Ocean Color Can Deflect Hurricanes, Study SuggestsLast Updated on 2010-08-13 00:00:00For centuries, artists from Hokusai to Hopper have used the ocean's colors to move people. Now a new study says they have the power to move hurricanes too.
What's more, global warming may already be changing the ocean's color—and therefore helping to determine who hurricanes will hit, and who they'll spare.
Led by oceanographer Anand Gnanadesikan, the study used computer simulations to look for links between ocean color and strong tropical cyclones—called hurricanes in the North Atlantic Ocean and the northeastern Pacific and known as typhoons in the northwestern Pacific.
"Our group develops climate models," said Gnanadesikan, of the U.S. Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory in Princeton New Jersey. "One of my jobs is to try to make those more realistic."
One way to make the models more realistic is to look more closely at little-studied variables, such as ocean color.
In the... More »
Your Phoenix Islands mission, should you choose to accept it...Last Updated on 2009-08-26 00:00:00As I mentioned in my last post, this trip is not a vacation (otherwise, a mere towel might be sufficient). The Phoenix Islands Expedition is an exciting scientific opportunity for 15-team-members to document, explore, and measure underwater life in a place without local anthropogenic impacts.
Since most of the islands are uninhabited, and the PIPA Marine Reserve is now the largest in the world, there is very little (if any) local impact by humans. In other words, there is no tourism, only artisinal fishing (if any). There is no local or point-source pollution, no dynamite fishing, etc. While these islands probably experienced major human impact in the 1930s and 1940s when the Phoenix Islands were a strategically important military base, the Phoenix Islands have been mostly left alone for the past 50+ years. Thus, they are now one of the most remote (and among the healthiest) coral... More »
Oil In Ocean Shows Up On NASA Images: Half Of The Oil In The Ocean Bubbles Up Naturally From SeafloorLast Updated on 2009-02-20 00:00:00About half of the oil in the ocean bubbles up naturally from the seafloor, with Earth giving it up freely like it was of no value. Likewise, NASA satellites collect thousands of images and 1.5 terrabytes of data every year, but some of it gets passed over because no one thinks there is a use for it.
Scientists recently found black gold bubbling up from an otherwise undistinguished mass of ocean imagery. Chuanmin Hu, an optical oceanographer at the University of South Florida, St. Petersburg, and colleagues from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the University of Massachusetts–Dartmouth (UMass), found that they could detect oil seeping naturally from the seafloor of the Gulf of Mexico by examining streaks amid the reflected sunlight on the ocean's surface.
Most researchers usually discard such "sun glint" data as if they were over-exposed photos from a... More »
Study predicts ocean 'dead zones'Last Updated on 2009-01-25 21:57:02January 26, 2009 - 3:34A
Global warming may create "dead zones" in the ocean that would be devoid of fish and seafood and endure for up to two millennia, according to a study published on Sunday.
Its authors say deep cuts in the world's carbon emissions are needed to brake a trend capable of wrecking the marine ecosystem and depriving future generations of the harvest of the seas.
In a study published online by the journal Nature Geoscience, scientists in Denmark built a computer model to simulate climate change over the next 100,000 years.
At the heart of their model are two well-used scenarios which use atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide (CO2), the main greenhouse gas, as an indicator of temperature rise.
Under the worst scenario, CO2 concentrations would rise to 1,168 parts per million (ppm) by 2100, or about triple today's level.
Under the more optimistic model, CO2 would reach... More »
David Gallo: The deep oceans: a ribbon of lifeLast Updated on 2008-09-16 00:00:00With vibrant video clips captured by submarines, David Gallo takes us to some of Earth's darkest, most violent, toxic and beautiful habitats, the valleys and volcanic ridges of the oceans' depths, where life is bizarre, resilient and shockingly abundant.
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