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  • Science Visualized

    Stunning images reveal glacial landscapes under the oceans

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    The footprints of long-gone glaciers and icebergs are now frozen in time in a stunning new collection of images of Earth’s seafloor.

    The Atlas of Submarine Glacial Landforms is a comprehensive, high-resolution atlas of underwater landscapes that have been shaped by glaciers, largely in polar and subpolar regions, and provides a comparative look at how glaciers,...

    05/12/2017 - 11:00 Earth, Climate, Oceans
  • News

    Sea creatures’ sticky ‘mucus houses’ catch ocean carbon really fast

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    Never underestimate the value of a disposable mucus house.

    Filmy, see-through envelopes of mucus, called “houses,” get discarded daily by the largest of the sea creatures that exude them. The old houses, often more than a meter across, sink toward the ocean bottom carrying with them plankton and other biological tidbits snagged in their goo.

    Now, scientists...

    05/04/2017 - 13:28 Animals, Oceans, Climate
  • Soapbox

    Radical idea could restore ice in the Arctic Ocean

    Leave it to a researcher who studies icy moons in the outer solar system to come up with an out-there scheme to restore vanishing sea ice in the Arctic.

    Ice is a good insulator, says Steven Desch, a planetary scientist at Arizona State University in Tempe. That’s why moons such as Jupiter’s Europa and Saturn’s Enceladus, among others, may be able to maintain liquid oceans beneath their...

    05/02/2017 - 10:00 Climate, Earth, Oceans
  • Science Ticker

    The Arctic is a final garbage dump for ocean plastic

    The Arctic Ocean is a final resting place for plastic debris dumped into the North Atlantic Ocean, new research suggests.

    A 2013 circumpolar expedition discovered hundreds of tons of plastic debris, from fishing lines to plastic films, ecologist Andrés Cózar of the University of Cádiz in Spain and colleagues report April 19 in Science Advances. While many areas remain relatively...

    04/19/2017 - 14:10 Oceans, Pollution
  • News in Brief

    The Arctic is a final garbage dump for ocean plastic

    The Arctic Ocean is a final resting place for plastic debris dumped into the North Atlantic Ocean, new research suggests.

    A 2013 circumpolar expedition discovered hundreds of metric tons of plastic debris (some shown), from fishing lines to plastic films, ecologist Andrés Cózar of the University of Cádiz in Spain and colleagues report April 19 in Science Advances. While many areas remain...

    04/19/2017 - 14:10 Oceans, Pollution
  • News

    More than one ocean motion determines tsunami size

    Earthquake-powered shifts along the seafloor that push water forward, not just up, could help supersize tsunamis.

    By combining laboratory experiments, computer simulations and real-world observations, researchers discovered that the horizontal movement of sloped seafloor during an underwater earthquake can give tsunamis a critical boost. Scientists previously assumed that vertical...

    04/14/2017 - 07:00 Oceans, Earth
  • Introducing

    New worm-snail is a super slimer

    A new species of worm-snail is rather snotty. Thylacodes vandyensis shoots out strands of mucus that tangle together, building a spiderweb-like trap for plankton and other floating snacks, researchers report April 5 in PeerJ.

    Other worm-snails use this hunting technique, but T. vandyensis stands out because of the “copious amounts of mucus” it ejects, says coauthor Rüdiger Bieler. This...

    04/13/2017 - 10:30 Animals, Ecology, Oceans
  • Science Ticker

    The Great Barrier Reef is experiencing a major coral bleaching event right now

    A severe coral bleaching event spurred by high ocean temperatures has struck the Great Barrier Reef for an unprecedented second time in 12 months, reveal aerial surveys released April 10 by scientists at James Cook University in Townsville, Australia. While last year the northern third of the reef was hardest hit, this time around the reef’s midsection experienced the worst bleaching. The two...

    04/11/2017 - 15:45 Climate, Oceans, Ecosystems
  • News in Brief

    Thinning ice creates undersea Arctic greenhouses

    Sea ice skylights formed by warming Arctic temperatures increasingly allow enough sunlight into the waters below to spur phytoplankton blooms, new research suggests. Such conditions, probably a rarity more than two decades ago, now extend to roughly 30 percent of the ice-covered Arctic Ocean during July, researchers report March 29 in Science Advances.

    The microscopic critters need...

    03/29/2017 - 14:00 Oceans, Ecosystems, Climate
  • Science Ticker

    Arctic sea ice hits record wintertime low

    Arctic sea ice has hit a record low for the third year in a row. It’s the paltriest maximum extent seen since recordkeeping began in 1979, scientists at NASA and the National Snow and Ice Data Center announced March 22.

    Total sea ice cover on the Arctic Ocean peaked on March 7, satellite observations show, reaching a total area of 14.42 million square kilometers. That’s around 100,000...

    03/23/2017 - 12:31 Climate, Oceans