Ocean-science

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The Ocean Array Plan. Devised by 19yo Boyan Slat, this passive system, if installed, could clean up both The Great Pacific Garbage Patch & The North Atlantic Garbage Patch. Sort of like an anchored Roomba for the ocean…

Source: http://www.trueactivist.com/ingenious-19-year-old-develops-plan-to-clean-up-oceans-in-5-years/

Swimming crabs are characterized by the flattening of the fifth pair of legs into broad paddles, which are used for swimming. This ability, together with their strong, sharp claws, allows many species to be fast and aggressive predators.

Video

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Mars is now known as the planet who lost an ocean’s worth of water. According to new results published today, about 4 billion years ago a primitive ocean on Mars held more water than Earth’s Arctic Ocean. Above’s an artist’s impression showing how Mars may have looked.

An international team of scientists used European Southern Observatoy’s Very Large Telescope, along with instruments at the W. M. Keck Observatory and the NASA Infrared Telescope Facility, to monitor the atmosphere of the planet and map out the properties of the water in different parts of Mars’s atmosphere over a six-year period. read more here
illustration credit: ESO/M. Kornmesser/N. Risinger (skysurvey.org)

In Antarctica icebergs aren’t always monotone white, surprisingly they can appear striped too, making for a pretty view. Different colours can indicate different conditions including where the iceberg has been. Blue stripes indicate a layer of melt water was present that very quickly refroze not allowing any bubbles to form. Brown, black and yellow stripes can show that the iceberg has picked up various types of sediments during formation, which can take hundreds of thousands of years. A green stripe can form after the iceberg has broken off and come in contact with algae rich seawater.

-Matt J

Photo taken by Oyvind Tangen several 100km north of Antarctica

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With a tail that can be long as its body, the Thresher Shark attacks its prey with violent whip like motions.

This behaviour has been suspected by researchers, but only recently has it been caught on film. The tail is used to stun, maim or even kill the prey, with the shock-wave created by the momentum also stunning surrounding fish.

It is thought to be an evolutionary adaptation as these sharks hunt mainly smaller fish such as sardines. This makes the whip mechanism much more efficient at catching multiple fish with a single blow, as opposed to one fish at a time the shark would tend to catch with its jaws.

The tail was caught moving at up to 80 km/h, spontaneously heating and even boiling small areas of water near the very tip of the tail due to the extreme forces involved. 

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joshua lambus dives three to five miles out from hawaii’s big island at night, dropping about sixty feet below the surface, sans tether, with another ten thousand vertigo inducing feet below him, in order photograph these light sensitive pelagic animals.

in what is the largest migration of any group of animals on the planet, thousands of these creatures, who live in total darkness during the day, make their way to the surface at night, where they can absorb more oxygen or feed in the more nutrient dense waters.

though many of these species have never been seen before or identified, lambus considers the fourth photo to be his favourite, which, after three years of inquiry, he learned shows an octopus that has torn off the poisonous tentacles of a portugese man of war (featured here) so to ward off its own would be predators.

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Eerie, beautiful, captivating images of sea urchins mating and being born (that little triangle guy is a baby sea urchin).

These are a glimpse of how life begins in the deep ocean — and there’s a lot of life down there. The oceans provide about 190 times as much living space as every other space on Earth — soil, air and fresh water — put together. A vast array of amazing creatures live in the depths of this watery world. Squid, jellyfish, and plankton are just a few of our favorites (all shown as tiny babies in that last gif).

Learn more here »

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The Butterfly of the Sea

This is fish is called the Sea Robin, otherwise known as a Gurnard or The Butterfly of the Sea. This interesting fish is a bottom dweller. They have several sets of specialized fins, including some that allow the fish to swim and others that let it perch on the seafloor. It’s not related to flying fish, nor do they glide in air. The Sea Robin’s large pectoral fins are normally held against the body, but are spread out when threatened to put off predators.

source 1, 2, 3

Oceanic Black Holes Found in Southern Atlantic

Black holes are a tear in the fabric of space-time from which nothing escapes, not even light. They take on a mythic significance in popular culture as portals to alternate dimensions or grave threats to space travel. Astronomers are certain they exist out there in the universe, formed by the collapse of dead stars.

Now, physicists have found mathematical analogs to black holes here on Earth, specifically in the southern Atlantic Ocean where eddies whirl about. The work was posted to arXiv and reported first by the The Physics arXiv Blog.

The scientists describe the eddies using Edgar Allan Poe’s “A Descent into the Maelström”:

“The edge of the whirl was represented by a broad belt of gleaming spray; but no particle of this slipped into the mouth of the terrific funnel…”

That’s exactly how eddies look, the study says. A belt of spray encircles the whirlpool but the liquid does not fall in.

Similarly, black holes in space are encircled by photon (light) spheres, a region where the gravity is so strong (because of the density of the black hole) that it causes light to travel in an orbit. And there the photons remain, in precarious balance, neither falling into the hole or escaping. That’s similar to Poe’s description of the belt of spray around the Maelström.

