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19 February 2020

Shark may avoid cold blood by holding its breath on deep dives

Scalloped hammerhead sharks stay warm as they descend into cold, deep water off the coast of Hawaii, suggesting the cold-blooded species may maintain its body temperature on dives by holding its breath, according to new research presented at the Ocean Sciences Meeting 2020 in San Diego, California.


18 February 2020

Whale cams track swimming efficiency of ocean giants (video)

The relatively squat and gangly humpback whale moves more efficiently through the water than its sleeker, larger cousin, the blue whale, according to new research that used devices attached to the animals to collect information about these large creatures.


Mating squid don’t stop for loud noises

Loud hammering noises like pile driving disrupt the mating behavior of longfin squid, but the cephalopods seem to get acclimated to the incessant noise, according to new research presented at the Ocean Sciences Meeting this week. Hammering piles into the seafloor is a common technique used for building offshore structures like wind farms, but previous research shows the high-intensity noise can damage marine animals’ tissues when they are nearby or alter their behavior when the animals are further away.


17 February 2020

Deep-sea footage helps researchers understand octopod real estate

Biologists are using footage from remotely operated vehicles to better understand where deep-sea octopuses prefer to live. Understanding an animal’s choice of habitat is crucial to understanding its life history. Abigail Pratt, a biologist at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, has been crawling through undersea video footage from the North Atlantic Ocean to better understand where deep-sea octopuses prefer to settle down. Pratt is hoping to find out what seafloor features make the best real estate – whether octopuses prefer hard ground or soft, or whether they tend to settle on specific geographical features like submarine canyons or continental shelves.


21 November 2019

Geoscientists develop technology to improve forecasting of earthquakes, tsunamis

University of South Florida geoscientists have successfully developed and tested a new high-tech shallow water buoy that can detect the small movements and changes in the Earth’s seafloor that are often a precursor to deadly natural hazards, like earthquakes, volcanoes and tsunamis.


24 July 2019

Scientists take high-speed video of waves to better understand sea spray

Waves crashing on seashores generate tiny droplets of water known as sea spray. Sea spray moves heat and water from the ocean to the atmosphere, but scientists are unsure which part of the wave-breaking process generates the most spray, whether it be wind shear, splashing, or the popping of air bubbles at the surface of the wave. To address this question, scientists generated breaking waves experimentally in a lab. They used a wave tank about the size of an average bowling lane to create miniature versions of plunging breakers, where the wave crest curls over itself and plunges downward.


17 May 2019

Let’s get (Geo)physical

Dispatch: After spending a couple of days doing four hourly rotations around all of the labs, we got to choose which lab we would like to spend the next few days in, to collate all of the data for that lab, plot and analyse the data, and prepare a report for submission to the Chief Scientist for her to compile the overall Voyage Report.


16 May 2019

Welcome to Monkey Island!

Dispatch: We’re the student team in charge of sea bird and marine mammal surveying from the observation deck, Monkey Island, as we complete a transit from Hobart to Fremantle across the Great Australian Bight.


15 May 2019

Plankton……they have a face only a mother (or a scientist) could love!

Dispatch: One of the reasons we were interested in visiting this region of ocean was due to the presence of deep-sea canyons and the Bonney Upwelling off the coast of Discovery Bay.


14 May 2019

Oceanography & Hydrochemistry in the Great Australian Bight

Dispatch: Welcome on board RV Investigator, Australia’s blue water research vessel. We’re currently sailing from Hobart to Fremantle as part of the 2019 Collaborative Australian Postgraduate Sea Training Alliance Network (CAPSTAN) voyage, a hands-on training experience for marine science students.


22 April 2019

New research explains why Hurricane Harvey intensified immediately before landfall

A new study explains the mechanism behind Hurricane Harvey’s unusual intensification off the Texas coast and how the finding could improve future hurricane forecasting.


20 March 2019

Where do microplastics go in the oceans?

Where do tiny bits of plastic go when they are flushed out to sea? Much gets caught in subtropical ocean gyres, but more microplastic may be reaching Arctic waters than previously appreciated. Watch a simulation of microplastic drift over 12 years in the North Pacific.


12 December 2018

New early warning system could protect vulnerable islands from flooding

A recently developed early warning system can forecast floods on coral-lined coasts worldwide and could help save residents of low-lying island nations from unprecedented disaster, according to researchers.


17 October 2018

Arctic ice sets speed limit for major ocean current

Long-term melting may lead to release of huge volumes of cold, fresh water into the North Atlantic, impacting global climate.


18 September 2018

Coral skeletons act as archive of desert conditions from Little Ice Age

The Sahara and Arabian deserts did not cool as much as the rest of the Northern Hemisphere during the Little Ice Age, but in fact were drier 200 years ago than they are today, according to a new study. The Little Ice Age was a cool period from around 1450 to 1850. During this time, Europe was very cool and even experienced a “year without a summer” in 1816 due to the 1815 eruption of Mount Tambora, a volcano in Indonesia. Scientists knew Europe experienced significant cooling during the Little Ice Age because of historical data but were unsure how other parts of the world were affected, such as the Sahara and Arabian deserts.


13 September 2018

The Blob hides in the deep

Fall is nearly here and, for most of us, that means the end of the summer heatwave. In the waters of British Columbia, however, the seasonal cycle is stuck. A marine heatwave began more than four years ago and new research suggests it won’t be disappearing anytime soon. Marine heatwaves are not new. But heatwaves are getting more intense and more frequent with a changing climate. Over the fall and winter of 2013 and 2014, satellites detected above normal temperatures in the surface waters of the northeast Pacific. At its peak, the mass of warm water—nicknamed “The Blob”—had water temperatures up to 3 °C warmer than normal and covered an area larger than Australia.


4 September 2018

Polluted groundwater likely contaminated South Pacific Ocean coral reefs for decades

Groundwater containing excess nitrogen from agricultural fertilizers likely contaminated coral reefs on the Cook Islands during the second half of the 20th century, continuing for years after fertilizer use stopped, according to a new study. The finding suggests human activities have long-lasting impacts on coral reef communities and could be contributing to their decline.


27 August 2018

Scientists find corals in deeper waters under stress too

Coral reefs around the world are threatened by warming ocean temperatures, a major driver of coral bleaching. Scientists routinely use sea-surface temperature data collected by satellites to predict the temperature-driven stress on reef communities, but new research shows that surface measurements alone may not accurately predict the full extent of thermal stress on deeper corals.


14 August 2018

Diving robots find Antarctic winter seas exhale surprising amounts of carbon dioxide

More than 100 oceanic floats are now diving and drifting in the Southern Ocean around Antarctica during the peak of winter. These instruments are gathering data from a place and season that remains very poorly studied, despite its important role in regulating the global climate.


23 May 2018

Voyage to the White Shark Café: Plankton — Video Update

“As an oceanographer, I’m interested in asking: What do they eat? Where are the plants? What fuels this?”