Oceanography

Historical acid deposits have greatly reduced calcium levels in Canadian lakes and that is dramatically impacting populations of calcium-rich plankton such as Daphnia - water fleas that dominate these ecosystems. 


From 2000-2013 the global ocean surface temperature did not rise in spite of increasing greenhouse gas concentrations. This Global Warming Hiatus generated a lot of public and scientific interest and no small amount of skepticism about the accuracy of the numerical models created by climate scientists. But data is another matter entirely and as of April 2014 ocean warming has picked up speed again, according to a new analysis of ocean temperature datasets.  


Over a mile beneath the West African ocean, off the coast of Angola, are over 2,000 mounds of asphalt containing a wealth of deep-water creatures.

A paper in Deep-Sea Research 1 examined the images and data captured at the site to build an intriguing picture of the life and geology of this underwater area. The naturally-occurring asphalt mounds are made up of the same substance that covers our roads. They range in size from single football-sized blobs to small hills several hundred meters across.

Though he is glorified by modern science advocates, Galileo was wrong about a lot of things - for example, when his calculation that the tides only happened once a day and was at the same time was criticized, he launched into vitriolic attacks on both Kepler and math, though they both were clearly right and Galileo was clearly wrong, as every illiterate sailor knew.

For $27 Galileo could have been shown the errors of his ways. That is what Rachel MacTavish, a graduate student in the Department of Biology at Georgia Southern University, spent on buckets from a hardware store, aquarium tubing, and pumps in order to be able to replicate the tide.


Focus on greenhouse gases in the atmosphere has led to a lot of confusion among the public: bad storms are caused by global warming but a lack of warming is not.

There may be a reason things don't add up, according to a paper in Science. The circulation of the ocean plays an equally important role in regulating the earth's climate, it finds. In their study, the researchers say the major cooling of Earth and continental ice build-up in the Northern Hemisphere 2.7 million years ago coincided with a shift in the circulation of the ocean – which pulls in heat and carbon dioxide in the Atlantic and moves them through the deep ocean from north to south until it's released in the Pacific.


Though the continental United States hasn't had a major hurricane in almost 10 years, the rest of the world hasn't been so lucky. Japan just had a typhoon, India a cyclone, and, with Gonzalo, Bermuda is about to have its first major Atlantic hurricane in three years.

Hurricane Gonzalo has made the jump to major hurricane status and on
October
15th was a Category 4 storm on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale. NOAA's GOES-East satellite provided imagery of the storm. According to the National Hurricane Center, Gonzalo is the first category 4 hurricane in the Atlantic basin since Ophelia in 2011.


A new computer model has estimated ocean circulation during the last ice age, about 21,000 year ago, and believe that icebergs and meltwater from the North American ice sheet would have regularly reached South Carolina and even southern Florida.


Antarctic sea ice reached a new record high extent this year, covering more of the southern oceans than it has since scientists began a long-term satellite record to map sea ice extent in the late 1970s.

The Antarctic sea ice extent exceeded 7.72 million square miles (20 million square kilometers) for the first time since 1979, according to the National Snow and Ice Data Center. The ice extent stayed above this benchmark extent for several days. The average maximum extent between 1981 and 2010 was 7.23 million square miles (18.72 million square kilometers). 

Worth it for cheap cotton? Credit:so11e/flckr, CC BY-NC-ND

By Anson Mackay, University College London

The Aral Sea has reached a new low, literally and figuratively; new satellite images from NASA show that, for the first time in its recorded history, the largest basin has completely dried up.

Ice sheets were never simple. There is no magic knob that could be turned to optimize melting rates and movement, outside environmental press releases.

A new paper in Nature this week
shows that not only is meltwater not as simple as sometimes contended, we don't even know what we don't know. Observations of moulins (vertical conduits connecting water on top of the glacier down to the bed of the ice sheet) and boreholes in Greenland show that subglacial channels ameliorate the speedup caused by water delivery to the base of the ice sheet in the short term.