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Massive Bloom Of Pickle-Shaped Sea Creatures Fills The Pacific

"Millions of tubular sea creatures called pyrosomes have taken over the Pacific Ocean in an unprecedented bloom that has scientists baffled.

These bumpy, translucent organisms look like sea cucumbers that range in size from six inches to more than two feet long. But they’re actually made up of hundreds of tiny animals knit together with tissue into a filter-feeding cylinder. [...]

No one knows what the effects of the bloom will be, but scientists worry that if all the creatures die off at once they could sink to the seafloor and suck up all the oxygen as they’re decomposing, creating a dead zone for marine life."

Source: OPB/EarthFix

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NOAA, USGS and partners predict larger summer ‘dead zone’ for the Chesapeake Bay

"Scientists expect this year’s summer Chesapeake Bay hypoxic or “dead zone” — an area of low to no oxygen that can kill fish and aquatic life — will be larger than average, approximately 1.89 cubic miles, or nearly the volume of 3.2 million Olympic-size swimming pools.

Measurements for the Bay’s dead zone go back to 1950, and the 30-year mean maximum dead zone volume is 1.74 cubic miles. [...]"

Source: U.S. Geological Survey

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Stormy waters: the salmon farmer trying to limit fishing and save the ocean

"There’s trouble brewing in Tasmania’s waterways once again.

In the 1980s, protests over the proposed Franklin River hydroelectric dam threw the Apple Isle’s conservation plight onto the national stage. This time, it is the state’s salmon farming industry that is under a cloud. The relatively young industry is worth over $700m a year and now outpaces all other farming activities on the island but environmental campaigners are worried about its impact on the region’s pristine waters. [...]"

Source: The Guardian

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As CO2 Goes Up, Ocean Health Goes Down

"June 8th is World Oceans Day, a day to raise awareness of the ocean’s importance to the planet. 93 percent of the excess heat absorbed by the climate system goes into our oceans, creating major consequences. While more extreme storms and rising sea levels are some of the impacts of warmer oceans, rising CO2 levels and the resulting warmer oceans are impacting ocean health itself. The most well­known effects are coral bleaching and ocean acidification, but an emerging issue is the decreasing oxygen levels in the warming waters. [...]"

Source: Climate Central

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Jurassic drop in ocean oxygen lasted a million years

"Dramatic drops in oceanic oxygen, which cause mass extinctions of sea life, come to a natural end - but it takes about a million years.

The depletion of oxygen in the oceans is known as "anoxia", and scientists from the University of Exeter have been studying how periods of anoxia end.

They found that the drop in oxygen causes more organic carbon to be buried in sediment on the ocean floor, eventually leading to rising oxygen in the atmosphere which ultimately re-oxygenates the ocean."

Source: University of Exeter
Contact: Alex Morrison

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Rising water temperatures endanger health of coastal ecosystems, study finds

"Increasing water temperatures are responsible for the accumulation of a chemical called nitrite in marine environments throughout the world, a symptom of broader changes in normal ocean biochemical pathways that could ultimately disrupt ocean food webs, according to new research from the University of Georgia. " 

Source: phys.org

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Big Storms Pump Mediterranean Water Far into the Black Sea

"For the first time, scientists provide a sea-wide view of what happens to Mediterranean waters that flow into the Black Sea through the Bosporus Strait.

Below a depth of about 150 meters, the Black Sea is devoid of oxygen. Only certain microbes can survive in this “dead zone,” which reaches depths of over 2000 meters. Warm, salty water flowing from the Mediterranean Sea into the Black Sea ventilates the middepth water column of the sea, trapping anoxic water below and maintaining the sea’s distinctive structure. However, the precise fate of inflowing Mediterranean waters has remained something of a mystery to scientists. [...]"

Source: EOS
Author: Sarah Stanley

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West Maui shoreline water quality to be documented in huge collection program

"A groundbreaking scientific data collection program to expand the measuring of water quality off 18 West Maui shoreline sites has been forged between the state Department of Health and Maui community groups involved in the protection of the island’s nearshore waters. [...]"

Source: The Maui News

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Declining oxygen – is Humboldt’s nutrient boost at risk?

Experiment with the KOSMOS mesocosms in Peru

"If less and less oxygen is available in the ocean as a result of climate change, this also affects highly productive regions such as the waters off the coast of Peru – an area strongly influenced by the nutrient-rich Humboldt Current. An international team led by GEOMAR Helmholtz Center for Ocean Research Kiel now investigates the impact of declining oxygen on the productivity of the Peruvian upwelling system employing the KOSMOS mesocosm facility. [...]"

Source: GEOMAR
Contact: Maike Nicolai

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Widespread loss of ocean oxygen to become noticeable in 2030s

(April, 2016)  A reduction in the amount of oxygen dissolved in the oceans due to climate change is already discernible in some parts of the world and should be evident across large regions of the oceans between 2030 and 2040, according to a new study.

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