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The Oceans

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AndyinPA
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The Oceans

#1

Post by AndyinPA »

https://www.theguardian.com/environment ... scientists
The Atlantic Ocean circulation that underpins the Gulf Stream, the weather system that brings warm and mild weather to Europe, is at its weakest in more than a millennium, and climate breakdown is the probable cause, according to new data.

Further weakening of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC) could result in more storms battering the UK, more intense winters and an increase in damaging heatwaves and droughts across Europe.

Scientists predict that the AMOC will weaken further if global heating continues, and could reduce by about 34% to 45% by the end of this century, which could bring us close to a “tipping point” at which the system could become irrevocably unstable. A weakened Gulf Stream would also raise sea levels on the Atlantic coast of the US, with potentially disastrous consequences.

Stefan Rahmstorf, of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, who co-authored the study published on Thursday in Nature Geoscience, told the Guardian that a weakening AMOC would increase the number and severity of storms hitting Britain, and bring more heatwaves to Europe.


“To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead.” – Thomas Paine
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Volkonski
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Re: The Oceans

#2

Post by Volkonski »

In the Atlantic Ocean, Subtle Shifts Hint at Dramatic Dangers
The warming atmosphere is causing an arm of the powerful Gulf Stream to weaken, some scientists fear.


https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/202 ... nytclimate
IT’S ONE OF THE MIGHTIEST RIVERS you will never see, carrying some 30 times more water than all the world’s freshwater rivers combined. In the North Atlantic, one arm of the Gulf Stream breaks toward Iceland, transporting vast amounts of warmth far northward, by one estimate supplying Scandinavia with heat equivalent to 78,000 times its current energy use. Without this current — a heat pump on a planetary scale — scientists believe that great swaths of the world might look quite different.

Now, a spate of studies, including one published last week, suggests this northern portion of the Gulf Stream and the deep ocean currents it’s connected to may be slowing. Pushing the bounds of oceanography, scientists have slung necklace-like sensor arrays across the Atlantic to better understand the complex network of currents that the Gulf Stream belongs to, not only at the surface, but hundreds of feet deep.

“We’re all wishing it’s not true,” Peter de Menocal, a paleoceanographer and president and director of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, said of the changing ocean currents. “Because if that happens, it’s just a monstrous change.”

The consequences could include faster sea level rise along parts of the Eastern United States and parts of Europe, stronger hurricanes barreling into the Southeastern United States, and perhaps most ominously, reduced rainfall across the Sahel, a semi-arid swath of land running the width of Africa that is already a geopolitical tinderbox.


“If everyone fought for their own convictions there would be no war.” ― Leo Tolstoy, War and Peace
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AndyinPA
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Re: The Oceans

#3

Post by AndyinPA »

https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-ne ... kyOTA0NQS2
The coastal waters of Northern California are changing. A decade ago, hundreds of miles of the rugged seaside were flanked by thick, swaying underwater forests of amber-green bull kelp that were home to fish, abalone and a host of other species. Now, those forests have been nearly wiped out by a series of environmental events that have been falling like ill-fated dominos since 2013.
Bull kelp forest

A new study using satellite imagery and underwater surveys is the latest to confirm that these majestic marine ecosystems have all but disappeared, reports Tara Duggan for the San Francisco Chronicle. Satellite images dating back to 1985 show that bull kelp forests off Sonoma and Mendocino counties have declined by a devastating 95 percent since 2013, and, according to the Chronicle, researchers are concerned the kelp may not be able to bounce back anytime soon.

The results, reported last week in the journal Communications Biology, are the first to use satellite images to quantify the ecological losses that have racked up over the last eight years, the Associated Press reports. Across the more than 200 miles of coast encompassed by the study, kelp forests have been almost completely replaced by barren stretches of sea floor covered in spiky purple sea urchins.

Purple sea urchins are marine grazers that love to munch on kelp, and in 2013 one of their biggest predators, the sunflower sea star, abruptly started wasting away due to a still-mysterious disease that has ravaged the many-armed invertebrates from Mexico to Alaska.
Urchin barren


“To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead.” – Thomas Paine
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AndyinPA
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Re: The Oceans

#4

Post by AndyinPA »

https://www.theguardian.com/environment ... nformation
A remarkable new study on how whales behaved when attacked by humans in the 19th century has implications for the way they react to changes wreaked by humans in the 21st century.

