Archive for July, 2012

Amazing deep diving by imperial cormorant bird

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Researchers recently fitted a South American sea bird called an imperial cormorant with a small camera, then watched stunned as it became 'superbird' -- diving 150 feet underwater in 40 seconds, feeding on the ocean floor for 80 seconds where it eventually caught a snakelike fish, before returning to the surface 40 seconds later....

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Arctic Survey to Help Set Charting Priorities [Features]

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While it may be hard to fathom, modern fuel tankers that transport millions of gallons of oil across the Arctic are sometimes forced to rely on ocean depth measurements reported by the explorer and mapmaker Captain James Cook back in 1778! In August, the NOAA Ship Fairweather heads out on a 30-day reconnaissance mission to that will help NOAA prioritize its efforts to update navigational charts along a busy maritime transit corridor in this region.

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Researchers analyze melting glaciers and water resources in Central Asia

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Scientists have analyzed climate changes and glaciation in the Tien Shan Mountains (Central Asia), and explained their consequences....

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New discovery of how carbon is stored in the Southern Ocean

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Scientists have discovered an important method of how carbon is drawn down from the surface of the Southern Ocean to the deep waters beneath. The Southern Ocean is an important carbon sink in the world – around 40 percent of the annual global CO2 emissions absorbed by the world's oceans enter through this region....

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Martian polygons and deep-sea polygons on Earth: More evidence for ancient Martian oceans?

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Debate over the origin of large-scale polygons (hundreds of meters to kilometers in diameter) on Mars remains active even after several decades of detailed observations. Similarity in geometric patterns on Mars and Earth has long captured the imagination. Geologists have examined these large-scale polygons and compared them to similar features on Earth's seafloor, which they believe may have formed via similar processes....

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NOAA Sanctuary Exploration Center Opens in Santa Cruz [What's New]

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On July 23, the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary and the City of Santa Cruz celebrated the opening of the Sanctuary Exploration Center. This state-of-the-art facility was designed to foster stewardship of the region’s marine ecosystem. The Center is located just steps from the ocean in Santa Cruz’ famed beach area with an estimated 3.5 million visitors per year. It will function as the sanctuary’s premier interactive interpretive facility.


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Students discover methane seep ecosystem

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During a recent oceanographic expedition off San Diego, graduate student researchers discovered convincing evidence of a deep-sea site where methane is likely seeping out of the seafloor, the first such finding off San Diego County....

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The fin whale, under more threat in the Mediterranean than thought

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Until now it was thought that fin whales in the Strait of Gibraltar and the Alboran Sea made up part of the distribution of this species of whale in the Mediterranean. However, scientists have just discovered that their population has been overestimated by including specimens from the Atlantic that visit at certain times the western Mediterranean, where the noise generated by human activity affects their survival....

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Hidden rift valley discovered beneath West Antarctica reveals new insight into ice loss

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Scientists have discovered a one mile deep rift valley hidden beneath the ice in West Antarctica, which they believe is contributing to ice loss from this part of the continent....

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Tropical plankton invade arctic waters: Researchers see natural cycle, but questions arise on climate change

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For the first time, scientists have identified tropical and subtropical species of marine protozoa living in the Arctic Ocean. Apparently, they traveled thousands of miles on Atlantic currents and ended up above Norway with an unusual -- but naturally cyclic -- pulse of warm water, not as a direct result of overall warming climate, say the researchers. On the other hand: Arctic waters are warming rapidly, and such pulses are predicted to grow as global climate change causes shifts in long-distance currents....

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