And much like astronomical black holes, oceanic eddies exhibit singularity.

To locate these oceanic black holes, the scientists examined satellite images of the Agulhas Current in the Indian Ocean. The current travels along the east coast of Africa before turning back on itself in a loop. The loop occasionally pinches off and forms eddies that whirl off into the South Atlantic Ocean, remaining intact for more than three months.

The eddies are a coherent island of water in an otherwise turbulent ocean. As such, they “create moving oases for the marine food chain or even impact climate change through their long-range transport of salinity and temperature,” the study states. The eddies will capture any detritus floating nearby and swallow it, thereby transporting oil and garbage. And nothing within leaks out.

From Poe’s story again, a description of the his fictional Maelström:

“…whose interior, as far as the eye could fathom it, was a smooth, shining, and jet-black wall of water, inclined to the horizon at an angle of some forty-five degrees, speeding dizzily round and round with a swaying and sweltering motion, and sending forth to the winds an appalling voice, half shriek, half roar, such as not even the mighty cataract of Niagara ever lifts up in its agony to Heaven.”

via DNews

How ocean dust makes rain clouds

When storm clouds form over the ocean they’re drawing that moisture into the atmosphere to form clouds.  At that point it takes many water vapor molecules to freeze and bond with one another to fall from the sky, but how does this bonding process start?  

It begins with tiny particles of organic matter such as parts of cells of dead organisms that the water vapor can bond to (as ice). Scientists at UC San Diego now theorize that these particles get into the air from waves in the ocean crashing into one another.

However not all of these particles are organic.  For example, pollution particles can gather ice, but since they’re much smaller in size and reflective the ice tends to melt before it can get heavy enough to fall back to the ground. 

Read more about these particles here →

THE HIDDEN EVIL TWIN OF CLIMATE CHANGE

According to the results of a major new national survey published by the University, the majority of the British public has a very low awareness of the issue of ocean acidification, with around only one-in-five participants stating they had even heard of the issue.

The oceans are currently absorbing large quantities of the carbon dioxide which has been emitted into the atmosphere from human activities. This absorption of CO2 is leading to a reduction in the pH of seawater – termed ‘ocean acidification’. According to the recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, ocean acidification is the hidden face of increasing global carbon emissions and poses a future threat to a range of marine ecosystems and the societies which depend upon them.

Although many other aspects of global climate change are readily recognised by the general public, we know far less about how they view ocean acidification. Researchers from the School of Psychology have conducted the first comprehensive survey of the British public’s views on this topic, interviewing over 2,500 people across the country

Very low awareness of ocean acidification:

  1. Only around 1 in 5 participants state that they have even heard of ocean acidification. Among those who do say they have heard of it, levels of self-reported knowledge about the subject are very low.
  2. Additionally, we found no significant increase in levels of awareness following the Inter-governmental Panel (IPCC) scientific reports published in April 2014.

Some people do associate ocean acidification with climate change

  1. The term Ocean Acidification itself evokes associations with pollution and negative environmental consequences. A surprisingly large proportion of those surveyed (38%) also correctly attribute anthropogenic carbon emissions as the main cause of ocean acidification, though as many again (34%) perceived that it is caused by ‘pollution’ from shipping.
  2. Damage to coral reefs and consequences for marine organisms were correctly recognised by many as important consequences of ocean acidification.

Concern increases with knowledge. Distrust remains.

  1. While most people do not initially express concern about ocean acidification, once provided with some basic additional information a clear majority (64%) do then express concern about the subject.
  2. Half of those surveyed thought ocean acidification should be a fairly or very high priority for action by the British Government, although very few trust the Government to give correct information about the issue.
  • image provide by Upwell
  • more: PHYS
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Reaching sizes of at least 16 inches (40 cm), the Spanish Dancer is the largest nudibranch and one of the largest sea slugs on the planet.

Like most nudibranchs, the Spanish Dancer is brightly colored and does not blend in well with its surroundings. This bright coloration, similar to that of the poison dart frogs and many other species, serves as a warning to potential predators that the Spanish Dancer does not taste good and may even make a predator sick. Though this species spends most of its time crawling along the reef surface, it will swim when threatened, violently flapping its external gills and other appendages and displaying its brightest warning colors. This behavior reminded some observers of a flamenco dancer, earning the Spanish Dancer its common name.

via //photo 1: Mauritius100 //photo 2: manaphoto

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Ocean Wave Rainbows

When a beam of sunlight comes down to Earth, the light is white. But, if the light beam happens to hit raindrops (in the above scenario mist from the ocean waves) on the way down at a certain angle, the different colors that make up the beam separate so that we can see them — in the form of a rainbow.

The angle for each color of a rainbow is different, because the colors slow down at different speeds when they enter the raindrop. The light exits the raindrop in one color, depending on the angle it came in, so we see only one color coming from each raindrop.

Light at different angles coming through many raindrops form the rainbow that we see, in stripes of red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet.

Gif via humblegifs

Image: Ocean Rainbow

[Discovery Kids - Tell Me: How do rainbows form?]