ADVERTISEMENT
  About the SA Blog Network

Posts Tagged "oceans"

@ScientificAmerican

Whale.FM: Where Citizen Science, Whale Songs and Education Come Together

Above all, science is a collaborative enterprise, where researchers working together can span the continents. Increasingly, nonspecialists—citizen scientists—are pitching in as well. Whale.FM—a collaborative effort of Scientific American, Zooniverse and the research institutions WHOI, TNO, the University of Oxford and SMRU—lets citizen scientists help marine researchers who are studying what whales are saying. (You can [...]

Keep reading »
Expeditions

To Hades and Back: Nereus Lost

The hybrid remotely operated vehicle (HROV) Nereus during a dip test in Auckland Harbor in April prior to departure. (Photo by Ken Kostel, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)

ABOARD THE R/V THOMAS G. THOMPSON—In the early morning hours of Saturday, May 10, we were on the seafloor in the deepest part of the Kermadec Trench when all of the video screens in the Nereus control room went dark. That wasn’t unusual, but it did signal a premature end to our 7-hour dive to [...]

Keep reading »
Expeditions

To Hades and Back: Snailfish Surprise in the Kermadec Trench

ABOARD THE R/V THOMAS G. THOMPSON—On the scale of the Pacific Ocean, the Kermadec Trench looks like a thin line snaking down from southwest to northeast just off the northeastern tip of New Zealand’s North Island. But when you zoom in and look even at the coarse detail that the ship’s multi-beam sonar can reveal, [...]

Keep reading »
Expeditions

To Hades and Back: One Trench Among Many

Nereus returns to the deck of the Thomas G. Thompson from a dive. (Photo by Ken Kostel, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)

ABOARD THE R/V THOMAS G. THOMPSON—Challenger Deep is the deepest spot in the ocean—that we know of, at least. The seafloor is so poorly mapped that there could easily be something deeper out there, but that’s not all that important to us. It’s been visited many times by both human-occupied and remotely operated vehicles, including [...]

Keep reading »
Expeditions

To Hades and Back: Feeding Frenzies of the Deep

Chimera_feat

ABOARD THE R/V THOMAS G. THOMPSON—While waiting for the weather to die down and for solutions to problems with our winch and the vehicle, the rest of our non-Nereus science program has continued. We have put both of the landers and the fish trap in the water almost every day so far at varying depths [...]

Keep reading »
Expeditions

To Hades and Back: Under the Weather

The R/V Thomas G. Thompson holding station over Maug caldera in 2004. / Credit: NOAA.

ABOARD THE R/V THOMAS G. THOMPSON—Our operations have been halted for a second day now while we wait for a storm on the other side of New Zealand to spin itself out. With no samples to process, many of us took a day off to catch up on reading or, for some of the undergraduates [...]

Keep reading »
Expeditions

To Hades and Back: Exploring the Deepest Part of the Ocean

The hybrid remotely operated vehicle (HROV) Nereus during a dip test in Auckland Harbor in April prior to departure. (Photo by Ken Kostel, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)

Humans have been to every corner of the planet and built either an Internet café or a Starbucks in almost every city. You can find plastic in the middle of the ocean and Mt. Everest base camp is a vast rubbish heap. Satellites monitor virtually every square meter of Earth every day and Google has [...]

Keep reading »
Expeditions

Understanding nitrogen’s role in the ocean

Angela Knapp (UMiami) takes samples

Editor’s Note: Journalist and crew member Kathryn Eident and scientist Jeremy Jacquot are traveling on board the RV Atlantis on a monthlong voyage to sample and study nitrogen fixation in the eastern tropical Pacific Ocean, among other research projects. This is the fourth blog post detailing this ongoing voyage of discovery for ScientificAmerican.com RV ATLANTIS [...]

Keep reading »
Extinction Countdown

30 Percent of Sharks, Rays and Related Species at Risk of Extinction

Northern River Shark

The first worldwide analysis of the extinction threat of all sharks and related species has just been published, and the news is sobering. Of the 1,041 known species of chondrichthyan (cartilaginous) fishes—sharks, rays and deep-sea chimaera (aka ghost sharks)—more than 30 percent are endangered, threatened, vulnerable to extinction or near threatened. Another 46 percent lack [...]

Keep reading »
Extinction Countdown

Amazing Neptune’s Cup Sponge Rediscovered in Singapore

More than 100 years after it was last seen, the giant Neptune’s cup sponge (Cliona patera) has been rediscovered off the coast of southern Singapore. First discovered in 1822, the sponges grew so large—a meter or more in both height and diameter—that their cup-like structures were sometimes used as tubs for babies. But their size [...]

Keep reading »
Extinction Countdown

Can’t an Ugly, Slimy Bottom-Feeder Get Some Love?

hagfish

Look at a hagfish and you’ll probably think it’s pretty icky. Don’t look at any hagfish and you’ll probably never think about them at all. But these oft-ignored creatures play an essential role in the ocean ecosystem, and you might want to think about them before they’re gone. Last week, the International Union for Conservation [...]

Keep reading »
Food Matters

Eat Small: Why our Big Fish Problem is leading to big fish problems. (VIDEO)

Screen Shot 2014-01-23 at 1.07.58 AM

We like big fish. And that’s a problem, according to Andy Sharpless, CEO of the ocean conservation organization Oceana, and co-author (along with Suzannah Evans) of the book The Perfect Protein. The book describes how regulations from a small group of countries, and a shift in the way we think about seafood, could ensure a sustainable [...]

