Category Archives: Science

Metric for marine heatwaves suggests how these events displace ocean life

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

Expedition 12: Shark Week | ANGARI Foundation | R/V ANGARI

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/

The Florida Aquarium Becomes First Organization in History to Induce Spawning of Atlantic Coral; A New Hope to Save Florida’s Reefs

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

Surface Clean-Up Technology Won’t Solve Ocean Plastic Problem, According To Study

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.

See More (Forbes):

https://www.forbes.com/sites/scottsnowden/2020/08/05/surface-clean-up-technology-wont-solve-ocean-plastic-problem-according-to-study/

Florida Aquarium Successfully Spawns Threatened Pillar Coral – Video Will Blow Your Mind!

For the second year in a row, scientists at The Florida Aquarium in Apollo Beach have successfully spawned threatened Atlantic pillar coral (Dendrogyra cylindrus) though lab-induced techniques. The scientific marvel occurred this week in a research laboratory as a part of a scientific spawning project called Project Coral.

Click Link to See the Video:

The corals spawned at nearly exactly the same time as last year, at approximately 100 minutes after sunset on the second day after the full moon of August.

See More:

https://www.flaquarium.org/pressroom/posts/pillar-coral

Giant manta ray ‘begs snorkeler to help save her life in incredible encounter’ | The Independent

A giant manta ray has been filmed appearing to beg a professional diver for help saving her life. The three-metre-wide sea creature is shown swimming up to snorkelling guide Jake Wilton and flipping over in the water – apparently to show him fish hooks embedded in her right eye.

Click the link below to see the video.


— Read on www.independent.co.uk/news/science/giant-manta-ray-diver-removes-fish-hooks-ningaloo-reef-western-australia-a9000641.html

Slocum Glider “Silbo” Circumnavigates the Atlantic Ocean | Science & Technology | News

Teledyne Marine’s Slocum G2 Glider named Silbo, manufactured by Teledyne Webb Research, has completed an over 4-year journey that circumnavigated the Atlantic Ocean in four legs, a first for an autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV).

In all, Silbo covered 22,744 km and spent roughly 1,273 days at sea.  

During Silbo’s incredible journey, it collected hurricane data, corrected current models, and provided close to 5000 CTD casts that aided metalogical forecasting. With partners from Rutgers University and its student base, UVI, PLOCAN, UGCLP, the Marine Institute, and others, Silbo also participated in the Challenger glider mission.

Silbo has been a test bed for many new engineering hardware and software features for both existing and next generation Slocum gliders. Recent legs have provided data on new battery configurations, advanced software, and techniques for piloting long endurance missions and minimizing biofouling.  Silbo’s accomplishments have been critical in the glider community’s understanding of techniques used to increase robot durations at sea.  

— Read on www.oceannews.com/news/science-technology/slocum-glider-silbo-circumnavigates-the-atlantic-ocean

Study Finds Sperm Doesn’t Swim Like An Eel, It Corkscrews Like “Playful Otters” | IFLScience

3D mapping of the movement of sperm has revealed that we’ve been wrong about how these gametes move all along.

In human reproduction, intercourse is really only half the battle. Once sperm is in the female it has a long way to go before reaching the egg, so to boost their chances these mobile gametes are fitted with a wiggly tail. We once believed that the sperm’s tail, known as the flagellum, moved in a way comparable to a snake or eel, but new research published in the journal Science Advances has revealed that they actually corkscrew their way to victory. Fetch your biology books, folks. It’s time for a rewrite.

— Read on www.iflscience.com/health-and-medicine/study-finds-sperm-doesnt-swim-like-an-eel-it-corkscrews-like-playful-otters/