ENVIRONMENTALISTS TIE TRUMP’S HANDS ON DEEP-SEA MINING...

Dec 2, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] A federal court settlement requires the government to assess the impact of strip-mining the ocean floor before issuing exploration permits to companies. (Photo: Reinhard Dirscherl/ullstein bild via Getty Images) TAKE PART David Kirby has been a professional journalist for 25 years. His third book, Death at Seaworld, was published in 2012. Donald Trump is still seven weeks away from taking office, but when it comes to permitting the controversial practice of deep-sea mining, the incoming administration’s hands are already tied. On Wednesday, the Center for Biological Diversity announced it has settled a federal court lawsuit against the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and its parent agency, the U.S. Department of Commerce, in a move that will compel federal officials to conduct in-depth assessments of the risks to wildlife and underwater ecosystems before issuing...

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BREAKING: Obama administration blocks oil drilling in the Arctic Ocean and off the Atlantic coast...

Nov 18, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] Samantha Page Climate Reporter at @ThinkProgress. The new five-year plan protects parts of U.S. oceans until 2022. Rig Supervisor Rod Klepzig stands on the drill rig overlooking construction materials on Oooguruk Island off of the coast of Alaska’s North Slope. The six-acre island was built by Pioneer Natural Resources so it could drill for oil on the Arctic Ocean. CREDIT: AP Photo/Steve Quinn The Obama administration finalized its plans for offshore drilling on Friday, protecting much of the Arctic Ocean and all of the Atlantic coast, but staying the course on Gulf of Mexico drilling. Environmentalists applauded the new five-year plan from the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM), which covers offshore leasing from 2017 to 2022 and is slightly stronger than its draft iterations. The Chukchi and Beaufort seas off Alaska have been...

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US MILITARY PLANS TO DUMP 20,000 TONS OF HEAVY METALS AND EXPLOSIVES INTO THE OCEANS...

Nov 15, 2016 Posted by

[Translate]   By Dahr Jamail, Truthout | Report US Navy forces engage in maneuver training in the Philippine Sea, November 28, 2013. The massive amount of heavy metals and highly toxic compounds the Navy introduces into the environment will not be cleaned up by the Navy, nor will the Navy contribute to medical tests for people whose health may suffer. (Photo: Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Ricardo R. Guzman / US Navy) The US Navy has been conducting war-game exercises in US waters for decades, and in the process, it has left behind tons of bombs, heavy metals, missiles, sonar buoys, high explosives and depleted uranium munitions that are extremely harmful to both humans and marine life. Truthout recently reported that the Navy has admitted to releasing chemicals into the oceans that are known...

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MESMERIZING ABYSS HORIZON TABLE RECREATES THE OCEAN’S DRAMATIC DEPTHS...

Sep 29, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] by Lucy Wang  INHABITAT View Slideshow You’ve heard of getting lost in a good book, but can you say the same about a table? British design brand Duffy London is back with yet another mesmerizing creation that invites viewers to lose themselves in its ocean chasm-like depths. The Abyss Horizon table, the latest in Duffy London’s Abyss table series, mimics the ocean depths with crystal clear glass layers and sustainably sourced wood. Unlike Duffy London’s previous iterations, the Abyss Horizon is circular rather than rectangular. This table, in addition to being a striking conversation starter, is made to order and handcrafted by local artisans and in-house craftsmen. The layers of cut glass create the illusion of a bottomless sinkhole in the center of a table. The light-colored wood that surfaces at the top...

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HOW DIGITAL TRACKING OF ROGUE FISHING CAN SAFEGUARD VAST OCEAN RESERVES...

Sep 16, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] Dot Earth – New York Times blog By Andrew C. Revkin In 2015, a Taiwanese-owned fishing vessel agreed to pay $2 million in fines and fees after the Global Fishing Watch system identified fishing patterns (the knotty track) in its movements in a marine protected area in the Republic of Kiribati. In 2015, a Taiwanese-owned fishing vessel agreed to pay $2 million in fines and fees after the Global Fishing Watch system identified fishing patterns (the knotty track) in its movements in a marine protected area in the Republic of Kiribati.Credit Globalfishingwatch.org Photo The Sheng Chi Huei 12, a Taiwanese fishing vessel. The Sheng Chi Huei 12, a Taiwanese fishing vessel.Credit Benjamin Lowy/Reportage, for The New York Times The capacity to use digital tools to rein in illegal fishing in distant oceans got...

