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  • Emiliania huxleyi phytoplankton
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Your search has returned 235 articles:
  • News

    Viruses may help phytoplankton make clouds — by tearing the algae apart

    When tiny sea algae get sick, they may sneeze the seeds of clouds.

    Phytoplankton (Emiliania huxleyi) infected with a virus shed the small calcium carbonate plates that make up their shells much more quickly than healthy phytoplankton. Kicked up by thrashing waves into sea spray, those calcium bits may ultimately become part of the complex dance of cloud formation, researchers report...

    08/15/2018 - 11:12 Oceans, Climate
  • Feature

    As waters rise, coastal megacities like Mumbai face catastrophe

    Each year when the monsoon rain sheets down and the tides swell over coastal Mumbai, Saif shutters his soda shop on Juhu Beach and takes shelter up in the rafters. Still, the water invades through the roof and over the concrete floors, sometimes reaching as high as the freezers full of ice cream.

    For 36-year-old Saif, the coastal megacity’s chronic flooding is stressful. “What would...

    08/15/2018 - 09:30 Climate, Oceans, Sustainability
  • Feature

    Why sea level rise varies from place to place

    In the 20th century, ocean levels rose by a global average of about 14 centimeters, mainly due to melting ice and warming waters. Some coastal areas saw more sea level rise than others. Here’s why:  

    Expanding seawater

    As water heats up, its molecules take up more space, contributing to global sea level rise. Local weather systems can influence that effect. In 2017 scientists reported in...

    08/15/2018 - 09:30 Earth, Oceans, Climate
  • Film

    What ‘The Meg’ gets wrong — and right — about megalodon sharks

    OK, so what if a giant prehistoric shark, thought to be extinct for about 2.5 million years, is actually still lurking in the depths of the ocean? That’s the premise of the new flick The Meg, which opens August 10 and pits massive Carcharocles megalodon against a grizzled and fearless deep-sea rescue diver, played by Jason Statham, and a handful of resourceful scientists.

    The...

    08/10/2018 - 12:41 Paleontology, Animals, Oceans
  • News in Brief

    The giant iceberg that broke from Antarctica’s Larsen C ice shelf is stuck

    Curl the fingers of your left hand over your palm and stick out your thumb like a hitchhiker. Now, you have a rough map of Antarctica — with the inside of your thumb playing the part of the Larsen C ice shelf, says glaciologist Ted Scambos of the National Snow and Ice Data Center in Boulder, Colo.

    About a year ago, a massive iceberg roughly the size of Delaware broke off from that ice...

    07/23/2018 - 07:00 Earth, Oceans, Ecology
  • News

    Shallow reef species may not find refuge in deeper water habitats

    Deep water reefs are unlikely to be safe harbors for many fish and coral species from shallow reefs threatened by climate change and human activity. Shallow water creatures may have trouble adapting to conditions in the deep, scientists report in the July 20 Science. Plus, deep reefs are facing the same threats that are putting shallower ones at risk.

    The study deals a blow to the “deep...

    07/19/2018 - 15:21 Oceans, Ecosystems, Climate
  • News

    New ‘Poké Ball’ robot catches deep-sea critters without harming them

    Like a submarine Poké Ball, a new robotic device gently captures and releases deep-sea creatures without a scratch. This critter catcher could be decked out with cameras and other sensors to give scientists an unprecedented view of life in one of Earth’s most mysterious environments. 

    The contraption, designed to be mounted on a remotely operated underwater vehicle, folds into a 12-sided...

    07/18/2018 - 14:00 Animals, Oceans, Technology
  • News

    An ancient swimming revolution in the oceans may have never happened

    About 540 million years ago, the oceans were an alien landscape, devoid of swimming, or nektonic, creatures. Some scientists have hypothesized, based on fossil evidence, that swimmers suddenly dominated in the oceans during the Devonian Period, between 419 million and 359 million years ago. But an in-depth study of marine fossils now suggests that this so-called Devonian Nekton Revolution...

    07/17/2018 - 19:05 Paleontology, Oceans
  • News

    Bird poop helps keep coral reefs healthy, but rats are messing that up

    When invasive rats chow down on island seabirds, coral reefs suffer.

    Researchers studied islands with and without the rodents in the Chagos Archipelago in the Indian Ocean. On rat-free isles, there were on average 1,243 birds per hectare compared with about two birds per hectare on rat-infested islands, the team found. And these rodentless islands had healthier coral reef ecosystems. The...

    07/11/2018 - 13:02 Ecosystems, Animals, Oceans
  • News

    Underwater fiber-optic cables could moonlight as earthquake sensors

    The global network of seafloor cables may be good for more than ferrying digital communication between continents. These fiber-optic cables could also serve as underwater earthquake detectors, researchers report online June 14 in Science.

    “It’s a very exciting proposition,” says Barbara Romanowicz, a seismologist at the University of California, Berkeley and the Collège de France in...

    06/14/2018 - 14:00 Earth, Oceans, Technology