Oceanography News -- ScienceDaily Oceanography news. Learn about ocean currents, coastal erosion, sea level rising and other topics in physical oceanography.

  • East Antarctic Ice Sheet has history of instability
    on December 13, 2017 at 7:36 pm

    The East Antarctic Ice Sheet locks away enough water to raise sea level an estimated 53 meters (174 feet). It's also thought to be among the most stable, not gaining or losing mass even as ice sheets in West Antarctica and Greenland shrink. New research has found that the East Antarctic Ice Sheet may not be as stable as it seems. […]

  • Fish and ships: Vessel traffic reduces communication ranges for Atlantic cod, haddock
    on December 13, 2017 at 2:56 pm

    Scientists studying sounds made by Atlantic cod and haddock at spawning sites in the Gulf of Maine have found that vessel traffic noise is reducing the distance over which these animals can communicate with each other. As a result, daily behavior, feeding, mating, and socializing during critical biological periods for these commercially and ecologically important fish may be altered, according to a new study. […]

  • Sea-level rise projections made hazy by Antarctic instability
    on December 13, 2017 at 2:55 pm

    It may take until the 2060s to know how much the sea level will rise by the end of this century, according to a new analysis. The study is the first to link global and local sea-level rise projections with simulations of two major mechanisms by which climate change can affect the vast Antarctic ice sheet. […]

  • The planet’s largest landslides happen on submarine volcanoes
    on December 12, 2017 at 4:48 pm

    Large volume submarine landslides, triggered by the inception and growth of submarine volcanos, represent among the largest mass movements of sediment on Earth’s surface. These landslides could potentially cause tsunamis, and represent a significant, and as yet unaccounted for marine hazard. […]

  • Multi-year submarine-canyon study challenges textbook theories about turbidity currents
    on December 11, 2017 at 7:57 pm

    The most extensive, long-term effort to monitor turbidity currents ever attempted has just been completed. The results of this two-year project challenge existing paradigms about what causes turbidity currents, what they look like, and how they work. […]

  • Tiny ice losses at Antarctica's fringes can accelerate ice loss far away
    on December 11, 2017 at 5:04 pm

    It is known that the ice shelves surrounding the continent regulate the ice flow from the land into the ocean. Now scientists found that also melting near the fringes and in the midst of the ice shelves can have direct effects reaching very far inland. This could increase ice loss and hence sea-level rise. […]

  • World-first uses satellites, ocean models to explain Antarctic seafloor biodiversity
    on December 11, 2017 at 5:04 pm

    In a world-first, a research team has used data collected by satellites and an ocean model to explain and predict biodiversity on the Antarctic seafloor. […]

  • New Tongan island made of 'tuff' stuff, likely to persist years, NASA shows
    on December 11, 2017 at 5:01 pm

    In late December 2014, a submarine volcano in the South Pacific Kingdom of Tonga erupted, sending a violent stream of steam, ash and rock into the air. The ash plumes rose as high as 30,000 feet (9 kilometers) into the sky, diverting flights. When the ash finally settled in January 2015, a newborn island with a 400-foot (120-meter) summit nestled between two older islands -- visible to satellites in space. […]

  • 'Smoke rings' in the ocean could 'suck-up' small creatures and send them 'flying'
    on December 11, 2017 at 3:50 pm

    Researchers have spotted the equivalent of smoke-rings in the ocean which they think could 'suck-up' small marine creatures and carry them at high speed and for long distances across the ocean. […]

  • Extreme fieldwork, climate modeling yields new insight into predicting Greenland's melt
    on December 8, 2017 at 7:30 pm

    A new study brings together scientists from land hydrology, glaciology and climate modeling to unravel a meltwater mystery. Researchers discovered that some meltwater from the lakes and rivers atop the region's glaciers, is being stored and trapped on top of the glacier inside a low-density, porous 'rotten ice.' This phenomenon affects climate model predictions of Greenland's meltwater. […]

  • Marine organisms can shred a plastic bag into 1.75 million pieces, study shows
    on December 8, 2017 at 2:55 pm

    A single plastic grocery bag could be shredded by marine organisms into 1.75 million microscopic fragments, according to new research. […]

  • Researchers establish long-sought source of ocean methane
    on December 7, 2017 at 7:16 pm

    A significant amount of the methane naturally released into the atmosphere comes from the ocean. This has long puzzled scientists because there are no known methane-producing organisms near the ocean's surface. A team of researchers has made a discovery that could help to answer this 'ocean methane paradox.' […]

  • Satellite tracking provides clues about South Atlantic sea turtles' 'lost years'
    on December 6, 2017 at 7:16 pm

    Biologists have been tracking the movements of sea turtle yearlings in the South Atlantic Ocean, and have come up with some surprising results. […]

  • Unique field survey yields first big-picture view of deep-sea food webs
    on December 6, 2017 at 7:16 pm

