tagged w/ Ocean
You may always wonder how this little skinny black men in the skiffs out in the ocean get their massive ransom, and how they retrieve it safely so often. Well, let’s take a closer look and break down each of the major segments of the ransom retrieval phase. http://www.makeahistory.com/index.php/bizzareweird/43068-xxYou may always wonder how this little skinny black men in the skiffs out in the ocean... more
Australia’s Great Barrier Reef is the largest natural coral formation on Earth filled with beautiful and intriguing sea creatures that you’ll soon be able to see it in all its glory — from the comfort of your desk.
The Catlin Seaview Survey, a collaboration between Google, the University of Queensland, and the Caitlin Group is a pioneering project which will carry out the first comprehensive survey of the Great Barrier Reef, with 360-degree images from the underwater experiment to be made available online.Using a similar approach to Google's Street View, The Catlin Seaview Survey aims to document and reveal the composition and health of the coral reefs on the world's largest coral reef system at a depth range of up to 100m. Alongside gathering scientific data, the project also hopes to capture the public's imagination with a string of 360-degree underwater panoramas which, when stitched together, will enable people to "choose a location, dip underwater and go for a virtual dive at all of the locations visited by the expedition".Google will create a "Panoramio" for the project, which will enable the photos to be uploaded, linked to their locations and then made available to millions of people. Eventually, there will be around 50,000 panoramas available from the survey through Google, and the project will have its own YouTube channel and the ability to broadcast Google+ Hangouts via livestream from the ocean floor.
Australia’s Great Barrier Reef is the largest natural coral formation on Earth... more
It's a sad week for ocean lovers and filmmakers; we've lost one of our best in Mike deGruy. Mike played a key role in showing us the beauties of the ocean. He will be missed. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/07/movies/mike-degruy-documentary-filmmaker-and-marine-biologist-dies-at-60.htmlIt's a sad week for ocean lovers and filmmakers; we've lost one of our best... more
More than 100 dolphins have beached themselves along Cape Cod in the past month in what researchers are calling a "disturbing" event due to warmer waters off the Massachusetts coast. At least 81 dolphins have died or "died shortly after being discovered"...
http://veracitystew.com/2012/02/02/81-dead-dolphins-on-cape-cod-video/More than 100 dolphins have beached themselves along Cape Cod in the past month in... more
For filmmaker Rob Stewart, exploring sharks began as an underwater adventure. What it turned into was a beautiful and dangerous life journey into the balance of life on earth.
Driven by passion fed from a lifelong fascination with sharks, Stewart debunks historical stereotypes and media depictions of sharks as bloodthirsty, man-eating monsters and reveals the reality of sharks as pillars in the evolution of the seas.
In an effort to protect sharks, Stewart teams up with renegade conservationist Paul Watson of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society. Their unbelievable adventure together starts with a battle between the Sea Shepherd and shark poachers in Guatemala, resulting in pirate boat rammings, gunboat chases, mafia espionage, corrupt court systems and attempted murder charges, forcing them to flee for their lives.
Through it all, Stewart discovers these magnificent creatures have gone from predator to prey, and how despite surviving the earth's history of mass extinctions, they could easily be wiped out within a few years due to human greed.
Stewart's remarkable journey of courage and determination changes from a mission to save the world's sharks, into a fight for his life, and that of humankind.For filmmaker Rob Stewart, exploring sharks began as an underwater adventure. What it... more
Did you know that an octopus could walk on land? Neither did I.
But why is it leaving the sea? Is it hunting? Looking for a friend? Tanning?
Can someone please help answer these questions.Did you know that an octopus could walk on land? Neither did I. But why is it... more
When whale biologist and Ocean Alliance founder Roger Payne began his career, the chief threat to whales was commercial whaling.
At that time, in the late 1960s, Payne estimates that 33,000 great whales were killed annually across the globe. That number has dropped significantly, due to the 1986 International Whaling Commission's moratorium on whaling. Although a number of countries continue to hunt whales, including Norway, Iceland and Japan — which many critics say cloaks its whaling practice under the auspice of scientific research — Payne believes that, at least for now, commercial whaling will not bring these cetaceans to the brink of extinction.
Instead, he worries about another threat: Pollution.
Payne bases this concern on Ocean Alliance's own research.
The conservation organization, launched in 1971 — and now, under Iain Kerr as its CEO, looking to move its headquarters to Gloucester on the grounds of a restored and renovated Tarr & Wonson Paint Factory — has been studying whales since its inception. Payne, himself, came into the spotlight when he co-discovered in 1967 that humpback whales "sing"¬ù to each other.
Arguably, the organization's most significant work is its massive, five-year study that measured the baseline levels of contaminants in whales around the world.
"People have known since the early '60s there was a real problem from pollutants," Payne says. "But no one had a global view of it. This was the first global view."
So, from 2000 to 2005, Ocean Alliance's 93-foot vessel, the Odyssey, snaked its way around 21 countries and 118 ports. During that time, Ocean Alliance's team gathered whale and marine life samples across the world, including more than 950 sperm whale biopsy samples.
