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24 May 2016

Watch underwater canyons take shape in real time

Submarine canyons are major underwater routes for transporting rapidly-moving water that is heavy with sediment from the continental shelf to the deep ocean. Here, a group of researchers uses a sandbox experiment to simulate how a fast, sediment-laden current carves these canyons out of the continental slope. They recorded the entire experiment with time-lapse video, shown here.

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27 April 2016

Oceans, policy, and high school students

By Shane M Hanlon & Lexi Shultz “Our Changing Ocean: Science for Strong Coastal Communities.” That was the theme this year for the Finals of the National Ocean Sciences Bowl (NOSB), an “education competition that tests students’ knowledge of ocean-related topics, which include cross-disciplines of biology, chemistry, policy, physics, and geology.“ NOSB fills a gap that exists in many schools across the nation as ocean sciences are not a core part of many high …

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1 February 2016

Understanding the 2015–16 El Niño and its impact on phytoplankton

This is part of a new series of posts that highlight the importance of Earth and space science data and its contributions to society. Posts in this series showcase data facilities and data scientists; explain how Earth and space science data is collected, managed and used; explore what this data tells us about the planet; and delve into the challenges and issues involved in managing and using data. This series …

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13 January 2016

Ocean circulation changes may have killed cold-water corals

Successive and abrupt changes in North Atlantic ocean circulation over the past 4,500 years seem to have caused major reductions in some cold-water coral ecosystems, finds a study published in Geophysical Research Letters, a journal of the American Geophysical Union.

The new study shows changes in sea surface circulation over the last few thousand years were more sudden than previously thought and in some cases led to abrupt collapses of cold-water coral ecosystems. The researchers found the first evidence that perturbations in the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC) led to cold-water coral ecosystems decline from 100 to 1,200 years ago.

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14 June 2013

Swimming in Unfavorable Conditions

  With over 70% of the world covered by water, understanding the interaction between humans and the ocean is vital to the health of both.  The world’s ocean helps to feed communities, regulate climate, support tourism and economies, and generate oxygen that humans breathe, and provides innumerable benefits to the livelihood and health of the humans who interact with it. Changing climate and swelling populations create conditions that increase stress …

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