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HOW TO STOP CAPITALISM’S DEADLY WAR WITH NATURE...

Sep 14, 2016 Posted by

[Translate]   By Paul Street  TRUTHDIG   So far, 2016 is the hottest year on record. So was 2015. So was 2014. (John McColgan / U.S. Department of Agriculture) Earth scientists now know that the history of our planet has been set for some time in our current geological age, the Anthropocene. According to leading experts Will Steffen, Paul Crutzen and John McNeill, in this era, “human activities have become so pervasive and profound that they rival the great forces of Nature and are pushing the earth into planetary terra incognita. The Earth is rapidly moving into a less biologically diverse, less forested, much warmer, and probably wetter and stormier era.” We are living in a “no-analogue state” in which “the Earth system has recently moved well outside the range of natural variability.” The...

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Giant Coral Reef in Protected Area Shows New Signs of Life...

Aug 15, 2016 Posted by

[Translate]   By KAREN WEINTRAUB   nytimes Photo A giant clam in the Phoenix Islands Protected Area. Credit Craig Cook/Undersea Medical In 2003, researchers declared Coral Castles dead. On the floor of a remote island lagoon halfway between Hawaii and Fiji, the giant reef site had been devastated by unusually warm water. Its remains looked like a pile of drab dinner plates tossed into the sea. Research dives in 2009 and 2012 had shown little improvement in the coral colonies. Then in 2015, a team of marine biologists was stunned and overjoyed to find Coral Castles, genus Acropora, once again teeming with life. But the rebound came with a big question: Could the enormous and presumably still fragile coral survive what would be the hottest year on record? This month, the Massachusetts-based research team finished...

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ARE WE LOOKING AT A MASS EXTINCTION EVENT...

Aug 7, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] If you or someone you know needs proof that global climate change is real and is happening before our very eyes, you could go to the “State of the Climate Report” put together by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). But just turning on the television or opening the newspaper these days should be enough to raise alarms. Over the weekend for instance, Ellicott City, just up the road in Maryland, was nearly washed away in a 1000-year flooding event similar to what recently happened in West Virginia. Across the world, more than 150 people were killed in floods in India and 1.1 million more Indians were displaced in flooding that wiped out large swatches of infrastructure and agricultural land. Out in the Western United States, firefighters north of Los Angeles were...

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Flesh-eating bacteria scare along Gulf Coast has locals on alert...

Jul 5, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] Mississippi Infections from Vibrio vulnificus are rare and there is no official tracking of cases – but some people have started to cobble together their own ideas Beachgoers take to the Gulf’s shores for a long holiday weekend in Orange Beach, Alabama. Photograph: Brynn Anderson/AP Matthew Teague THE GUARDIAN   At the peak of the summer vacation season, a flesh-eating bacteria has infected the shores of the Gulf Coast. Brain-eating amoeba forces closure at North Carolina waterpark after death From Texas to Florida, the water-borne bug – a strain called a Vibrio vulnificus – has spooked locals and tourists in the way shark attacks do: infections are rare, but when they strike, the victim is likely to lose a limb or die. There is no central authority tracking cases – states are not...

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‘Guacamole-Thick’ Algae Takes Over Florida’s Atlantic Coast, 4 Counties Declare State of Emergency...

Jul 2, 2016 Posted by

[Translate]   Environment Residents have described the foul-smelling algae as “god-awful” and “a festering infected creepy mess.” By Lorraine Chow / EcoWatch  VIA ALTERNET Photo Credit: instagram @ocean_allison Waterways and beaches along Florida’s Atlantic coast have been taken over by thick, blue-green algae blooms, prompting Florida Gov. Rick Scott to declare local states of emergency in St. Lucie, Martin, Palm Beach and Lee counties. Residents have described the foul-smelling algae as “guacamole-thick,” “god-awful” and “a festering infected creepy mess.” One resident has complained of health problems, telling Reuters, “It is affecting all of us as far as red eyes, runny nose and the ‘in the throat’ feeling.” Foul smelling green algae blooms have invaded Florida’s waterways. #green #algae #Florida #treasurecoast #algaebloom #treasurecoast A photo posted by Carbonated.TV (@carbonated.tv) on Jul 1, 2016 at 6:04am PDT “It’s heartbreaking...