    A new article documents the first comprehensive study of deep-sea food webs, using hundreds of video observations of animals caught in the act of feeding off the Central California coast. The study shows that deep-sea jellies are key predators, and provides new information on how deep-sea animals interact with life near the ocean surface. […]

  • Future arctic sea ice loss could dry out California
    on December 5, 2017 at 2:21 pm

    Arctic sea ice loss of the magnitude expected in the next few decades could impact California's rainfall and exacerbate future droughts, according to new research. […]

  • Scientists track sharks by picking up DNA fragments from the sea
    on December 4, 2017 at 2:17 pm

    Traces of DNA in the sea can be used to monitor shark populations, marine ecologists have shown. Current methods of baiting, hooking and filming sharks, rays and other large fish are invasive and costly and require teams of scientists spending much time at sea, they say. […]

  • New gene-based model suggests, for microbes, it's not who you are but what you do
    on December 4, 2017 at 2:12 pm

    A new model simulates the impact of microbial activities on the chemistry in the North Atlantic and suggests that the evolution of a metabolic function rather than the evolution of an individual species shapes the ocean as we know it. It is the first model that actually predicts genes and transcription throughout the ocean. […]

  • Southern Ocean drives massive bloom of tiny phytoplankton
    on November 30, 2017 at 10:02 pm

    Scientists have uncovered the ocean conditions that support a massive summertime bloom of algae that spans 16 percent of the global ocean. Known as the Great Calcite Belt, this dense group of a microscopic phytoplankton, coccolithophores, can be seen in satellite images as turquoise swirls in the dark blue water of the Southern Ocean. […]

  • Feces from entangled North Atlantic right whales reveals 'sky-high' stress levels
    on November 30, 2017 at 2:00 pm

    North Atlantic right whale scientists found that whales who undergo prolonged entanglements in fishing gear endure 'sky-high hormone levels,' indicating severe stress, which researchers discovered using a pioneering technique of examining scat from live, entangled, and dead whales over 15 years. […]

  • Why are there no sea snakes in the Atlantic?
    on November 29, 2017 at 7:33 pm

    There is a glaring gap in sea snakes' near-global distribution: the Atlantic Ocean. Biologists chalk up the absence of sea snakes in the Atlantic to geography, climate and timing. […]

  • Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula reveals a cryptic methane-fueled ecosystem in flooded caves
    on November 28, 2017 at 2:09 pm

    In the underground rivers and flooded caves of Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula, where Mayan lore described a fantastical underworld, scientists have found a cryptic world in its own right. […]

  • Decline in atmospheric carbon dioxide key to ancient climate transition
    on November 27, 2017 at 8:21 pm

    A decline in atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) levels led to a fundamental shift in the behavior of the Earth's climate system around one million years ago, according to new research led by the University of Southampton. […]

  • Less life: Limited phosphorus recycling suppressed early Earth's biosphere
    on November 27, 2017 at 8:20 pm

    The amount of biomass -- life -- in Earth's ancient oceans may have been limited due to low recycling of the key nutrient phosphorus, according to new research. […]

  • Deep ocean bacteria discovered to play large role in carbon capture
    on November 27, 2017 at 5:47 pm

    Marine bacteria that live in the dark depths of the ocean play a newly discovered and significant role in the global carbon cycle, according to a new study. […]

  • Scale at which Earth's mantle composition varies
    on November 27, 2017 at 2:11 pm

    Geochemists suggest that Earth's upper mantle varies in composition over kilometer-sized pockets. […]

  • Ocean floor mud reveals secrets of past European climate
    on November 23, 2017 at 2:43 pm

    Samples of sediment taken from the ocean floor of the North Atlantic Ocean have given researchers an unprecedented insight into the reasons why Europe's climate has changed over the past 3,000 years. […]

  • Underwater acoustic localization of marine mammals and vehicles
    on November 22, 2017 at 4:29 pm

    Researchers have developed an underwater acoustic system for the localization of marine mammals, underwater vehicles and other sound sources in the ocean, using no more than a single hydrophone (basically an underwater microphone) as a receiver. […]

  • Water cooling for the Earth's crust
    on November 21, 2017 at 5:14 pm

    How deep can seawater penetrate through cracks and fissures into the seafloor? By applying a new analysis method, an international team of researchers has now discovered that the water can penetrate to depths of more than 10 kilometers below the seafloor. This result suggests a stronger cooling effect on the hot mantle. […]

  • Antarctic landscape insights keep ice loss forecasts on the radar
    on November 20, 2017 at 5:09 pm

    New maps of a mountainous landscape under a key glacier in West Antarctica will be a valuable aid in forecasting sea level changes. […]

  • Added Arctic data shows global warming didn't pause
    on November 20, 2017 at 4:13 pm

    Missing Arctic temperature data, not Mother Nature, created the seeming slowdown of global warming from 1998 to 2012, according to a new study. […]