Archive for July, 2015

Ocean currents offer insights into MH370

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Preliminary insights into the potential pathway of the plane wreckage that washed up on Reunion Island, thought to be from the missing MH370 flight, is provided by American researchers....

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New insights on hurricane intensity, pollution transport

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As tropical storm Isaac was gaining momentum toward the Mississippi River in August 2012, researchers were dropping instruments from the sky above to study the ocean conditions beneath the storm. The newly published study showed how a downwelling of warm waters deepened the storm's fuel tank for a rapid intensification toward hurricane status. The results also revealed how hurricane-generated currents and ocean eddies can transport oil and other pollutants to coastal regions....

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Research spotlights a previously unknown microbial ‘drama’ playing in the Southern Ocean

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A team of marine researchers has discovered a three-way conflict raging at the microscopic level in the frigid waters off Antarctica over natural resources such as vitamins and iron. The competition has important implications for understanding the fundamental workings of globally significant food webs of the Southern Ocean, home to such iconic Antarctic creatures as penguins, seals, and orcas....

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Bering Sea hotspot for corals and sponges

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North of the Aleutian Islands, submarine canyons in the cold waters of the eastern Bering Sea contain a highly productive 'green belt' that is home to deep-water corals as well as a plethora of fish and marine mammals....

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New study exposes negative effects of climate change on Antarctic fish

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The combination of elevated levels of carbon dioxide and an increase in ocean water temperature has a significant impact on survival and development of the Antarctic dragonfish (Gymnodraco acuticeps), researchers have discovered....

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Past and present sea levels in the Chesapeake Bay Region, USA

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Scientists write that sea-level rise (3.4 mm/yr) is faster in the Chesapeake Bay region than any other location on the Atlantic coast of North America, and twice the global average (1.7 mm/yr). They have found that dated interglacial deposits suggest that relative sea levels in the Chesapeake Bay region deviate from global trends over a range of timescales....

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Washington, DC sinking fast, adding to threat of sea-level rise

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New research confirms that the land under the Chesapeake Bay is sinking rapidly and projects that Washington, DC, could drop by six or more inches in the next century -- adding to the problems of sea-level rise....

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What is a thermocline?

This item was filled under Basics, Facts, Ocean Observations, Ocean Science

Bodies of water are made up of layers, determined by temperature. The top surface layer is called the epipelagic zone, and is sometimes referred to as the "ocean skin" or "sunlight zone". This layer also interacts with the wind and waves, which mixes the water and distributes the warmth throughout. At the base of this layer is the thermocline. A thermocline is the transition layer between the warmer mixed water at the surface and the deep cooler water below. It is relatively easy to tell when you have reached the thermocline in a body of water because there is a sudden change in temperature. In the thermocline, the temperature decreases rapidly from the mixed layer temperature to the much colder deep water temperature.

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Researchers find reasons behind increases in urban flooding

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While rising sea levels are the main driver for increasing flood risk to American cities, storm surges caused by weather patterns that favor high precipitation exacerbates 'compound flooding' potential. With nearly 40 percent of the US population residing in coastal areas, compound flooding can have devastating impacts for low-lying, densely populated and heavily developed regions when strong storm surge and high rainfall amounts occur together....

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Twin volcanic chains above a single hotspot with distinct roots

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Many processes inside the earth are still enigmatic. One of the open questions is how neighboring chains of volcanoes, supplied by the same volcanic hotspot, can emit material of distinct geochemical composition over tens of millions of years?...

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