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CAN THESE INVENTIONS SAVE OCEANS FROM OUR PLASTIC HABIT?...

Jun 28, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] (Photo: Christopher Furlong/Getty Images) As an environmental catastrophe looms, innovators around the world are hoping to turn the tide. Taylor Hill is an associate editor at TakePart covering environment and wildlife. NEWPORT BEACH, California—As a lifelong surfer, Louis Pazos has had an up-close look at the world’s plastics problem. Just about every time he has paddled out at any of his favorite breaks in Southern California, he has ended up swimming among trash bags and other rubbish. But the floating garbage isn’t just offshore. Twenty years ago, on a lunch date at a waterfront restaurant with his wife, he noticed that the same debris he was swimming with in the open ocean was floating in the local harbors as well. “I remember people cleaning up the trash in one spot in the marina,...

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DUCKS ARE SHOWING US HOW THE PACIFIC OCEAN IS CHANGING...

Jun 20, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] 16 By Tim Radford / Climate News Network   VIA TRUTHDIG     A spectacled eider duck in flight off the coast of Alaska. (Dominic Sherony via Flickr) This piece first appeared at Climate News Network. LONDON—Climate change may be starting to affect the marine ecosystems in the coldest parts of the North Pacific and the Arctic Circle. And the people who can monitor what’s happening are ornithologists. They watch what the eider ducks—truly ducks, but sea-going—do in the moulting season. Since the ducks need to feed, and the late summer moult is stressful, where they choose to float in the water is as good a guide as any to where the molluscs are. Matt Sexson, a wildlife biologist at the US Geological Survey’s Alaska Science Centre, and colleagues report in The Condor: Ornithological...

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LAST OIL COMPANY PULLS OUT OF ARCTIC OFFSHORE DRILLING EFFORTS IN CHUKCHI SEA...

Jun 13, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] by Ryan Koronowski CLIMATE PROGRESS CREDIT: Shutterstock The Pacific Walrus calls the Chukchi and Bering Seas home.   It’s often hard to find good news when it comes to the world’s oceans. Overfishing, coral bleaching, dead zones, acidification, pollution, oil spills, melting sea ice, sea level rise, the odd Cold War-era Russian rocket crashing into Baffin Bay with some leftover toxic fuel in the tank: There are as many marine bad news stories as there used to be fish in the overfished sea. So on World Oceans Day a bit of positive news is a breath of fresh air — or gill-full of clean water. Repsol, a Spanish oil company which owned a significant portion of the drilling leases for Alaska’s Chukchi Sea, abandoned 55 of them last week and plans to drop...

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8 Republicans Just Joined House Democrats To Oppose This Dangerous Offshore Testing...

Jun 13, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] by Samantha Page CLIMATE PROGRESS CREDIT: AP Photo/Bruce Smith, File In this 2014 photo, a fisherman tries his luck on the pier at Folly Beach, near Charleston, S.C. Seismic testing would disrupt fish populations in the area.   Environmentalists rejoiced when the Obama administration’s five-year plan for ocean management cut out the possibility of offshore drilling in the Atlantic — but the fight is not over. Now, lawmakers are urging the president not to allow seismic testing in the region. Seismic testing is used to find oil and gas reserves by bouncing loud blasts of sound off the ocean floor. Airguns get towed behind ships, using dynamite-like blasts to produce sound waves 100,000 times louder than a jet engine underwater every ten seconds. It has been shown to damage populations of fish, mammals,...

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THE UNSEEN SLAUGHTER UNDER THE SEA...

