Have the Oceans Had Enough? Largest Carbon Sink May Be Slowing Down

More than half of the CO2 emitted by human activities each year are taken up by natural carbon sinks, on land and in the ocean. However, recent studies suggest that anthropogenic emissions may be outpacing the ocean’s ability to take up CO2.
Le Quéré et al. (2009) constructed a global CO2 budget for 1959 – 2008 [...]

Altering the Abyss: Deep-Sea Ecosystems Affected By Climate Change

The abyssal plains, regions of the ocean below 2000 meters, cover 60% of the Earth’s surface. Scientists have long believed that the ecosystems located at these depths are relatively isolated and stable, immune to the dramatic changes rocking shallower ocean regions due to global warming. However, a recent paper* by Ken Smith, a marine ecologist [...]

Climate Change Impacts Oceans and Marine Life

Oceans cover 71% of the planet’s surface. They make up about 300 times more habitat (by volume) contribute 46% of global primary production and house far more biodiversity and biomass than terrestrial habitats. The oceans are also huge reservoirs for nutrients and gases, including CO2, and ocean currents redistribute heat around the planet, impacting atmospheric [...]

Global Warming Warps Marine Food Webs

(I’m working hard on my fiction writing so I’m taking a bit of a break from the blog. Just another few days and then I’ll be back with more original content, promise! For now, here’s an interesting story reposted from ScienceNOW Daily News)
By Erik Stokstad
ScienceNOW Daily News
26 August 2009
Teasing apart the complex ways in which [...]

Global Warming Bubbles up from the Deep

European scientists have discovered more than 250 plumes of methane (CH4) gas bubbles rising from the seabed of the West Spitsbergen continental margin in the Arctic, at a depth of 150 to 400 meters. The warming of Arctic currents by 1° over the last 30 years has triggered the release of methane, a potent [...]

A Life-sized Experience of the Most Awesome Creature on Earth

As we head into the weekend, I will leave you with this amazing Internet experience. The Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society
have given the world the opportunity to get up close and personal with the largest creature to ever live: the blue whale. Gaze in wonder at this incredible creature, while soothing water bubbles in the [...]

Ocean acidification: the “other carbon problem” – now at a theater near you!

Since the beginning of the industrial revolution, the oceans have acted as a big sink, absorbing 30% of the CO2 that has been pumped into the atmosphere at a rate of 22 million tons a day. That would seem like good news; less atmospheric CO2 means less warming. But there’s a catch: the CO2 doesn’t [...]

The most isolated places on Earth

Freshman year, in Dr. “Kip” Herreid’s Evolutionary Biology class, I was given the assignment of reading and summarizing a scientific paper. These days, I review a dozen or more a week, but at that time I had never read an actual peer-reviewed research paper. The one I chose was on the subject of hydrothermal vent [...]