Posted on April 24, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Seismic airgun blasting, naval warfare training are key sources of harmful ocean noise pollution
FRISCO — With ever more offshore oil and gas exploration proposed, conservation advocates have been warning that the cumulative effects of those activities will take a huge toll on dolphins, whales and other marine life.
Of particular concern are plans to ramp up seismic underwater airgun blasting, used in the search for oil and gas deposits beneath the seafloor. Federal officials recently adopted a final proposal that would allow the use of this controversial technology in an area twice the size of California, stretching from Delaware to Florida. Continue reading
Filed under: endangered species, Environment, gas drilling, Marine biology, ocean conservation, oil drilling | Tagged: dolphins, marine mammals, Noise pollution, ocean noise, oceans, seismic airgun blasting | Leave a comment »
Posted on April 5, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
‘We humans have to think carefully about the planet we are leaving for future generations’
Using driftwood logs as paddles, local fishermen head out to set nets along the northern coast of Jamaica. @bberwyn photo.
FRISCO — It may take oceans thousands of years to recover from global warming impacts, California-based scientists said after study a seafloor sediment core sample that tracked the impacts of ancient climate upheavals.
The study, led by scientists with the UC Davis Bodega Marine Laboratory and Coastal and Marine Sciences Institute, looked at more than 5,400 invertebrate fossils, from sea urchins to clams, in a 30-foot sediment core from offshore Santa Barbara, California.
The core sample documents changes in the ocean ecosystem between 3,400 and 16,100 years ago, during the last major deglaciation, which was a time of abrupt climate warming, melting polar ice caps, and expansion of low oxygen zones in the ocean. Continue reading
Filed under: climate and weather, Environment, global warming, Marine biology, ocean conservation | Tagged: climate change, Environment, global warming, ocean dead zones, oceans | Leave a comment »
Posted on March 27, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
CU-Boulder scientists study document decline of calcification rates in marine organisms around Antarctica
The Southern Ocean may lose its ability to function as a carbon sink. bberwyn photo.
*More Summit Voice stories on ocean acidification
FRISCO — The steady increase of atmospheric carbon dioxide is already causing large-scale shifts in the ocean carbon cycle, according to University of Colorado, Boulder scientists, who calculated the calcification rate of marine organisms in the Southern Ocean.
According to the scientists there has been a 24 percent decline in the amount of calcium carbonate produced in large areas of the Southern Ocean over the past 17 years. Continue reading
Filed under: climate and weather, Environment, global warming, Marine biology, ocean conservation | Tagged: carbon dioxide, CO2, global warming, greenhouse gases, ocean acidification, phytoplankton, Southern Ocean | Leave a comment »
Posted on March 22, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Federal biologists proposal to revamp endangered species listing recognizes conservation progress and allows for more site-specific management
A green sea turtle swims near the seafloor of the Pacific. Photo courtesy Andy Bruckner/NOAA.
* More Summit Voice stories about sea turtles
FRISCO — Conservation and recovery efforts under the Endangered Species Act have helped green sea turtles around Florida and Mexico’s Pacific Coast recover to the point that federal biologists have proposed downlisting the species from endangered to threatened. Continue reading
Filed under: biodiversity, endangered species, Environment, Marine biology, ocean conservation | Tagged: biodiversity, endangered species, Environment, green sea turtles | Leave a comment »
Posted on March 21, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
New data will help shape conservation efforts in the waters around Antarctica
Australian and New Zealand researchers have tracked blue whales across thousands of miles in the Southern Ocean to help inform conservation efforts. Photo courtesy NOAA.
FRISCO — As a keystone species in marine ecosystems, blue whales have a significant impact in the ocean around Antarctica, but the population dynamics of the species in the region are still a mystery as the marine mammals recover from the decimation of the whaling era.
That may change following the recent six-week Australia-New Zealand Antarctic Ecosystem Voyage voyage, as researchers tracked the world’s largest creatures across thousands of miles of ocean, detecting their songs from as far as 750 kilometers away. Continue reading
Filed under: Antarctica, biodiversity, Environment, Marine biology, ocean conservation | Tagged: Antarctica, biodiversity, blue whales, marine mammals, Ross Sea, Southern Ocean | Leave a comment »
Posted on March 17, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Many sea lion pups in California’s Channel Islands are underweight and are washing up on beaches starving are dead. Biologists suspect unusually warm ocean conditions are reducing marine productivity, causing female sea lions to struggle to find sufficient food to nurse the pups. Photo courtesy NOAA.
‘We are seeing unprecedented changes in the environment …’
FRISCO — California’s extended drought is at least partially driven by unusually warm ocean temperatures in the eastern Pacific, and that warming is also have a huge impact on the ocean itself.
“We’re seeing some major environmental shifts taking place that could affect the ecosystem for years to come,” said John Stein, director of NOAA’s Northwest Fisheries Science Center. “We need to understand and consider their implications across the ecosystem, which includes communities and people.”
The shift in large-scale climate patterns is pushing the waters off the West Coast toward warmer and less productive conditions that may affect marine species from seabirds to salmon, according to the 2015 State of the California Current Report delivered to the Pacific Fishery Management Council. Continue reading
Filed under: climate and weather, Environment, global warming, Marine biology, ocean conservation | Tagged: California Current, climate change, Pacific Ocean warming, West Coast | 1 Comment »