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Study tests resilience of the Salish Sea to climate change impacts

"What will the ecology of the Salish Sea look like in the year 2095?

It's an important question for millions of people who live along and near the shores of this intricate, interconnected network of coastal waterways, inlets, bays, and estuaries that encompasses Puget Sound in Washington state and the deep waters of southwest British Columbia. A research team from PNNL found that the inner Salish Sea is resilient, and that future response to climate change—while significant—will be less severe than the open ocean. [...]"

Source: phys.org

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Climate change could shrink oyster habitat in California

"Ocean acidification is bad news for shellfish, as it makes it harder for them to form their calcium-based shells. But climate change could also have multiple other impacts that make California bays less hospitable to shelled organisms like oysters, which are a key part of the food web.

Changes to water temperature and chemistry resulting from human-caused climate change could shrink the prime habitat and farming locations for oysters in California bays, according to a new study from the University of California, Davis. [...]"

Source: Science Daily

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Large ‘dead zone’ measured in Gulf of Mexico

Hurricane Barry dampens initial size predictions

"This year’s Gulf of Mexico “dead zone”— an area of low oxygen that can kill fish and marine life — is approximately 6,952 square miles, according to NOAA-supported scientists. The measured size of the dead zone, also called the hypoxic zone, is the 8th largest in the 33-year record and exceeds the 5,770-square-mile average from the past five years. [...]"

Source: NOAA

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Gulf Dead Zone Looms Large in 2019

"In 2019, predictions indicate that the Gulf of Mexico will retain the dubious distinction of having the second-largest low-oxygen dead zone on Earth (the Baltic Sea remains firmly in first place). By the end of the summer, the hypoxic region on the seafloor at the mouth of the Mississippi River is expected to occupy over 22,000 square kilometers—an area the size of the state of Massachusetts. [...]

Source: Earth & Space Science News
Author: Mary Caperton Morton
DOI: 10.1029/2019EO128019

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The far-future ocean: Warm yet oxygen-rich

"The oceans are losing oxygen. Numerous studies based on direct measurements in recent years have shown this. Since water can dissolve less gas as temperatures rise, these results were not surprising. In addition to global warming, factors such as eutrophication of the coastal seas also contribute to the ongoing deoxygenation. [...]"

Source: Phys.org

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The complex fate of Antarctic species in the face of a changing climate

"Researchers have presented support for the theory that marine invertebrates with larger body size are generally more sensitive to reductions in oxygen than smaller animals, and so will be more sensitive to future global climate change. However, evolutionary innovation can to some extent offset any respiratory disadvantages of large body size. [...]"

Source: Science Daily / University of Plymouth

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Massive 8,000-mile 'dead zone' could be one of the gulf's largest

"JUST OFF THE coast of Louisiana and Texas where the Mississippi River empties, the ocean is dying. The cyclical event known as the dead zone occurs every year, but scientists predict that this year's could be one of the largest in recorded history. Annual spring rains wash the nutrients used in fertilizers and sewage into the Mississippi. That fresh water, less dense than ocean water, sits on top of the ocean, preventing oxygen from mixing through the water column. Eventually those freshwater nutrients can spur a burst of algal growth, which consumes oxygen as the plants decompose. [...]"

Source: National Geographic

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NOAA forecasts very large ‘dead zone’ for Gulf of Mexico

"NOAA scientists are forecasting this summer’s Gulf of Mexico hypoxic zone or ‘dead zone’ – an area of low to no oxygen that can kill fish and other marine life – to be approximately 7,829 square miles, or roughly the size of Massachusetts. The annual prediction is based on U.S. Geological Survey river flow and nutrient data. [...]"

Source: NOAA

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World Oceans Day: Scientists ‘taken aback by scale and speed of ocean changes’

"Armed with better data than ever before, scientists have in recent months sounded the alarm over the rising pace of global warming and the parlous state of Nature. But there is another area of concern, one that covers two thirds of the planet and plays a crucial role in absorbing dangerous greenhouse gases and regulating everything from food chains to weather patterns. Oceans are crucial to life on Earth, yet they frequently only feature in the environment debate when plastic pollution or fish-stock declines are discussed. But experts believe that might be changing. “We have an important opportunity over the next 18 months to do something for oceans,” said Dan Laffoley, from the International Union for the Conservation of Nature. [...]"

Source: France24

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Flooding Makes Big 'Dead Zone' Off Louisiana Coast Likely

"The year's widespread flooding has made it likely that a big, oxygen-starved "dead zone" off Louisiana's coast will form this summer, the head of the National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science said Thursday. Preliminary computer model runs "indicate a large to very large year," for the area where there's too little oxygen to support marine life, Steven Thur told the Mississippi River/Gulf of Mexico Hypoxia Task Force during a meeting livestreamed from Baton Rouge. [...]"

Source: The New York Times

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