Seagrass Protects Coral Reefs from Ocean Acidification

turtle grasses near Munson Rocks

The BBC reports on research pointing to the importance of seagrasses to protecting coral reefs against the impacts of ocean acidification, caused by carbon dioxide from fossil fuel emissions dissolving in seawater, causing unprecedented increases in the ocean’s acidity.

Dr. Richard Unsworth of Swansea University, along with a team of scientists from Oxford University and James Cook University in Australia, found several types of seagrass which may reduce the acidity of water around reefs, protecting them from erosion from acidifying seas. [Read more...]

Saving the Oceans from Acidification Starts With an End to Fossil Fuel Subsidies

Great Barrier Reef 008

We’ve described ocean acidification as potentially the “the gravest and most immediate planetary threat yet,” and as more and more research results become public, it appears that this threat is, indeed, every bit as potent as we had feared.Yet it has been a painfully slow process for ocean acidification to gain traction in the media and is still far from being a “mainstream” issue. So when the San Francisco Chronicle recently called for action to deal with the issue, we took notice. [Read more...]

Infographic: Oceans of Garbage

This infographic from MastersDegree.net lays it out there for all to see: Our oceans are getting more and more polluted, and most of the pollution originates from land, like plastics. These pollutants have a wide range of impacts on marine life, including getting caught up in the food chain, even at a microbial level. Scary stuff. Please share!

Ocean of Garbage

Greenland Sharks Are Dog Slow — So How Do They Eat?

Greenland shark

Greenland shark part of a drawing in ‘Male Narwhal or Unicorn. Greenland Shark.” In: “An account of the Arctic regions with a history and description of the northern whale-fishery”, by W. Scoresby. 1820. Source http://www.photolib.noaa.gov/library/libr04

We’ve barely explored the world’s oceans, but when it comes to marine life living in the harsh conditions at the poles where few scientists and explorers can spend time, we are constantly being surprised by what we’re discovering. The Greenland shark — the largest shark in the dogfish family — is no exception. It’s slow — really slow — so scientists asked the logical question: “If it’s so slow, how does it catch prey?” The BBC reports on a recent study. [Read more...]

With DEEPEST Gratitude to Jacques Piccard, National Geographic Bestows its Highest Honor

After their successful nine-hour dive in January 1960 to the bottom of the Pacific Ocean??'s Mariana Trench, Don Walsh and Jacques Piccard emerge from the bathyscaphe Trieste. Walsh and Piccard were the first to reach the trench??'s lowest point, Challenger Deep, some 35,800 feet below the ocean surface.  Piccard, who died in 2008, was posthumously awarded the Hubbard Medal, the National Geographic highest honor, at a ceremony in Washington, D.C., on June 14, 2012. (Photo: Thomas J. Abercrombie)

After their successful nine-hour dive in January 1960 to the bottom of the Pacific Ocean’s Mariana Trench, Don Walsh and Jacques Piccard emerge from the bathyscaphe Trieste. Walsh and Piccard were the first to reach the trench’s lowest point, Challenger Deep, some 35,800 feet below the ocean surface. Piccard, who died in 2008, was posthumously awarded the Hubbard Medal, the National Geographic highest honor, at a ceremony in Washington, D.C., on June 14, 2012. (Photo: Thomas J. Abercrombie)

Only three men have ever reached the ocean’s deepest point. Capt. Don Walsh and the late Jacques Piccard in 1960 and earlier this year, James Cameron. On June 14th, 2012, National Geographic bestowed its highest honor, the Hubbard Medal, posthumously to Jacques Piccard for his record-breaking dive to the Mariana Trench with Don Walsh in the bathyscaphe Trieste to a depth of nearly seven miles. Many of his efforts greatly contributed to the fields of oceanography and conservation.

Piccard comes from a family of explorers. His father, Auguste, was a physicist and the first man to take a balloon into the stratosphere. In 1999, Jacques Piccard’s son, Bertrand Piccard, together with Brian Jones, completed the first ever nonstop circumnavigation of the globe in a balloon.

Presenting the Piccard family with the Medal was Don Walsh, who received the Hubbard Medal in 2010 and James Cameron, the last and only other man to reach this depth.

[Read more...]

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