Alaska is Having Its Hottest Year Since Records Began - "After a spring that was a full ten degrees hotter than normal, the northern state is on track for the most sweltering year on record." (via) [more inside]
From April 20 to July 10 , a team of NOAA and external partners who are participating both at-sea and on shore will conduct the 2016 Deepwater Exploration of the Marianas expedition.You can follow the expedition website's daily updates for such sights as this beautiful and chill jellyfish, or perhaps an ROV hanging about, among other things.
After leading with a cover story criticizing Xi Jinping (otoh) The Economist has been censored in China; Time too and now Medium. [more inside]
What makes an epic wave. Learn how 20 meter (and taller!) waves form thanks to “The Nazaré Wave” short video, featuring high school students from Escola Secundária de Gama Barros (Sintra, Portugal) [more inside]
NOAA reports: "For three weeks, a titanium-encased hydrophone recorded ambient noise from the ocean floor at a depth of more than 36,000 feet, or 7 miles, in the Challenger Deep trough in the Mariana Trench near Micronesia. Researchers from NOAA, Oregon State University, and the U.S. Coast Guard were surprised by how much they heard." The hydrophone recorded the sounds of whales, ships' propellers, typhoons, and an earthquake. [more inside]
Yesterday the Coxless Crew, a team of four women, completed their unsupported row across the Pacific. It took them 257 days to travel 8446 miles in three stages - San Francisco to Hawaii, then to Samoa, and completing their journey at Cairns. They travelled in a 29-foot long pink boat called Doris. [more inside]
"In those terrible moments we did not know if the ship was below the water or still floating! But like a miracle the windows cleared again, and 'Stolt Surf' continued its brave battle against the waves." Amazing photographs and first-person description by Karsten Petersen of the chemical tanker "Stolt Surf" running afoul of a strong hurricane and rogue waves in the North Pacific, 1977. [more inside]
The world's coral is suddenly and rapidly starting to die - "This is only the third time we've seen what we would refer to as a global bleaching event. [The prior events] were in 1998 and 2010, and those were pretty much one year events. We're looking at a similar spatial scale of bleaching across the globe, but spanning across at least 2 years. So that means a lot of these corals are being put under really prolonged stress, or are being hit 2 years in a row." Can 'manually breeding supercorals capable of living in increasingly inhospitable waters' help in time? (via/via)
Cassini Finds Global Ocean in Saturn's Moon Enceladus. "A global ocean lies beneath the icy crust of Saturn's geologically active moon Enceladus, according to new research using data from NASA's Cassini mission." The discovery of a global ocean beneath its icy rind makes Enceladus an even better potential extraterrestrial incubator than previously thought. [more inside]
The Nautilus and her Corps of Exploration are mapping and exploring ocean features from the Gulf Coast up to British Columbia. Yesterday, they found a whale. You can watch live to see what they find next!
At the very top of oceans and inland waters lies a distinct micrometer-thick microbial habitat. It influences climate change, fosters unusual and deadly bacteria, and is made of jelly. It is the surface microlayer.
Toxic, Oxygen-Depleted Oceans May Have Caused a Mass Extinction Event Changes in the ocean may have pushed some species over the edge 200 million years ago. Scientists have discovered that oxygen-depleted toxic oceans had a key role in a mass extinction event during that time. [more inside]
At the bottom of the ocean, several kilometres down, is the abyssal seafloor. The pressure is crushing, the temperature is two to three degrees Celsius. The darkness is absolute: no light means no nutrients, and thus almost no life. Except when a whale falls.
Deep water freediving exposes its practitioners to a form of narcosis, which induces several symptoms, among which a feeling of euphoria and levity that earned this phenomenon its nickname of “raptures of the deep”. In the short film, Ocean Gravity, world champion freediver Guillaume Néry shows us what freediving looks like. In the short film, Narcose, he shows us what it feels like. [warning: may be vertigo-inducing, NSFW] [more inside]
GlobalFishingWatch is a new tool that shows every traceable commercial fishing boat in the world nearly real time. Blinking lights video with a narrator. 9 out of every 10 big fish in the ocean is caught by humans.
Political geographer Phil Steinberg reacts to marine ecologist Jon Copley's piece on the new gravity model of the ocean floor from David Sandwell and others at the Scripps Institute of Oceanography. "Instead of understanding the ocean as something to see through as one seeks to map the seabed, water is reframed as something to see with. Volume, rather than being understood as a barrier to vision, becomes a means for achieving that vision." Copley asks: "Philosophically, when it comes to exploring anywhere on our dynamic world, how and when do we decide that somewhere has 'been explored'?" (via)
Unknown orange/red glow over Pacific Ocean "Then, very far in the distance ahead of us, just over the horizon an intense lightflash shot up from the ground. It looked like a lightning bolt, but way more intense and directed vertically up in the air. I have never seen anything like this, and there were no flashes before or after this single explosion of light." [more inside]
You invest so much in it, don't you? It's what elevates you above the beasts of the field, it's what makes you special. Homo sapiens, you call yourself. Wise Man. Do you even know what it is, this consciousness you cite in your own exaltation? Do you even know what it's for?Dr. Peter Watts is no stranger to MetaFilter. But look past his sardonic nuptials, heartbreaking eulogies, and agonizing run-ins with fascists (and fasciitis) and you'll find one of the most brilliant, compelling, and disquieting science fiction authors at work today. A marine biologist skilled at deep background research, his acclaimed 2006 novel Blindsight [full text] -- a cerebral "first contact" tale led by a diverse crew of bleeding-edge post-humans -- is diamond-hard and deeply horrifying, wringing profound existential dread from such abstruse concepts as the Chinese Room, the Philosophical Zombie, Chernoff faces, and the myriad quirks and blind spots that haunt the human mind. But Blindsight's last, shattering insight is not the end of the story -- along with crew/ship/"Firefall" notes, a blackly funny in-universe lecture on resurrecting sociopathic vampirism (PDF - prev.), and a rigorously-cited (and spoiler-laden) reference section, tomorrow will see the release of
Selected pages from Adriaen Coenen's Visboek, an illustrated guide to the strange and wonderful world of fish. No sixteenth-century mariner should leave shore without it. The National Library of the Netherlands has the complete book, with commentary.