Jun 12, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] The Unseen Slaughter Under the Sea Ocean Defenders Alliance is on a mission to stop abandoned “ghost nets” from killing dolphins, sea turtles, and millions of other marine animals. Taylor Hill is an associate editor at TakePart covering environment and wildlife. LOS ANGELES—As we set off for our destination off the Southern California coast, Captain Rex Levi weaves Mr. Barker’s LegaSea, a 55-foot Chris Craft yacht, between the massive cargo ships plying Los Angeles Harbor. The dockworkers’ strike of the past winter is over but still reverberates at sea as the behemoths queue 35 deep, waiting their turn to offload cars, clothes, and other merchandise at the Port of Los Angeles. Mr. Barker’s LegaSea belongs to environmental group Ocean Defenders Alliance and is named for Bob Barker, the game-show host and animal rights...

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VIDEO AIMS TO INSPIRE A NEW GENERATION OF OCEAN ACTIVISTS...

Jun 12, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] Joel Harper turns his children’s book, ‘All the Way to the Ocean,’ into a movie with the help of some high-profile friends. (Courtesy Joel Harper) Todd Woody is TakePart’s editorial director, environment.   Today is World Oceans Day, and author and activist Joel Harper is using the occasion to unveil an animated video based on his popular children’s book, All the Way to the Ocean. The book and video, which is available for download, tell the story of two skateboarding boys, Isaac and James, who journey from the city to the coast to learn how throwing trash down urban storm drains harms the ocean and wildlife. Encountering a talking crane, a surfer, and other characters, the boys are inspired to take action at their school to stop ocean pollution. Marcia Cross volunteered to...

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SCIENTISTS CONCLUDE OCTUPUS DNA IS NOT FROM THIS WORLD...

Jun 11, 2016 Posted by

[Translate]  JOURNAL NATURE A new study has led researchers to conclude that Octopuses (NOT Octopi) have Alien DNA. Their genome shows a never-before-seen level of complexity with a staggering 33,000 protein-coding genes identified, more than in a human being.   The oceans of our planet hide countless mysteries that could perhaps help answer numerous mysteries of life itself. During the last couple of decades, marine biologists have made small but steady progress towards a deeper understanding of nature and life. A group of researchers decided to do some science and chose the cephalopods in order to try and break down their DNA code, hoping to understand them better. The octopus, squid, and cuttlefish are integrated into the coleoid sub-class of the molluscs. They have an evolutionary history that goes back over 500 million years,...

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MORE DREDGING NEAR FLORIDA’S ENDANGERED CORALS COULD SPELL DISASTER...

Jun 3, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] TAKE PART DAILY Conservation groups are demanding federal officials reevaluate a plan to expand a shipping port near threatened coral reef species. Schooling Atlantic spadefish over a reef just offshore of Fort Lauderdale, Florida. (Photo: Mauricio Handler/Getty Images) David Kirby has been a professional journalist for 25 years. His third book, Death at Seaworld, was published in 2012.   A proposed dredging project to expand a port in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, will wreak havoc on threatened coral species, much like the damage caused by a similar expansion at the port of Miami last year, a coalition of environmental and recreational groups claim. On Tuesday, Miami Waterkeeper, the Center for Biological Diversity, the Florida Wildlife Federation, and Sea Experience—a Fort Lauderdale diving and tour operator—wrote to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which is...

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THE NUMBER ONE THING WE CAN DO TO PROTECT EARTH’S OCEANS...

May 31, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] Environment Strict agreements and governance over our bodies of water is the only way to conserve them for years to come. By Liza Gross  BILL MOYERS  & CO. Scientists know how to cure many of the ills plaguing ocean waters farther than 200 nautical miles from shore, beyond the jurisdiction of nations. Restricting fishing, shipping and deep seabed mining in biodiversity hot spots would go a long way toward restoring ocean health, they say. (Photo by Stephen Coates/AFP/Getty Images) This post originally appeared at Ensia.com. When New England fishers complained of working harder and harder to catch fewer and fewer fish, Spencer Baird assembled a scientific team to investigate. Though a fishery failure would once have seemed inconceivable, Baird wrote in his report, “an alarming decrease of the shore fisheries has been thoroughly...

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THE WORLD’S LARGEST CRUISE SHIP AND ITS SUPERSIZED POLLUTION PROBLEM...

