For decades, biologists have captured tiny sea star larvae in their nets that did not match the adults of any known species. A Smithsonian team recently discovered what these larvae grow up to be and how a special superpower may help them move around the world. Their results are published online in the Biological Bulletin.
“Thirty years ago, people noticed that these asteroid starfish larvae could clone themselves, and they wondered what the adult form was,” said staff scientist Rachel Collin at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI). “They assumed that because the larvae were in the Caribbean the adults must also be from the Caribbean.”
Scientists monitor larvae because the larvae can be more sensitive to physical conditions than the adults and larval dispersal has a large influence on the distribution of adult fishes and invertebrates. Collin’s team uses a technique called DNA barcoding to identify plankton. They
A survey of maritime infrastructure engineers by University of Rhode Island researchers found that the rising sea level is often not factored into designs of ports, breakwaters, fishing piers and other coastal infrastructure.
“If we’re making decisions about infrastructure today and expect it to be serviceable for the next 50 to 75 years, we should be thinking about what the environmental conditions will be like towards the end of the infrastructure’s life,” said Austin Becker, URI associate professor of marine affairs, who studies how ports are preparing for climate change. “And we know that things are going to be very different along our coasts in the coming years.”
In 2019, Becker and graduate student Benjamin Sweeney surveyed 85 engineers at consulting firms, port authorities and government agencies with experience working on port infrastructure projects in the United States. They found that 64% do not have a policy or planning document
The summer of 2020 was supposed to be one of exploration, discovery, and mentorship for students in the geosciences.
But then the pandemic happened.
Laboratories shuttered their doors; research vessels stayed docked.
Many of the mentorship programs students applied to are now navigating the still-uncharted waters of the “new normal” and working to provide quality, albeit remote, mentorship.
STEMSEAS—short for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math Student Experiences Aboard Ships—is one such program.
Run out of the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory at Columbia University, the National Science Foundation–funded initiative has been a gateway for more than 125 students to experience ocean science up close every summer since 2016. In a normal year, STEMSEAS gives undergraduates the opportunity to spend 6–10 days aboard a U.S. Academic Research Fleet research vessel with experienced faculty mentors as the ship makes transits between expeditions.
“Going to sea is really quite life changing the first time one
New research reveals temperatures in the deep sea fluctuate more than scientists previously thought and a warming trend is now detectable at the bottom of the ocean.
In a new study in AGU’s journal Geophysical Research Letters, researchers analyzed a decade of hourly temperature recordings from moorings anchored at four depths in the Atlantic Ocean’s Argentine Basin off the coast of Uruguay. The depths represent a range around the average ocean depth of 3,682 meters (12,080 feet), with the shallowest at 1,360 meters (4,460 feet) and the deepest at 4,757 meters (15,600 feet).
They found all sites exhibited a warming trend of 0.02 to 0.04 degrees Celsius per decade between 2009 and 2019 — a significant warming trend in the deep sea where temperature fluctuations are typically measured in thousandths of a degree. According to the study authors, this increase is consistent with warming trends in the shallow ocean
After a year spent drifting across the top of the world, frozen in sea ice, a German research ship returned home Monday, ending the largest Arctic science expedition in history, one aimed at better understanding a region that is rapidly changing as the world warms.
The ship, the Polarstern, docked at its home port of Bremerhaven nearly 13 months after it left Norway. In October, it became deliberately frozen into the ice north of Siberia, about 350 miles from the North Pole, and drifted north and west for thousands of miles, leaving the little remaining ice for good late last month between Greenland and Norway.
The expedition, with a rotating contingent of about 100 scientists, technicians and crew, encountered nosy polar bears, fierce storms that damaged equipment, changing ice conditions and, most
Fluctuations in the weather can have a significant impact on melting Antarctic ice, and models that do not include this factor can underestimate the global impact of sea level rise, according to Penn State scientists.
“We know ice sheets are melting as global temperatures increase, but uncertainties remain about how much and how fast that will happen,” said Chris Forest, professor of climate dynamics at Penn State. “Our findings shed new light on one area of uncertainty, suggesting climate variability has a significant impact on melting ice sheets and sea level rise.”
While it is understood that continued warming may cause rapid ice loss, models that predict how Antarctica will respond to climate change have not included the potential impacts of internal climate variability, like yearly and decadal fluctuations in the climate, the team of scientists said.
Turkey expects to raise its estimate for the amount of natural gas discovered in the Black Sea and plans to announce the new guidance as early as next week, according to people with direct knowledge of the matter.
The government will outline a sizable revision to the initial discovery of 320 billion cubic meters of recoverable gas, unveiled in August, once exploratory drilling is completed this month, the people said, asking not to be named due to the sensitivity of the find.
The energy discovery in the Black Sea is critical for Turkey’s current-account balance which is dragged down by the need to import nearly all of the 50 billion cubic meters of gas the country consumes annually.
Drilling to a depth of around 4,500 meters (15,000 feet) at the Tuna-1 discovery would penetrate two additional formations that appear promising, a senior
A study conducted at the Politecnico di Torino, in collaboration with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and published in the journal Energy and Environmental Science, presents a solar desalination device capable of spontaneously removing accumulated salt. In the future, this discovery could lead to the development of sustainable desalination systems with stable efficiencies over time
The Achilles’ heel of water desalination technologies is the crystallization of salt particles within the various components of the device. This clogging phenomenon causes a reduction in performance over time, thus limiting the durability of these devices. Tackling this problem is important to ensure a constant production of freshwater over time. Recently, innovative nanostructured materials with anti-clogging properties have been proposed, with the potential of limiting salt accumulation. However, the high cost of these materials makes large-scale production of commercial prototypes difficult.
Ancient rocks lie across vast fields miles below the surface of the Pacific Ocean.
Far from people, but not entirely out of reach, they contain metals such as cobalt, used in batteries for technology like electric cars. They are numerous, about the size of meatballs or potatoes, andformed over millions of years.
These stones may hold a key to fighting climate change, according to a contingent of entrepreneurs who want to mine them. To wean the world off fossil fuels that worsen global warming, scientists say, will require a lot of batteries. That’s where the rocks could help.
But nothing is so simple in the abyss.
Opponents argue that rushing into deep-sea mining risks destroying a pristine wilderness, killing species that have lived free of human intrusion for millennia. They say miners would disrupt a habitat that might hold other value for society, potentially home to microbes that fight