Technology

Stanford researchers explore potential for kelp to relieve ocean acidification

Ethereal, swaying pillars of brown kelp along California’s coasts grow up through the water column, culminating in a dense surface canopy of thick fronds that provide homes and refuge for numerous marine creatures. There’s speculation that these giant algae may protect coastal ecosystems by helping alleviate acidification caused by too much atmospheric carbon being absorbed by […]

Technology

Stanford researchers explore potential for kelp to relieve ocean acidification

Ethereal, swaying pillars of brown kelp along California’s coasts grow up through the water column, culminating in a dense surface canopy of thick fronds that provide homes and refuge for numerous marine creatures. There’s speculation that these giant algae may protect coastal ecosystems by helping alleviate acidification caused by too much atmospheric carbon being absorbed by […]

Technology

Fish carcasses deliver toxic mercury pollution to the deepest ocean trenches

The sinking carcasses of fish from near-surface waters deliver toxic mercury pollution to the most remote and inaccessible parts of the world’s oceans, including the deepest spot of them all: the 36,000-foot-deep Mariana Trench in the northwest Pacific. And most of that mercury began its long journey to the deep-sea trenches as atmospheric emissions from […]

Technology

Sentinels of ocean acidification survived Earth’s last mass extinction

Two groups of tiny, delicate marine organisms — sea butterflies and sea angels — were surprisingly resilient in the face of dramatic global climate change and Earth’s most recent mass extinction event 66 million years ago, according to U.S. National Science Foundation-funded research published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The paper was co-authored by […]

Technology

Scientists investigate marine heatwaves and shifting ocean currents

North America experienced a series of dangerous heatwaves during the summer of 2020, breaking records from coast to coast. In the ocean, extreme warming conditions are also becoming more frequent and intense. A new study by researchers at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution investigated marine heatwaves and currents at the edge of the continental shelf to understand […]

Technology

Ocean algae get ‘coup de grace’ from viruses — sometimes

Scientists have long believed that ocean viruses quickly kill algae. But new U.S. National Science Foundation-funded research shows that viruses often live in harmony with algae, and that they provide a “coup de grace” only when blooms of algae are already stressed and dying. The study, published in Nature Communications, will likely change how scientists view viral […]

Technology

Marine animals live where ocean is most ‘breathable,’ but ranges could shrink with climate change

As oceans warm due to climate change, scientists are trying to predict how marine animals — from backboned fish to spineless jellyfish — will react. Laboratory experiments indicate that many could theoretically tolerate temperatures far higher than what they encounter today. But these studies don’t mean that marine animals can maintain their current ranges in […]

Technology

Marine animals live where ocean is most ‘breathable,’ but ranges could shrink with climate change

As oceans warm due to climate change, scientists are trying to predict how marine animals — from backboned fish to spineless jellyfish — will react. Laboratory experiments indicate that many could theoretically tolerate temperatures far higher than what they encounter today. But these studies don’t mean that marine animals can maintain their current ranges in […]

Technology

‘Wrong-way’ migrations stop shellfish from escaping ocean warming

Ocean warming is paradoxically driving bottom-dwelling invertebrates that are valuable to the shellfish industry –- including sea scallops, blue mussels, surf clams and quahogs –- into warmer waters and threatening their survival. In a new U.S. National Science Foundation-funded study published in Nature Climate Change, researchers identify a cause for the “wrong-way” species migrations: warming-induced changes to […]