"We looked at sperm whales because they are living at the same level of the food chain which humans are living at,"¬ù explains Payne. "So what is happening in the sperm whale is probably similar to what is happening with people."
For Ocean Alliance, the results of the survey were alarming.
"We go around the world," says Payne, "We look at sperm whales. We measure the background contaminants in them. And we discover — to our absolute horror — the concentration of a number of things."
Not only were the sperm whales exposed to common pollutants such as lead and mercury and a variety of metals such as gold and silver; they were also exposed to a wide range of chemicals such as DDT, PCBs, and fire retardants.
Moreover, one pollutant proved to be the biggest surprise: chromium.
"It was the most dramatic finding," he continues. "Chromium in its hexavalent form is a terrible carcinogen. It was the subject of the film 'Erin Brockovich.' And that is what we find in sperm whales all around the world."
Kerr, who captained the Odyssey for 10 years and is Ocean Alliance's CEO, says the study demonstrated that marine life is being hit hard on two levels.
"On the left hand, you have these compounds that are naturally occurring, but they have never occurred in the concentrations that we are now experiencing," Kerr says. "And on the right hand ,there are groups of compounds that have never existed naturally. In both cases, animals have no way to deal with them."
Enter Ocean Alliance's new study, sort of a Phase 2. This time, Ocean Alliance is teaming up with John Wise, head of the Wise Laboratory of Environmental and Genetic Toxicology at the University of Southern Maine.
Wise is a known commodity at Ocean Alliance; he and his wife, scientist Sandy Wise, analyzed the sperm whale biopsy samples from the alliance's 2000 to 2005 research.
Ocean Alliance turned to Wise because his lab studies the effects of environmental pollutants on human DNA. So how does that translate to whales?
"Our interest in DNA is that all life is dependent on it," Wise explains. "In humans, if you damage DNA you can get cancer and developmental abnormalities in children. We think in wild animals certainly the same is true, though most species don't live long enough for cancer to be a concern. The concern is pollutants in the environment are damaging DNA. And preventing the ability of the species to reproduce."
The scientists are 14 months into what Wise hopes will be a 10-year investigation. At this turn, they won't be sailing around the globe — they'll be closer to home.
Ocean Alliance and Wise will be honing their scientific eye on humpback whales in the Gulf of Maine, including those off the Gloucester coastline.
Because humpbacks live nearer to shore than sperm whales, they allow for easier and longer observational studies. So over time, for example, the team can note which female whales are reproducing, which are not — and it can answer some specific questions, like:
What are the long-term effects of pollutants on whales? Could pollutants cause developmental abnormalities? And — for a whale species already compromised in numbers — could something like chromium cause serious reproductive disorders?
Already this autumn, Payne, Kerr and Wise have led three expeditions out to Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary searching for humpbacks to biopsy.
The trips have been launched from the Gloucester Marine Railways, where Ocean Alliance's 90-foot boat, the Caribana, is docked. The vessel was donated to the group this past year and is captained by Joe Boreland, who was, coincidentally, a relief captain on the Odyssey expedition and has been working for the nonprofit intermittently since 1995.
It's unclear if Ocean Alliance will be making any more expeditions this season. But both Ocean Alliance and the Wise Laboratory are heading to the Biennial Conference on the Biology of Marine Mammals in Tampa, Fla., later this month.
There, they'll be delivering data on another study they are conducting, this time examining the effects of the 2010 BP oil spill on marine mammals in the Gulf of Mexico.
What exactly do these studies on whales and other marine mammals mean for human health?
Payne stresses that the research cannot be underestimated.
"You can say that it is probably the biggest public health threat that has ever threatened human beings," he says. "About a billion people are dependent on fish as primary source of protein. And this, I would assume, would shorten the lives of these billions of people — the fact they are taking in all these contaminants when they take in such meals."
More at the linkWhen whale biologist and Ocean Alliance founder Roger Payne began his career, the... more
Carbon dioxide bubbles in the extreme low acidity zone. The brown landscape below is devoid of the sea urchins, gastropods and worms, found in areas with a normal level of acidity in the Mediterranean Sea. Credit: Kristy J. Kroeker
Stanford researchers have gotten a glimpse into an uncertain future where increasing levels of carbon dioxide in the Earth's atmosphere will lead to higher levels in the ocean as well, leaving the water more acidic and altering underwater ecosystems.
The glimpse comes from waters near Ischia, Italy, where unusual shallow-water volcanic vents in the floor of the Mediterranean Sea bubble carbon dioxide into the water, creating a local underwater neighborhood that may resemble the ocean of the future.
If the results are a prediction of the future, "you are left with a dramatically different ecosystem that is likely going to be less able to deal with stress and is going to have less biomass available to feed organisms higher up the food chain," said Kristy Kroeker, a graduate student in biology at Stanford's Hopkins Marine Station.
