New research published in the journal Nature Geoscience shows us that not only is global warming (aka Climate Change) increasing the acidity of the entire ocean (by forcing more CO2 into it) and increasing it’s temperature (which alone is forecasted to cause widespread shifts in habitats, changes in currents, oxygen levels, and sea level rise due to the thermal expansion of water itself…), we now find that a warming ocean also melts ice faster. Continue reading →
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Bluefin tuna could become extinct as soon as 2012. The main reasons are the booming sushi industry and the fact that the Bluefin is extremely overfished. Three in four Bluefin tunas are caught illegally. So what can we do?
We’re starting to think about scheduling expeditions again to gather data, photos, video, etc. of marine life and issues for marinebio.org. Check out MarineBio’s Expedition home page for the possibilities and contact us if you’re interested in joining us.
Oysters are disappearing from coastlines around the world because of overharvesting and disease, researchers said.
An estimated 85 percent of global wild oyster reefs and beds vanished in the past 20 to 130 years, according to a study led by Michael Beck, lead marine scientist at the University of California at Santa Cruz. His team examined oyster reefs in 144 bays across the world, historical records and national catch statistics in a study published in the February issue of the journal BioScience. The condition of oysters was rated as “poor” overall.
ScienceDaily (Feb. 5, 2011) – Things are not always what they seem when it comes to fish — something scientists at the Smithsonian Institution and the Ocean Science Foundation are finding out. Using modern genetic analysis, combined with traditional examination of morphology, the scientists discovered that what were once thought to be three species of blenny in the genus Starksia are actually 10 distinct species. Continue reading →
I thought I’d share the latest post by David Suzuki and Faisal Moola at the David Suzuki Foundation concerning the recent news about birds dropping dead from the sky and mass fish kills, etc.:
Aflockalypse Now: Mass animal die-offs and the ongoing extinction crisis
On New Year’s Eve, 5,000 red-winged blackbirds dropped out of the sky in Beebe, Arkansas. Necropsies revealed no evidence of poisoning but did indicate the birds had suffered massive internal trauma. Days later, fisherman observed schools of fish floating belly up on Chesapeake Bay. In England, tens of thousands of dead crabs washed up on local beaches, and reports come in almost daily of penguins, turtles, and even dolphins dying unexpectedly in the wild. Are these events signs of the “aflockalypse”, as the media have dubbed the recent die-offs? The answer is yes. And no. Read on >>
Discovered by an international trio of scientists, the lobster, Dinochelus ausubeli, lives in the deep ocean water near the Phillipines.
The new lobster has movable, well-developed eyestalks and an inverted T-plate in front of its mouth.
But its most striking feature is a mighty claw with a short, bulbous palm and extremely long, spiny fingers for capturing prey.
Dinochelus is derived from the Greek words dino, meaning terrible and fearful, and chelus, meaning claw.
All told, the Census of Marine Life sponsored 540 expeditions over 10 years, carried out by 2,700 researchers from more than 80 countries. It was, Ausubel says, the biggest project in the history of marine biology.
I’m an ecologist, mostly a coral reef ecologist. I started out in Chesapeake Bay and went diving in the winter and became a tropical ecologist overnight. And it was really a lot of fun for about 10 years. I mean, somebody pays you to go around and travel and look at some of the most beautiful places on the planet. And that was what I did. Continue reading →
Today I’m going to take you on a voyage to some place so deep, so dark, so unexplored that we know less about it than we know about the dark side of the moon. It’s a place of myth and legend. It’s a place marked on ancient maps as “here be monsters.” It is a place where each new voyage of exploration brings back new discoveries of creatures so wondrous and strange that our forefathers would have considered them monstrous indeed. Instead, they just make me green with envy that my colleague from IUCN was able to go on this journey to the south of Madagascar seamounts to actually take photographs and to see these wondrous creatures of the deep. Continue reading →
International coalition advances marine conservation as part of the solution to climate change
WASHINGTON, Nov. 18 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — A large international coalition today urged the United States to support marine conservation options that will help mitigate climate change.
The ‘Blue Climate Coalition,’ comprised of sixty-six conservation groups and interests and over 150 marine scientists and professionals, from 33 countries, issued communications today addressed to President Obama and the United States Senate.
Together, the coalition letters request the option for marine conservation solutions to climate change to be considered in national climate change legislation and international climate change treaties, and support for marine science research that further explores this concept. Continue reading →
Oceans play a significant role in the global carbon cycle. Not only do they represent the largest long-term sink for carbon but they also store and redistribute CO2. Some 93% of the earth’s CO2 (40 Tt) is stored and cycled through the oceans.
The ocean’s vegetated habitats, in particular mangroves, salt marshes and seagrasses, cover <0.5% of the sea bed. These form earth’s blue carbon sinks and account for more than 50%, perhaps as much as 71%, of all carbon storage in ocean sediments. They comprise only 0.05% of the plant biomass on land, but store a comparable amount of carbon per year, and thus rank among the most intense carbon sinks on the planet. Blue carbon sinks and estuaries capture and store between 235–450 Tg C every year – or the equivalent of up to half of the emissions from the entire global transport sector, estimated at around 1,000 Tg C yr–1. By preventing the further loss and degradation of these ecosystems and catalyzing their recovery, we can contribute to offsetting 3–7% of current fossil fuel emissions (totaling 7,200 Tg C yr–1) in two decades – over half of that projected for reducing rainforest deforestation. The effect would be equivalent to at least 10% of the reductions needed to keep concentrations of CO2 in the atmosphere below 450 ppm. If managed properly, blue carbon sinks, therefore, have the potential to play an important role in mitigating climate change. Continue reading →