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You are browsing the archive for ocean science Archives - AGU Blogosphere.

11 October 2017

The Journey to the Heart of the Ocean

Mud, mud / Glorious mud. / Nothing quite like it for cooling the blood.

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28 September 2017

Planning to Get Underway

A typical research expedition has one or two chief scientists. Ours has 19…

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18 September 2017

Collecting unique data where the Atlantic Water meets the Arctic Ocean: A-TWAIN2017

Life on board RV Lance is very ‘koselig’ (cosy in Norwegian). Meals are served at fixed hours in the mess three times a day and coffee is always brewing.

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28 August 2017

Biodegradable microbeads may clean sunblock chemical from seawater

By Madeleine Jepsen Beach-goers around the world who slather on sunblock before an ocean swim can unwittingly contribute to coral-reef bleaching. Oxybenzone, a chemical in many types of sunblock and some hair products, can cause coral bleaching and death by damaging the coral’s genetic material, according to researchers. A team of scientists has proposed a new way to remove oxybenzone from the ocean by using tiny, absorbent beads to soak …

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8 August 2017

Tiny ocean waves could make large ice shelves crumble (plus VIDEO)

Small ocean waves could play a bigger role in breaking up ice shelves than tsunamis or other large waves, a new study suggests. A new study examining vibrations in Antarctica’s Ross Ice Shelf finds small waves continuously impacting the ice shelf may create enough strain to extend existing cracks in the ice and potentially create new ones. An ocean wave of 1 centimeter (0.5 inches) in height can cause vibrations that repeatedly move the ice more than 20 centimeters (8 inches).

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11 July 2017

Deep thoughts from the Deep Blue Sea

As far as I can see from the ship to the horizon there is nothing but deep blue sea. Not a single ship has passed within sight since we left the north shore of Oahu.

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27 June 2017

We Probably Should Have Waterproofed That: Swimming in Bubbles

One of the more unique environments in Dominica are the marine fumeroles (underwater gas seeps) that occur mere steps from the beach. There are a few locations on the island that display this phenomenon; one of which is the appropriately-named Champagne Beach.

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21 June 2017

Extraordinary storms caused massive Antarctic sea ice loss in 2016

Antarctic sea ice – frozen ocean water that rings the southernmost continent – has grown over the past few decades but declined sharply in late 2016. By March of 2017 – the end of the Southern Hemisphere’s summer – Antarctic sea ice had reached its lowest area since records began in 1978. Puzzled scientists wanted to know why.

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16 March 2017

New Technology Gives Insight to Ocean Color for NASA Satellites

NASA Scientists return to land on Schmidt Ocean Institute’s research vessel Falkor after making important observations of phytoplankton with new technology to support current and future satellite observations.

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14 March 2017

High-Resolution Mapping Reveals the Evolution of Underwater Landscapes in the Johnston Atoll

The mapped region is almost the size of the state of Connecticut and falls within the recently expanded boundaries of a U.S. marine protected area. The area is populated with high-density deep-sea corals and sponges and is of great interest to researchers who view it as a stepping-stone between distinct marine ecosystems in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands and the Central and South Pacific.

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13 March 2017

A picture is worth a thousand words

The diversity of shapes and sizes in phytoplankton is overwhelming and beautiful. I was able to see the actual individuals that were in the sea surrounding us all the way across the Pacific. Seeing them first-hand made me realize how interrelated all things are on this planet: they may be invisible, but they are important. We are dependent on them and they on us.

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10 March 2017

What color is the ocean? The sky?

What Color is the ocean? The sky? Most of us would reply immediately—blue! But what shade of blue? I am exploring this topic during the research cruise by capturing the blues of the sky and sea through direct observation using my eyes and three instruments—watercolors, photography and a cyanometer.

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8 March 2017

Phytoplankton sampling strategies

Plankton comes from the greek word planktos, meaning wanderer. It does not define a specific organism, but rather a specific life style. Plankton consist of all organisms dispersed in water that are passively driven by water currents or are subject to passive sinking process. Some of those organisms have an ability to produce oxygen and sugars using sunlight and carbon dioxide, just like terrestrial plants do.

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3 March 2017

The ocean’s colors from space

Earth’s ocean is vast and deep, and we still need to study many things about it. To investigate and quantify biological and chemical processes, for instance, we need to determine the concentration and size of particles (living and non-living organisms) floating in the water, dissolved materials, and the diversity of organisms such as the microscopic photosynthetic phytoplankton.

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2 March 2017

Study improves forecasts of summer Arctic sea ice

Each year, as sea ice starts to melt in the spring following its maximum wintertime extent, scientists still struggle to estimate exactly how much ice they expect will disappear through the melt season. Now, a new NASA forecasting model based on satellite measurements is allowing researchers to make better estimates.

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1 March 2017

Maiden Voyages

Melissa and Noah are working with two different novel instruments in this cruise. The first one is a time-lapse camera developed after repurposing her previous mobile. The phone will dangle at the base of a 150 meter wire, deployed as part of the Wirewalker assembly. For three or four days, the camera snaps pictures of the base of a sediment trap which collects falling particles called marine snow.

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28 February 2017

Going with the flow

Trying to sleep on a trampoline while somebody is jumping on it – this is how it feels during many nights at sea as the ship zig-zags in an imaginary box around our drifting instruments in the North Pacific during winter. This is when biological activity is lowest, but clearly there is no absence of physical forces, such as waves. Clearly.

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27 February 2017

Measuring the pulse of the ocean

At the unholy hour of 0400, I find myself on the aft deck of the world-class research vessel Falkor, bubbling with excitement stemming from a unique combination of four shots of espresso, generally being a morning person, and, most importantly, preparing to test an experimental device that I have put my blood, sweat, and tears into. I take a moment to silently congratulate myself on the superb display of stamina and posture; it appears that my sea legs have finally decided to make an appearance.

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16 February 2017

Letting Go and Looking Forward

As the bright yellow line and blinking strobe slip slowly down into the heaving waves, I feel a familiar sense of unease. Even though I have seventeen successful deployments of free-drifting, neutrally-buoyant sediment traps (or NBSTs) under my belt, it never feels quite normal to see the gray and orange float with its payload of painstakingly-prepared sample collectors sink away from the comparatively safe, solid deck of the ship.

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Video ~ Rough Recovery

Often, the “small victories” of a research cruise are what add up to a successful expedition. This video gives a great look into what many probably assume is an easy task: recovering samples and getting them on board Research Vessel Falkor.

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