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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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