An interactive version of Olaus Magnus’ 1539 Carta Marina, a map of the sea filled with the usual ( and unusual) monsters and creatures. (Slate)
Is there any reason to think dolphins and humans have a special relationship? Sure, but it might not be a friendly one
Huge reserves of freshwater lie beneath the ocean floor. There is mounting evidence. "The volume of this water resource is a hundred times greater than the amount we've extracted from the Earth's sub-surface in the past century since 1900".
CreatureCast - Rhizocephala - a charmingly animated look at the lifecycle of rhizocephalan barnacles, one of the more horrifying (non-charming) parasitic crustaceans (likewise). NOT a practitioner of parasitic castration but still disturbing: The bobbit worm. Happy swimming!
As Teahupo'o gains notoriety as one of the biggest monsters in the surfing world, the tiny area it covers gets more and more crowded. If you want to dig some fingernail-marks into the armrests of your chair, watch 2013's Inside the Monster (25:43, French with English Subtitles). Then, explore The Mechanics of Teahupo'o in this slideshow about what makes this slab tick. [previous, previous]
With the Great Pacific Garbage Patch increasing in size, coming up with a viable solution seems like a pretty important thing to do. Enter Boyan Slat, the 19-year-old with a plan that could clean up 7,250,000,000kg of plastic from the world's oceans - within about five years. [more inside]
If I offered evidence that jellyfish are displacing penguins in Antarctica—not someday, but now, today—what would you think? If I suggested that jellyfish could crash the world’s fisheries, outcompete the tuna and swordfish, and starve the whales to extinction, would you believe me? The New York Review of Books reads Lisa-ann Gershwin's book about the rise of the jellyfish and the coming "jellification" of our oceans. (Previously but not as terrifyingly.) [more inside]
"Video footage of the little artist at work recently surfaced. It was uploaded to YouTube by MarineStation Amami, a hotel and dive center that assisted Yoji Okata and NHK in producing the video segment that aired last year. Of note, watch at around 1:20 when the fish takes a small shell in his mouth and plants it in the sculpture. Scientists believe that the shells are filled with vital nutrients and this is the soon-to-be-father’s way of preparing nourishment for the babies." UPDATE [Aug 26, 2013] [more inside]
Gil Koplovitz took pictures of a strip club called the Nymphas Show Bar. One small detail: he did it while he was scuba diving off the coast of Israel.
Boring day job? Watch a grizzly bear hunt for salmon at Brooks Falls or the Lower Brooks River in Katmai National Park, Alaska. [more inside]
In the deep sea, low oxygen levels, scarce sunlight, and freezing water limit the rate at which items decompose: Something that might survive a few years on land could exist for decades underwater. - ROVs photograph trash on the ocean floor.
Hawaiian kayak fisherman almost catches a little more than he bargained for. SL more or less YT.
seaQuest: what if we could learn to live on/underneath the oceans (or in orbit)? [previously(er)] [more inside]
A baby elephant goes for a swim. Pretty much what it says on the tin. Happy Sunday.
Today it is an economic and even geopolitical necessity for oil companies, in order to maintain pipelines and offshore rigs, to send divers routinely to depths of a thousand feet, and keep them at that level of compression for as long as a month at a time. The divers who do this work are almost entirely male, and tend to be between the ages of twenty-five and forty. Were they any younger, they would not have enough experience or seniority to perform such demanding tasks. Any older, and their bodies could not be trusted to withstand the trauma. The term for these extended-length descents is “saturation diving,” which refers to the fact that the diver’s tissues have absorbed the maximum amount of inert gas possible.
How can we get CO2 out of the atmosphere? Get it out of the sea first. Making jet fuel from seawater is a pretty cool -- albeit energy intensive -- trick. But applying the same science to scrub CO2 out of seawater, where it is more densely concentrated than in the atmosphere -- and, by doing so, to reduce atmospheric levels of CO2 back to acceptable levels -- that's a game saver.
"what would it take to draw atmospheric carbon down to 350 ppm with just this technology? . . . we would require the power of about 700 AP-1000 nuclear reactors. At the Chinese cost of $1.3b apiece and an 80 year lifetime this would cost a bit over $1 trillion dollars. That sounds like a lot of money. But its only about the cost of America’s 2003 Iraq War spread over the century, so I guess it’s a question of priorities."
"Release the Kraken!" [Discovery] "Scientists and broadcasters have captured footage of an elusive giant squid, up to eight meters (26 feet) long that roams the depths of the Pacific Ocean." [Video] [Image 1] [Image 2] [Previously] [Previously]
What's life like aboard a nuclear submarine? For starters, here's over eight hours of C-SPAN 2, as they took their cameras aboard the USS Wyoming SSBN back in 2000, co-hosted by Rear Admiral Malcolm Fages and writer Robert Holzer. [more inside]