Science

27
Nov
2018

Source: EurekAlert!

Scientists at The University of Texas at Austin’s Marine Science Institute have discovered nearly two dozen new types of microbes, many of which use hydrocarbons such as methane and butane as energy sources to survive and grow–meaning the newly identified bacteria might be helping to limit the concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere and might one day be useful for cleaning up oil spills.

Continue reading Newly discovered deep-sea microbes gobble greenhouse gases and perhaps oil spills, too

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25
Nov
2018

Source: ABC News
Author: Samantha Jonscher

With oil exploration looming on the horizon for the Great Australian Bight, stakeholders felt it was an important time to learn more about the species that call the rough waters off Australia’s southern coastline home.

Continue reading Great Australian Bight survey discovers 400 new marine species, catalogues biodiversity before oil drilling

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22
Nov
2018

Source: Phys.org
Author: Danica Coto

A rarely seen shark embryo. Corals up to 7 feet (2 meters) high. Sponges with sharp edges.

These were among the hundreds of findings reported by U.S.  who have wrapped up a 22-day mission exploring waters around Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands in the deepest dives ever recorded in the region. Guided by other land-based scientists watching live feeds, they collected 89 samples and will now start to analyze them, Daniel Wagner, expedition coordinator with the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, told The Associated Press on Wednesday.

Continue reading Scientists wind up deep-water probes in Caribbean waters

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19
Nov
2018

Source: National Geographic
Author: Jessica Perelman

“95% of our oceans have never been explored.” This is a statistic that I hear regularly, and it holds a pretty strong message. What’s out there beneath the surface? How is the ocean changing? One of the greatest challenges in conveying the significance of the oceans is effective communication that goes beyond highly technical, hard-to-understand scientific literature. Science and public engagement are not mutually exclusive, and the value of great discoveries can only be realized if this connection is sustained. As humans we are natural story tellers, artists, musicians, inventors, and explorers. This is the toolbox that will foster enthusiasm and educate the global community about why the oceans are worth exploring- and protecting.

Continue reading All Hands on Deck: A (sea)grassroots approach to ocean exploration

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12
Nov
2018

Source: The Independent
Author: Josh Gabbatiss

An enormous shark ”nursery” swarming with the predatory fish and strewn with their eggs has been found in the waters 200 miles off the western Irish coast.

The rare discovery was made by a remotely operated vehicle exploring the region’s cold-water coral reefs at depths of around 750m.

Scientists observed a large school of blackmouth catsharks, a relatively small species found throughout the northeast Atlantic, alongside the more unusual and solitary sailfin roughshark.

Continue reading Rare ‘shark nursery’ discovered hidden in deep waters west of Ireland

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7
Nov
2018

Source: Mongabay
Author: Emily Clark

When Luiz Rocha, a fish biologist at the California Academy of Sciences, goes scuba diving, he tacks on one and a half times his body weight in specialized diving gear. Once he submerges, he can’t spare a moment to take in the vibrant corals just beneath the surface — he has greater depths to plumb.

Rocha is headed toward what Smithsonian Institution fish biologist Carole Baldwin calls “a very diverse and productive portion of the tropical ocean that science has largely missed”: mesophotic reefs. “Mesophotic” is Greek for “middle light,” referring to the intermediate amount of sunlight that can penetrate to depths of 30 to 150 meters (100 to 500 feet) below the ocean’s surface.

Continue reading Are deep sea reefs really a lifeboat for our vanishing corals?

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