May 24, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] THE GUARDIAN As Harmony of the Seas sets sail from Southampton docks on Sunday she will leave behind a trail of pollution – a toxic problem that is growing as the cruise industry and its ships get ever bigger At full power the Harmony of the Seas’ two 16-cylinder engines would each burn 1,377 US gallons an hour of some of the most polluting diesel fuel in the world. Photograph: Peter Nicholls/Reuters John Vidal   When the gargantuan Harmony of the Seas slips out of Southampton docks on Sunday afternoon on its first commercial voyage, the 16-deck-high floating city will switch off its auxiliary engines, fire up its three giant diesels and head to the open sea. But while the 6,780 passengers and 2,100 crew on the largest cruise ship in the world...

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How the Sea Gets Its Smell—and Why It’s Important...

May 21, 2016 Posted by

[Translate]   Environment The ‘smell of the sea’ could play an important role in reducing the effects of climate change. By Ian Johnston / The Independent   VIA ALTERNET Beautiful blue sea, ocean, water and white puffy clouds. California Central Coast. Photo Credit: randy andy/Shutterstock Scientists have discovered just how the “smell of the sea” is produced by a tiny marine organism that is playing a major role in the fight against climate change. The microbes are so small that about half a million of them can be found in just a teaspoon of seawater. But they are also so numerous – they are among the most abundant forms of life – that they appear have a significant effect on the Earth’s climate. Writing in Nature Microbiology, scientists from the UK, US and China said that the microbe, called Pelagibacterales, were...

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DEAD ZONES DEVOUR OCEAN’S OXYGEN...

May 4, 2016 Posted by

[Translate]   By Tim Radford / Climate News Network   VIA TRUTHDIG     Extremes of heat deprive fish of the oxygen they need to survive near the ocean surface. (Naren Gunasekera via Flickr) This piece first appeared at Climate News Network. LONDON—Scientists in the US have identified a new hazard in a world in which the climates change and the oceans warm: measurable stretches of the seas could become sapped of oxygen. They say that parts of the southern Indian Ocean, the eastern tropical Pacific and the Atlantic are already less oxygen-rich because of global warming. And oxygen deprivation could become increasingly widespread across large regions of ocean between 2030 and 2040. Anyone who has ever kept a home aquarium knows that, in the summer, the fish in the tank are more likely to...

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CLIMATE CHANGE IS DRIVING OCEAN OXYGEN LEVELS DOWN, AND THAT’S A BIG PROBLEM FOR MARINE ECOSYSTEMS...

Apr 30, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] BY KATIE VALENTINE – CLIMATE PROGRESS CREDIT: shutterstock   Scientists know that climate change is slowly robbing the oceans of their oxygen, but historically, it’s been hard to differentiate oxygen loss that’s due to natural ocean cycles and warming-driven loss. Now, a new study predicts that within the next 15 to 25 years, warming-caused oxygen loss will be detectable across the worlds’ oceans. The study, published in Global Biogeochemical Cycles, used modelling to determine that, between 2030 and 2040, warming-caused oxygen loss will be severe enough — and data will be comprehensive enough — for scientists to see what parts of the ocean are being affected by human-caused deoxygenation. “Oxygen varies naturally in the ocean quite substantially,” Matthew Long, lead author of the study and scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research....

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U.S.-CANADA PACT ERASES ARCTIC FEARS...

Apr 22, 2016 Posted by

[Translate]   By Valerie Brown / Climate News Network  VIA TRUTHDIG   The Trans-Alaska pipeline runs 800 miles from the Arctic Ocean to the Gulf of Alaska. (Luca Galuzzi via Wikimedia Commons) This piece first appeared at Climate News Network. OREGON—A joint pledge by the US and Canada to reduce methane emissions for oil and gas activities in the Arctic and limit fossil fuel extraction is putting pressure on Russia to follow suit. The pledge was in response to increasing concern across the world at the intention of the eight nations with territorial claims in the Arctic to exploit its resources, even though this risks making climate change far worse. At the poles, the Earth is warming twice as fast as the global average. In the Arctic, this is disrupting the way of life...

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SIGNS OF THE ‘HUMAN AGE’...