The paper, published by the Royal Society on Wednesday, is authored by Hal Whitehead and Luke Rendell, pre-eminent scientists working with cetaceans, and Tim D Smith, a data scientist, and their research addresses an age-old question: if whales are so smart, why did they hang around to be killed? The answer? They didn’t.

Using newly digitised logbooks detailing the hunting of sperm whales in the north Pacific, the authors discovered that within just a few years, the strike rate of the whalers’ harpoons fell by 58%. This simple fact leads to an astonishing conclusion: that information about what was happening to them was being collectively shared among the whales, who made vital changes to their behaviour. As their culture made fatal first contact with ours, they learned quickly from their mistakes.


“To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead.” – Thomas Paine
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AndyinPA
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Re: The Oceans

#5

Post by AndyinPA »

https://www.rawstory.com/south-jersey-h ... udy-finds/
PHILADELPHIA — A new study led by Rutgers University that looked at sea level rise at six locations on the East Coast over the last 2,000 years found that levels rose twice as fast in the 20th century compared with previous eras, and that South Jersey experienced the highest rates overall.

:snippity:

The study looked at three locations in New Jersey: Leeds Point in Atlantic County, Cape May Court House in Cape May County, and Cheesequake State Park in Middlesex County. They also looked at East River Marsh in Connecticut, Pelham Bay in the Bronx, and Roanoke Island in North Carolina.

“We looked at the breakdown of processes contributing to sea-level rise at individual sites over the last 2,000 years to look at the influence of each contribution and how the contributions change over time,” lead author Jennifer Walker, a postdoctoral associate at Rutgers’ Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences in New Brunswick, said in an email.

She found that the sinking of land because of a retreat of the massive Laurentide ice sheet thousands of years ago, played the biggest factor in sea level rise for all locations over the 2,000-year span. The ice sheet, which covered all of Canada and most of the northern part of the U.S., placed megatons of pressure that bore down on the Earth for thousands of years causing land to bulge in certain areas such as the East Coast. When it retreated, the bulges began to collapse, causing the land to slowly sink. The sinking will continue for thousands of years into the future.


“To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead.” – Thomas Paine
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AndyinPA
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Re: The Oceans

#6

Post by AndyinPA »

https://www.theguardian.com/environment ... s-globally
Swirling and meandering ocean currents that help shape the world’s climate have gone through a “global-scale reorganisation” over the past three decades, according to new research.

The amount of energy in these ocean currents, which can be from 10km to 100km across and are known as eddies, has increased, having as yet unknown affects on the ocean’s ability to lock-away carbon dioxide and heat from fossil fuel burning.

One expert said the changes described in the research could affect the ability of the Southern Ocean, one of the world’s biggest natural carbon stores, to absorb CO2.

The study, published in the journal Nature Climate Change, analysed the temperature and height of the ocean with the help of data from altimeters on satellites from 1993 until 2020.


“To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead.” – Thomas Paine
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AndyinPA
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Re: The Oceans

#7

Post by AndyinPA »

https://www.theguardian.com/environment ... tudy-shows
The massive melting of glaciers as a result of global heating has caused marked shifts in the Earth’s axis of rotation since the 1990s, research has shown. It demonstrates the profound impact humans are having on the planet, scientists said.

The planet’s geographic north and south poles are the point where its axis of rotation intersects the surface, but they are not fixed. Changes in how the Earth’s mass is distributed around the planet cause the axis, and therefore the poles, to move.

In the past, only natural factors such as ocean currents and the convection of hot rock in the deep Earth contributed to the drifting position of the poles. But the new research shows that since the 1990s, the loss of hundreds of billions of tonnes of ice a year into the oceans resulting from the climate crisis has caused the poles to move in new directions.

The scientists found the direction of polar drift shifted from southward to eastward in 1995 and that the average speed of drift from 1995 to 2020 was 17 times faster than from 1981 to 1995.
:eek:


“To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead.” – Thomas Paine
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AndyinPA
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Re: The Oceans

#8

Post by AndyinPA »

https://www.theguardian.com/environment ... ting-study
Giant distant-water fishing fleets, primarily from China, are switching off their tracking beacons to evade detection while they engage in a possibly illegal hunt for squid and other lucrative species on the very edge of Argentina’s extensive fishing grounds, according to a new study by Oceana, an international NGO dedicated to ocean conservation.
Cat and mouse on the high seas: on the trail of China's vast squid fleet
Read more

Every year, vessels crowd together along the limits of Argentina’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) to take advantage of the lucrative fishing grounds.