Keep reading »
Guest Blog

Catching Big Mama Fish Curbs Ocean Fertility

A gravid female cod at the U.K.'s MacDuff Aquarium. (Credit: Bruce McAdam via Flickr)

Scientists recently confirmed what anglers have known for centuries—there’s something special about a big mama fish. The bigger the fish, the better the bragging rights—and often, the bigger paycheck or prize. For centuries, this has led anglers and fishers to selectively target the largest fish in a school. But a new study published in a [...]

Keep reading »
Guest Blog

Getting to Know Whale Vaginas in 7 Steps

Credit: Gregory "Greg" Smith via Flickr

It’s not easy to study a whale vagina. But it is necessary. Right now, penises get far more attention than vaginas in the science world. (It’s also apparent in the museum scene, too—sadly, today, there’s no vagina equivalent to rival the Icelandic Phallocological Museum). Surprisingly, the research imbalance is likely due to longstanding gender stereotypes [...]

Keep reading »
Guest Blog

In Indonesia, a Worrying Silence on Climate Change

Resilient coral. A colony of table coral that broke down, recovered and is now growing into other direction.

Dive into the limpid waters off Indonesia’s resort island of Bali and you’ll spot the beginnings of an environmental success story. Older reefs are recovering from the devastating coral bleaching of 1998 and 2009. New corals are now taking hold. On shore, local fishermen also see improvement. There are, at long last, more and bigger [...]

Keep reading »
Guest Blog

A World Ocean

Every year on June 8 ocean enthusiasts celebrate World Oceans Day. Last year over 300 official events in 45 countries recognized how the Earth’s largest and most complex ecosystem affects not only the rest of the planet and its inhabitants, but how the seas touch upon the essence of being human and the connectivity of [...]

Keep reading »
Life, Unbounded

Billion Year Old Seawater

As it was, and as it is, an ocean on Earth (T. Fioreze)

If there is one thing our universe makes a lot of, it is water. This isn’t an immediately obvious property based solely on the universal inventory of stuff. Hydrogen utterly dominates normal matter throughout the cosmos, and despite some 13 billion years of stellar nuclear fusion only a small number of these primordial protons have [...]

Keep reading »
Observations

Google Maps Dives Underwater with “Street View”

Credit: WIkimedia Commons

Google has taken its ‘street view’ maps to a whole new level—namely, the ocean’s depths. Already, scientists have collected 400,000 panoramic photos of coral reefs and other marine marvels off the coast of Australia and in the Caribbean, some of which viewers can access on Google Maps. This week, U.S. government scientists will dive the [...]

Keep reading »
Observations

Climate Change Future Suggested by Looking Back 4 Million Years [Video]

The last time the Earth enjoyed greenhouse gas levels like those of today was roughly 4 million years ago, during an era known as the Pliocene. The extra heat of average temperatures as much as 4 degrees Celsius warmer turned the tropical oceans into a nice warm pool of bathwater, as noted by new research [...]

Keep reading »
Observations

Giant Eyes Help Colossal Squid Spot Glowing Whales

giant squid eye

Giant and colossal squid can grow to be some 12 meters long. But that alone doesn’t explain why they have the biggest eyeballs on the planet. At 280 millimeters in diameter, colossal squid eyes are much bigger than those of the swordfish, which at 90 millimeters, measure in as the next biggest peepers. “It doesn’t [...]

Keep reading »
Octopus Chronicles

Mistaken Octopus Sex Identity Leads to Multi-Armed Wrestling Match [Video]

The octopus, by in large, practices very safe sex. You would, too, if you and the object of your affection were both cannibals. But the algae octopus (Abdopus aculeatus) has developed a relatively sophisticated mating system that involves far more close contact than many other octopus species. In populations of these cephalopods, males and females [...]

Keep reading »
Octopus Chronicles

How Do You Count Giant Octopuses? Color-Code Them with Silicone [Video]

giant pacific octopus tagging tracking populations noaa

Octopuses are clever, reclusive, dexterous, strong and slippery as heck—especially those belonging to the very largest species: the giant Pacific octopus (Enteroctopus dofleini). So how are researchers to catch and track them? Certainly not with traditional nets and tags, which the octopuses can (respectively) squeeze out of and rip off. Instead, try enlisting the help [...]

Keep reading »
Octopus Chronicles

How Does a Fish Mimic a Mimic Octopus? [Video]

mimic octopus and jawfish

Mimic octopuses (Thaumoctopus mimicus) have one-upped their well-camouflaged cousins by actively impersonating other sea creatures—such as venomous sea snakes and lionfish—by changing their body shape and movement. But they have now been one-upped by a tiny fish that mimics them (or at least takes advantage of their complex patterning and movement to better camouflage itself). [...]

Keep reading »
Plugged In

Plenty of Fish in the Sea?

A cluster of tuna off the southern tip of Italy. Photo: Courtesy of the UN FAO

In 2010, people across the globe munched their way through 128 million tons of seafood. That’s according to the latest data coming out of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). This hefty supply of fish equals around 41 pounds per person each year, and is taking its toll on the health of the oceans [...]

Keep reading »
Voices

Oceanographer Sylvia Earle is a Glamour Woman of the Year

Dr. Sylvia Earle speaks onstage at the Glamour 2014 Women Of The Year Awards at Carnegie Hall on November 10, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Larry Busacca/Getty Images for Glamour)

Her Deepness. The Sturgeon General. And now: Glamour Girl. On Monday night, renowned oceanographer Sylvia Earle earned a new moniker when she joined eight others in receiving a 2014 Glamour Woman of the Year Award at a celebrity-packed Carnegie Hall. Since 1990, Glamour has set aside one evening each autumn to fête the remarkable accomplishments of [...]

Keep reading »

More from Scientific American

Scientific American Holiday Sale

Black Friday/Cyber Monday Blow-Out Sale

Enter code:
HOLIDAY 2014
at checkout

Get 20% off now! >

X

Email this Article

X