Taxonomy term

oceanography

Elemental Traces in the Atlantic: An encouraging start, an inauspicious end

Follow my blog at EARTH online, "Elemental Traces in the Atlantic," over the next couple of months, where I’ll be writing from the ship and detailing the scientific journey. And stay tuned early next year, when EARTH and I will bring you a wrap-up of the cruise. Read the original story here.
03 Nov 2010

Elemental Traces in the Atlantic: The art of clean sampling

Follow my blog at EARTH online, "Elemental Traces in the Atlantic," over the next couple of months, where I’ll be writing from the ship and detailing the scientific journey. And stay tuned early next year, when EARTH and I will bring you a wrap-up of the cruise. Read the original story here.

Think of the cleanest, most meticulous person you know and multiply that attention to detail by about an order of magnitude. That’s what it takes to be considered trace-metal “clean.”

27 Oct 2010

Cruising the Atlantic to trace elemental movements

When it comes to the science of climate change, one of the least understood issues is the oceans’ future in a changing global environment. Measurements over the past two decades show that the oceans’ surface waters have been warming since the 1950s, and that large influxes of carbon dioxide have already made the oceans more acidic.

20 Oct 2010

Water Wise: An oil plume at depth, and NOAA vs. the White House

There is definitely a deep plume of oil in the Gulf of Mexico, and it was definitely produced by BP’s damaged Macondo well, according to a report published today in Science. Scientists from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) in Massachusetts reported unequivocal evidence of a plume at a depth of about 1,100 meters that was at least 35 kilometers long, as of the end of June. The plume, they said, was traveling to the southwest, largely driven by the topography of the seafloor.

20 Aug 2010

Water Wise: Where will the oil spilled in the Gulf go?

It’s been about eight weeks since an explosion on the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig damaged a wellhead in the Gulf of Mexico and triggered the onset of the largest offshore oil spill in U.S. history, with oil washing up on shores from Louisiana to northwestern Florida.

14 Jun 2010

Shell-shocked: How different creatures deal with an acidifying ocean

To survive in the ocean, soft-bodied organisms must possess one of five traits: big teeth, toxic flesh, invisibility, quickness or a hard shell. Most marine organisms that employ the latter, called calcifiers, build their hard shells from the mineral calcium carbonate. However, increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide levels are making the oceans more acidic — which, in turn, is reducing the concentration of carbonate ions dissolved in seawater that organisms use to build their protective shells and skeletons.

10 Mar 2010

Voyage to the plastic vortex

Out in the middle of the northern Pacific Ocean, a giant floating mess of plastic debris is drifting and bobbing among the waves. Scientists call this expanse of litter, which stretches for hundreds of kilometers across open sea, the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. But before last summer, there was little information about how large the patch really is, what types of debris are out there and what kind of impact it is having on ocean life.

03 Sep 2009

Danger in the Deep: Chemical weapons lie off our coasts

Flash back to 1944: It’s a misty Hawaiian morning and a military vessel carries a nervous crew and deadly cargo from Pearl Harbor into the Pacific. The crew’s instructions are clear: Travel eight kilometers out to sea and dump tons of unused chemical weapons that are piled on deck. As the ship reaches the open ocean, the captain slows the vessel and sailors start pushing their lethal freight into the water. During the next half-hour, several thousand chemical bombs go overboard and into the abyss.

27 Jan 2009

Underwater basalt formation looks like a city wall

Blogging on EARTH

The concept of sunken, undersea cities has long been present in almost every society, especially in the form of myths such as Atlantis. And now a recent discovery in the Taiwan Strait yields video of a geologic formation that resembles an ancient city wall.

Jeng Ming-hsiou, a biodiversity researcher and professor at the Academia Sinica in Taipei, Taiwan, discovered the formation. It is 200 meters long and 10 meters high and resembles tightly-packed pillars. He said it is basaltic and probably formed from a volcanic eruption around 1,800 years ago.

05 Jan 2009

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