The first ever global atlas of marine plankton — cataloging the wheres, whens, and hows of the world’s oceanic plankton populations — has now completed thanks to an international collaboration … [Read full article]
This impressive shot from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) aboard the Aqua satellite was captured on August 14, 2011 and shows a massive phytoplankton bloom in the Barents Sea, located north of Norway and Russia.
From microscopic plants and jellyfish to predatory packs of Orcas and soon-to-be-arriving Pacific squid…The “alien” invasion of the Atlantic ocean by Pacific Ocean species is fully underway, all made possible by ever-decreasing Arctic sea ice cover. It is being called the “largest species invasion in over 2 million years” and, as the Arctic ice sheet continues to melt and shrink, it is permitting a freer exchange of species between the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans, with dire consequences for Atlantic biodiversity and ecology predicted.
If many of these plankton blooms are trending earlier each year, then the seasonal return/growth of the fish population in these areas is gradually becoming “out of sync” with the primary producers in this region. This may mean insufficient food supply to maintain robust fish populations.
In the constant interplay between Humans and Nature, everything is a trade-off. As our scientists begin to consider an intervention approach to climate change and conducting large-scale experiments, this trade-off … [Read full article]
A recent analysis of catch data calls into question the accuracy of previous surveys of marine ecosystem health. Without accurate data, environmental policy makers may be unable to determine if … [Read full article]
Climate Progress recently put together a piece on the top 10 climate science news stories of 2010 (so far). A lot of news that doesn’t hit the mainstream media. Here’s … [Read full article]
An international team of climate and ocean scientists, led by Wei-Jun Cai (U of Georgia, Athens), predicts that the “Arctic Ocean basin will not become a large atmospheric CO2 sink under ice-free conditions.” Using data from a 2008 high-resolution survey of the entire Canada Basin, the team explains the complex “air-sea flux” and other reasons why sea-surface CO2 continues to increase.
Phytoplankton–tiny, marine plants that formthe basis of our oceans’ food chain–absorb and sequester large amounts of CO2 from the atmosphere and generate half of the world’s oxygen supply. Given such an important ecosystem service as this, one would hope that our oceans’ algae numbers stay high…but, the results of a three year data analysis are anything but encouraging.
In this talk, Jackson continuously returns to the three major factors that are dramatically altering our oceans: over-fishing, pollution, and climate change. These factors, he notes, do not arise and operate in isolation, but rather, they feedback into each other and “synergize” to make for a major, impending, ecological disaster.