More at the linkCarbon dioxide bubbles in the extreme low acidity zone. The brown landscape below is... more
China said Tuesday it was investigating US oil giant ConocoPhillips' role in a spill off its eastern coast that authorities kept hidden from the public for nearly a month.
ConocoPhillips's China unit in a partnership with the state-owned China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) operates the oil field in Bohai Bay, where the spill was detected on June 4 but only made public on Friday.
An area measuring 840 square kilometres (336 square miles) had been badly polluted due to the spill, the statement said.
Li said oil had seriously contaminated ocean waters, with the quality of water in the spill area now at the worst level on the administration's four-grade pollution scale.
Dead seaweed and rotting fish could be seen in waters around Nanhuangcheng Island in Shandong province near the site of an oil spill, the China Daily said.
"The environmental impact caused by the oil leak is long-term," the newspaper quoted a local fisheries association official as saying.
Nanhuangcheng Island is about 75 kilometres (45 miles) from the offshore oil field in Bohai Bay where the leak happened.
CNOOC tried to stem anger over its failure to warn the public about the spill, saying government authorities were aware of the incident from the start.
"We reported the spills to authorities soon after they took place and treatment of the spills is under supervision," CNOOC spokesman Jiang Yongzhi was quoted as telling the Global Times.China said Tuesday it was investigating US oil giant ConocoPhillips' role in a... more
Sea Life in the Gulf of Mexico continues to suffer and then dies, dies, dies, and, no, it's not over; the death, dying, and depletion will continue.Sea Life in the Gulf of Mexico continues to suffer and then dies, dies, dies, and, no,... more
Radioactive cesium leaking from the tsunami-hit Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant is estimated to reach the West Coast of the United States in five years after its density declines considerably, according to a semi-governmental research institute.
The Japan Atomic Energy Agency (JAEA) has compiled a map predicting how cesium-137 will spread throughout the Pacific Ocean in the long term. Cesium-137, whose half life is 30 years, is one of the radioactive substances leaking from the crippled nuclear power station.
It estimates that cesium-137 from the plant will spread in the shape of an ellipse -- as far as about 4,000 kilometers off the coast of Japan -- in one year. It then predicts the substance will reach Hawaii three years later and the U.S. West Coast five years from now. However, the agency says that by that time, its density will have declined significantly.Radioactive cesium leaking from the tsunami-hit Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant is... more
Cohn & Wolfe and non-profit group Project Kaisei partnered to create an Eco-reality show campaign on Facebook(go to: http://www.facebook.com/projectkaisei?sk=app_159415870778798) starring a goldfish named Kai. The efforts aims to call attention to the impact of plastic pollution in the world's oceans. A live streaming video shows Kai in a habitat full of plastic - a representation of dirty areas of the Pacific ocean..
Every donation made to Project Kaisei removes a piece of plastic from Kai's home and helps fund the organization's third cleanup expedition in the North Pacific Gyre.Cohn & Wolfe and non-profit group Project Kaisei partnered to create an... more
I think those dimwits need a bigger boat. This is what happens when women go fishing. Someone revoke their license and take the camera away and throw that "OMG" kid overboard.I think those dimwits need a bigger boat. This is what happens when women go fishing.... more
National Geographic Magazine, June 2011.
If you’ve ever been pummeled by a wave at the beach, you know that moving water packs a wallop. The Electric Power Research Institute estimates that wave and tidal energy could supply 7 percent of the electricity for the United States—and in the United Kingdom, that contribution could be double. Engineers are designing all sorts of devices to tap this clean, renewable energy: “snakes” that jiggle over the water’s surface, buoys that bob with the swell, and turbines that spin in the current. (Items illustrated here show the diversity of wave power devices but wouldn’t be implemented together.)
Since populations are often concentrated near coasts, energy from moving water can be produced close to where it’s needed. And unlike wind energy, dependent on inconsistent gusts, this technology is as predictable as the tides. Technical and financial hurdles still exist, but projects are in the works for waters off Maine, New York, Oregon, Canada, and Scotland. Ocean power farms might be just over the horizon. —Juli Berwald
Japan is looking for new sources of energy, and wave power would be a great choice. This new technology would probably be expensive to build, but with the added bonus of not generating any nuclear waste.National Geographic Magazine, June 2011. If you’ve ever been pummeled by a... more
Willem is back. Watch this unique 5-year-old tackle big ideas as only he can. Made for the Plastic Pollution Coalition.
UPDATE: 'Think About It' has now screened at the 5th International Marine Debris conference in Hawaii, and the National Conference on Science, Policy and the Environment.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a5cgLar34zAWillem is back. Watch this unique 5-year-old tackle big ideas as only he can. Made for... more
Scientists are alarmed by the discovery of unusual numbers of fish in the Gulf of Mexico and inland waterways with skin lesions, fin rot, spots, liver blood clots and other health problems.
http://www.politicalfailblog.com/2011/05/sick-fish-in-gulf-are-alarming.htmlScientists are alarmed by the discovery of unusual numbers of fish in the Gulf of... more