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Ocean Acidification from Domestic to International

  Since the industrial revolution began, we have released 2 trillion tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) into the atmosphere, and about one-third of it went into the ocean. We initially thought that the ocean taking up CO2 was a good thing – because it took it out of the atmosphere. Unfortunately, we were wrong.  There…

June 29, 2014: Refueling Satellites in Space, Sequencing the Koala Genome and More

Every week, embark with host Boyd Matson on an exploration of the latest discoveries and interviews with some of the most fascinating people on the planet, on National Geographic Weekend. This week, we walk in space to refuel a satellite, cure koalas of chlamydia, play soccer the Brazilian way, end elephant poaching in Tanzania, run out of air at the bottom of the Arctic Ocean, pair scientists with adventurers, road trip through the American South, and “revisit the Golden Age of Exploration.”

How Catfish Stalk Prey in the Dark

Catfish searching for prey in the dark detect slight chemical changes in the water produced by the breath of a sea worm, a new study says.

Will 2014 Be the Year of the Ocean?

The United Nations says 1998 was the Year of the Ocean, but I beg to differ. I’m fairly convinced that next year will be the year we see world leaders begin to take responsibility for the future of our ocean, and start to turn words into action. We’re also going to see an innovation explosion…

Newest XPRIZE Targets Ocean Health

Today, the latest XPRIZE competition was announced in Los Angeles, and this time the target is improving ocean health. Past XPRIZE efforts have focused on suborbital commercial spaceflight, efficient cars, and moon rovers. According to a spokesperson, the new prize was unveiled: On the heels of the successful Wendy Schmidt Oil Cleanup XCHALLENGE, the $2…

Arctic Experiencing More Than Just Melt

Carbon dioxide emissions are soaking into Arctic waters and affecting the chemistry of the ocean, a new report by the Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Program shows. Increasing carbon dioxide emissions and freshwater runoff challenge the ocean’s ability to neutralize acidification—an imbalance caused by absorption of the greenhouse gas from the air. The study said the Arctic’s cold water makes it more vulnerable to…

The Bottom Line: Embracing Ecosystem-Based Fisheries Management

Fishing for shad on the Potomac River at Fletcher’s Boathouse is a spring tradition for many Washington-area anglers, including me. As a food source for larger fish, birds of prey, and other animals, shad provide a great example of the interconnectedness of nature—which for decades hasn’t received enough attention from fisheries managers. Although we’ve made…

Making Climate a Blue Issue

Thundersnow, super-storms, dust storms, arctic melting, and coral bleaching have existed in the past but not as a regular part of our language till fossil-fuel fired climate change kicked in.  You know you’re in the greenhouse century when the 13 hottest years on record have all occurred since 1998 and last year, 2012, was the…

Unique Alaskan Orcas Slip Toward Extinction

One spill-echoing artwork, a ceramic wall-mounted sculpture called “Eyak’s Jaw,” was made in remembrance of the 20th anniversary of the Exxon Valdez oil spill. Within a rich bed of intertidal life forms – sea start, kelps, and urchins, a viewer glimpses the jawbone and conical teeth of an orca. The actual jawbone of the male…

Strong Evidence for Ocean Acidification Impacts in Southern Ocean

For years, researchers have warned that the increasing acidity of the oceans is likely to create a whole host of problems for the marine environment. Most of these warnings were predictions for future decades as well as theories about possible impacts based on experiments under artificial conditions. Now, scientists have discovered proof that ocean acidification…

Ocean Acidification: It’s Time to Act

“The cost of responding to ocean acidification may be substantial, but it is still far less than the costs of inaction” – Bill Ruckelshaus, co-chair Washington Blue Ribbon Panel on Ocean Acidification, November 27, 2012 Consensus is hard. Any time you bring together a range of interests, it’s rare the group can speak in a…

Climate Change and Seafood Supply: Developing Countries Most Vulnerable to Ocean Acidification

  The following piece originally appeared at ClimateProgress.org. By Tom Wittig Developing countries that rely on nourishment from the oceans will soon find their sources of food and way of life threatened, according to an Oceana study released last week. The report, Ocean-Based Food Security Threatened in a High CO2 World, ranks the top 50…

The Great (Dwindling) Barrier Reef Loses Half Its Coral Cover In Under 30 Years

The following piece was originally published at ClimateProgress.org. If half the Grand Canyon crumbled to nothing in less than three decades, would we stand up and pay attention? If Teddy and Abe’s heads eroded off Mount Rushmore would we step in to save George and Tom? Sadly, that’s what is happening to one of the…

UN: Oceans are 30 percent more acidic than before fossil fuels

By Daniel Grossman in Copenhagen Since I began taking interest in global warming, I’ve heard scientists say “beware of surprises.” In the esoteric field of climate research, a surprise is bad: a dangerous unanticipated change to Earth’s climate, weather patterns, ocean currents and other “Earth systems,” or life on the planet. We usually expect that…

Ocean Acidification Threatens Food Webs, 150 Scientists Warn

NASA We hear a lot about how carbon dioxide emissions are warming the atmosphere and changing climate in ways that are damaging, if not catastrophic, for life on Earth. Increasingly we are also learning about the impact of carbon dioxide on the oceans. As the sea absorbs carbon from the air its chemistry is changing, becoming more…