by Underwatertimes.com News Service – August 1, 2011 19:15 EST
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The oceans cover 71% of our planet, with over half with a depth greater than 3000 m. Although our knowledge is still very limited, we know that the deep ocean contains a diversity of habitats and ecosystems, supports high biodiversity, and harbors important biological and mineral resources. Human activities are, however increasingly affecting deep-sea habitats, resulting in the potential for biodiversity loss and, with this, the loss of many goods and services provided by deep-sea ecosystems.
These conclusions come from an international study conducted during the Census of Marine Life project SYNDEEP (Towards a First Global Synthesis of Biodiversity, Biogeography, and Ecosystem Function in the Deep Sea). The authors, over 20 deep-sea experts, conducted a semi-quantitative analysis of the most important anthropogenic impacts that affect deep-sea habitats at the global scale in the past, present and future scenarios. The impacts were grouped in three major categories: waste and litter dumping, resource exploitation, and climate change. The authors identified which deep-sea habitats are at highest risk in the short and mid-term, as well as what will be the main anthropogenic impacts affecting these areas, in a paper published in PLoS ONE on 1st August 2011. Read the full article
The State Column | Staff
| Thursday, July 28, 2011
U.S. Senators Mary L. Landrieu, D-La., and Richard Shelby, R-Ala., today introduced legislation that calls for dedicating at least 80% of BP penalties paid under the Clean Water Act (CWA) to Gulf states to invest in the long-term health of the coastal ecosystem and its economies. Joining Sens. Landrieu and Shelby as original cosponsors of the RESTORE the Gulf Coast Act of 2011 are Sens. David Vitter, R-La., Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., Thad Cochran, R-Miss., Roger Wicker, R-Miss., Bill Nelson, D-Fla., Marco Rubio, R-Fla., and Kay Bailey Hutchison, R-Texas. Sen. Barbara Boxer, Chair of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, who was instrumental in forging an agreement on the bill, has committed to taking up the bill in her committee as soon as possible.
The RESTORE the Gulf Coast Act of 2011 will establish the Gulf Coast Restoration Trust Fund to be made up of 80% of all civil penalties paid by BP or any other responsible party in connection with the Deepwater Horizon spill.
Read more: http://www.thestatecolumn.com/louisiana/landrieu-shelby-lead-bipartisan-introduction-of-bill-to-restore-gulf-coast/#ixzz1TWQ4o0cp
By Shelby Lin Erdman, CNN. July 18, 2011
(CNN) — Massive global greenhouse gas pollution is changing the chemistry of the world’s oceans so much that scientists now predict it could severely damage shellfish populations and the nations that depend on the harvests if significant action isn’t taken.
A new study from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts shows that ocean acidification is becoming a very serious problem. The study was published in July online in the journal Fish and Fisheries. Read the full article
by Underwatertimes.com News Service – July 18, 2011 19:52 EST
ScienceDaily (July 18, 2011) — Taking another major step in sleuthing the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill, a research team led by the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) has determined what chemicals were contained in a deep, hydrocarbon-containing plume at least 22 miles long that WHOI scientists mapped and sampled last summer in the Gulf of Mexico, a residue of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Moreover, they have taken a big step in explaining why some chemicals, but not others, made their way into the plume. Read the full article
ScienceDaily (July 12, 2011) — One in 10 species could face extinction by the year 2100 if current climate change impacts continue. This is the result of University of Exeter research, examining studies on the effects of recent climate change on plant and animal species and comparing this with predictions of future declines.
Published in leading journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), the study uses the well-established IUCN Red List for linking population declines to extinction risk. The research examines nearly 200 predictions of the future effects of climate change from studies conducted around the world, as well as 130 reports of changes which have already occurred.
The research shows that on average the declines that have already happened match predictions in terms of the relative risk to different species across the world.
Read the full article: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/07/110711151457.htm
By Richard Gray, Science Correspondent. 6:45AM BST 26 Jun 2011
Warming ocean waters are causing the largest movement of marine species seen on Earth in more than two million years, according to scientists.
In the Arctic, melting sea ice during recent summers has allowed a passage to open up from the Pacific ocean into the North Atlantic, allowing plankton, fish and even whales to into the Atlantic Ocean from the Pacific. Read the full story
Marine oil spills are usually measured by the amount of oil floating on the surface. But the BP spill in the Gulf of Mexico—from a deep-sea well required a different approach. Find out how one fluid-dynamics expert caused estimates to rise sharply practically overnight.
© 2011 National Geographic; partially funded by NSF
ONE OF THE KEY QUESTIONS IN THE 2010 GULF OIL SPILL WILL LIKELY NEVER BE COMPLETELY ANSWERED – EXACTLY HOW MUCH OIL SURGED INTO THE SEA?
ESTIMATES RANGED IN THE EARLY DAYS OF THE SPILL – WITH THE COAST GUARD AT FIRST SAYING JUST 1,000 BARRELS A DAY WERE LEAKING AND THEN RAISING THAT TO 5,000. BUT ON MAY 12TH, 2010, THAT NUMBER SOARED DRAMATICALLY. THE REASON? A FLUID DYNAMICS EXPERT AT PURDUE UNIVERSITY GOT TO SEE VIDEO OF THE RUPTURED WELL AND SAW THAT THE NUMBERS CLEARLY WERE NOT ADDING UP. Read more
ScienceDaily (May 30, 2011) — A new study from University of Miami (UM) Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science scientists Chris Langdon, Remy Okazaki and Nancy Muehllehner and colleagues from the Australian Institute of Marine Science and the Max-Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology in Germany concludes that ocean acidification, along with increased ocean temperatures, will likely severely reduce the diversity and resilience of coral reef ecosystems within this century. Read the full article
ScienceDaily (May 20, 2011) — Australian scientists have reported the first known detrimental impact of southern hemisphere ocean warming on a fish species.
Banded morwong. (Credit: Rick Stuart-Smith, University of Tasmania)
The findings of a study published in Nature Climate Change indicate negative effects on the growth of a long-lived south-east Australian and New Zealand inshore species — the banded morwong.
Scientific monitoring since 1944 by CSIRO at Maria Island, off the east coast of Tasmania, showed that surface water temperatures in the Tasman Sea have risen by nearly 2°C over the past 60 years. This warming, one of the most rapid in the southern hemisphere oceans, is due to globally increasing sea-surface temperatures and local effects caused by southward extension of the East Australian Current.
“Generally, cold-blooded animals respond to warming conditions by increasing growth rates as temperatures rise,” CSIRO marine ecologist Dr Ron Thresher, a co-author of the study with colleagues from the University of Tasmania’s Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies, said.
Read the full article