By monitoring the ships’ tracking beacons between January 2018 and April 2021, Oceana found that more than 800 vessels apparently conducted nearly 900,000 hours of fishing within 20 nautical miles of the invisible border between Argentina’s national waters and the high seas.

“During this three-and-a-half-year period, there were over 6,000 instances in which these fishing vessels appeared to go ‘dark’ by potentially disabling their electronic tracking devices, known as Automatic Identification Systems (AIS),” says the report, published on Wednesday, titled, Now You See Me, Now You Don’t: Vanishing Vessels Along Argentina’s Waters.

In all, these vessels were “hidden” for over 600,000 hours during which Oceana suspects they crossed over into Argentina’s territorial waters for illegal fishing.


“To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead.” – Thomas Paine
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Maybenaut
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Re: The Oceans

#9

Post by Maybenaut »

This stuff is so interesting to me.

One of my jobs in the Coast Guard (long before I became a JAG), was communications in support of enforcing the United States’ Economic Exclusion Zone in the Bering Sea. C-130 aircraft from Air Station Kodiak would fly these grid patterns looking for foreign-flagged fishing vessels and report what they found.

The National Marine Fisheries Service sets the dates of the fishing seasons, and sets the limits on how much of a species can be taken during the season (and depending on the species, it can get pretty complicated with respect to how much each individual fishing boat can take, often related to how much they took in previous seasons). The NMFS also does enforcement dock-side, assessing fines or penalties if the catch is too large or contains too high a percentage of out-of-season by-catch.

But it’s the Coast Guard who enforces the EEZ out in the high seas. There will be NMFS observers on the Coast Guard boats, and the Coast Guard does boarding to inspect the holds.

Back then (mid-1980s) it was all pretty routine. There was more excitement in the search-and-rescue mission than fisheries enforcement. But we did get a call from the fishing vessel Katie K saying she was fishing for crab off of Little Diomede Island (the last island in the Aleutian chain), and was approached by Soviet gun boats, who threatened to board her. She left her fishing gear and returned to Alaskan waters until a Coast Guard cutter could escort her and two other crab boats into the disputed waters and retrieve their pots. That all happened without incident.


"Hey! We left this England place because it was bogus, and if we don't get some cool rules ourselves, pronto, we'll just be bogus too!" -- Thomas Jefferson
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AndyinPA
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Re: The Oceans

#10

Post by AndyinPA »

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/ ... tudy-finds
Sea ice across much of the Arctic is thinning twice as fast as previously thought, researchers have found.

Arctic ice is melting as the climate crisis drives up temperatures, resulting in a vicious circle in which more dark water is exposed to the sun’s heat, leading to even more heating of the planet.

The faster ice loss means the shorter north-eastern shipping passage from China to Europe will become easier to navigate, but it also means new oil and gas extraction is more feasible.


“To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead.” – Thomas Paine
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AndyinPA
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Re: The Oceans

#11

Post by AndyinPA »

https://www.theguardian.com/environment ... geographic
Anyone who thought the world had four oceans will now have to think again, after the National Geographic Society announced it would recognize a new Southern Ocean in Antarctica, bringing the global total to five.

The National Geographic, a non-profit scientific and educational organization whose mapping standards are referenced by many atlases and cartographers, said the Southern Ocean consists of the waters surrounding Antarctica, out to 60-degrees south latitude.

National Geographic Society geographer Alex Tait said scientists have long known that the waters surrounding Antarctica form a “distinct ecological region defined, by ocean currents and temperatures”.

Tait told the Washington Post that the span of water is yet to be officially recognized as an ocean by the relevant international body: “But we thought it was important at this point to officially recognize it.”

“People look to us for geographic fact: How many continents, how many countries, how many oceans? Up until now, we’ve said four oceans,” Tait said, referring to the Arctic, Atlantic, Indian and Pacific.


“To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead.” – Thomas Paine
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