant marine resources such as green sea turtles and coral habitat continue to be at risk.

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Extreme melting on greenland ice sheet, team reports; Glacial melt cycle could become self-amplifying

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The Greenland ice sheet can experience extreme melting even when temperatures don't hit record highs, according to a new analysis by Dr. Marco Tedesco, assistant professor in the Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at the City College of New York. His findings suggest that glaciers could undergo a self-amplifying cycle of melting and warming that would be difficult to halt....

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Fagatele Bay National Marine Sanctuary Draft Management Plan Released [What's New]

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Nestled within an eroded volcanic crater on the southern coast of Tutuila, American Samoa, you’ll find Fagatele Bay National Marine Sanctuary. A recently released management plan proposes expanding this smallest and most remote of the 14 marine protected areas in the national marine sanctuary system, providing protection for some of the oldest and largest known corals in the world.

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Birthplace for primitive life on Earth? Researchers identify mud volcanoes in Greenland as niche for early life

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The mud volcanoes at Isua, in south-west Greenland, have been identified as a possible birthplace for life on Earth by an international team headed by researchers. Almost four billion years ago, these volcanoes released chemical elements indispensable to the formation of the first biomolecules, under conditions favorable to life. It is the first time that such an environment, meeting all the requirements for the emergence of life, has been identified by scientists in 3.8-billion-year-old formations....

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Researchers identify mysterious life forms in the extreme deep sea

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A research expedition has led to the identification of gigantic amoebas at one of the deepest locations on Earth. During a voyage to the Pacific Ocean's Mariana Trench, the deepest region on the planet, researchers deployed untethered free-falling/ascending landers equipped with digital video and lights to search the largely unexplored region. The team documented the deepest known existence of xenophyophores, single-celled animals exclusively found in deep-sea environments....

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