In the past few years, ocean scientists have been excited by the appearance of an entirely new subdiscipline: the study of marine heatwaves (MHWs), discrete periods of unusually warm temperatures in the ocean. Several such events have captured the attention of both scientists and the public, most notably an MHW known as the Blob1 that occurred in the northeastern Pacific Ocean during 2013–15. High-profile impacts22 of MHWs include the closure of fisheries, large-scale die-offs of seabirds and unusual sightings of species thousands of kilometres out of their natural range (Fig. 1). Such effects make these heating events one of the most visible signs of an ocean under stress. Writing in Nature, Jacox et al.3 report a metric that puts MHWs into their spatial context with surrounding cooler waters, and thereby casts light on the distance by which ocean organisms might be displaced.
Progress in science is typically incremental: research papers usually ‘stand on the shoulders of giants’ that have preceded them. For scientists studying MHWs, however, there are no giants’ shoulders to stand on. The field is therefore inventing itself from scratch, creating a dynamism and excitement that is as rare as it is fascinating to follow.
— Read on www.nature.com/articles/d41586-020-02172-0
During Expedition 12, a team from Big Wave Productions came aboard R/V ANGARI to film Sharkwrecked for Discovery Channel’s Shark Week.
— Read on angari.org/expedition-12/
Apollo Beach, FL – For the first time ever, endangered Atlantic pillar coral have spawned through lab-induced techniques. The scientific breakthrough occurred this week in a research laboratory at The Florida Aquarium’s Center for Conservation in Apollo Beach as part of Project Coral.
Scientists believe the historic breakthrough could ultimately help save corals in the Florida Reef Tract from extinction. This conservation effort enables coral sexual reproduction to occur en
— Read on www.flaquarium.org/pressroom/posts/the-florida-aquarium-becomes-first-organization-in-history-to-induce-spawning-of-atlantic-coral-a-ne
Clean-up devices that collect waste from the ocean surface won’t solve the plastic pollution problem, according to a new study. Researchers compared estimates of current and future plastic waste with the ability of floating clean-up devices to collect it – and found the impact of such devices was “very modest.”
However, river barriers could be more effective and – though they have no impact on plastic already in the oceans – they could reduce pollution “significantly” if used in tandem with surface clean-up technology.
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