Apr 18, 2016 Posted by

[Translate]   By NICHOLAS ST. FLEUR  NYTDOT   Welcome to the “Anthropocene” — a new epoch in our planet’s 4.5 billion year history. Thanks to the colossal changes humans have made since the mid-20th century, Earth has now entered a distinct age from the Holocene epoch, which started 11,700 years ago as the ice age thawed. That’s according to an argument made by a team of scientists from the Anthropocene Working Group. Scientists say an epoch ends following an event – like the asteroid that demolished the dinosaurs and ended the late Cretaceous Epoch 66 million years ago – that altered the underlying rock and sedimentary layers so significantly that its remnants can be observed across the globe. In a paper published Thursday in Science, the researchers presented evidence for why they think mankind’s...

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Infographic: How Ocean Pollution Impacts Marine Life—and All of Us...

Apr 12, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] Environment Much of the plastic we produce ends up in the ocean, where it kills fish, sea turtles and marine mammals. By Torben Lonne / AlterNet Environmental Pollution – A discarded white plastic bags drifts over a tropical coral reef Photo Credit: Richard Whitcombe/Shutterstock The world’s oceans are a magical, diverse and abundant ecosystem that mankind needs in order to survive. The oceans cover over 72 percent of the planet’s surface, provide over 97 percent of the world’s water supply and over 70 percent of the oxygen we breathe. We have so much to thank the oceans for; however, they are threatened daily by natural and manmade pollution. Ocean pollution comes in many forms, but the largest factor affecting the oceans is plastic. Over the last decade, we have produced more plastic than...

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SHRIMP SOUND OCEAN ACIDITY ALARM...

Apr 7, 2016 Posted by

[Translate]   By Tim Radford / Climate News Network  VIA TRUTHDIG     The snapping shrimp is the noisiest marine creature in coastal ecosystems. (Tullio Ross/University of Adelaide) This piece first appeared at Climate News Network. LONDON—The slow change in water chemistry as more and more atmospheric carbon dioxide dissolves in the sea and causes acidification could make the oceans much less noisy and slow the growth of life at the sea’s margins. In one study, Australian scientists warn that as the acidity levels grow, the snapping shrimp may grow ever quieter. And in another study, Californian scientists have tested the water chemistry in coastal rock pools and discovered that they become most corrosive at night. The snapping shrimp is the loudest invertebrate in the ocean. It forms bubbles in its snapping claw and...

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THE ICY FIRE BENEATH NORWAY’S SEABED...

Apr 6, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] HUFFINGTON POST   Randall Hyman Arctic Deeply Randall Hyman Marine biologist Peter Linke, GEOMAR engineers and deckhands guide a specially-designed lander (commissioned by Norway’s Centre for Arctic Gas Hydrate, Environment and Climate (CAGE)) over the edge of RV Helmer Hanssen to begin a one-year seafloor mission monitoring marine methane off west coast of Spitsbergen, Svalbard archipelago, Norway. Trapped by deep ocean pressure and cold temperatures along continental shelves, methane hydrates could be an energy windfall or a looming disaster. Norway is spending millions to discover whether this ice-like form of natural gas will prove boon or bane. The landers lashed to the aft deck of the R/V Helmer Hanssen held firm as waves crashed into the ship. The two golf-cart-sized crafts, stocked with scientific instruments, appeared ready for planetary exploration, but in a...

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NOT A FISH TALE: HUMANS ARE INGESTING PLASTIC THANKS TO OCEAN POLLUTION...

Mar 21, 2016 Posted by

[Translate]   By Dahr Jamail, Truthout | Report (Photo: Plastic Bag via Shutterstock; Edited: LW / TO) Humans generate more than 300 million tons of plastic annually — an amount equal to the combined body weight of the entire global adult human population — and nearly half of the plastic is only used one time before it is tossed away to eventually find its way to the oceans. So it should come as little surprise that by 2050, it is a virtual certainty that every seabird on the planet will have plastic in its stomach. Recent estimates indicate that upwards of 8 million tons of plastic are added to the planet’s oceans every year, the equivalent of a dump truck full of plastic every minute. That is enough plastic to have led one scientist...

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