Tag Archives: coast

UA Researchers Investigating How Oceans Function Without Oxygen

Studying phages, viruses that infect bacteria, can help researchers to better understand how portions of the world’s oceans function without oxygen.

Though small, viruses could hold the secrets of how vast portions of the world’s oceans function without oxygen.

University of Arizona undergraduate researcher Sarah Schwenck and postdoctoral associate Jennifer Brum are conducting a research project in the Tucson Marine Phage Lab, which is headed by assistant professor of ecology and evolutionary biology Matthew Sullivan. (more…)

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Sea level rise: New iceberg theory points to areas at risk of rapid disintegration

ANN ARBOR — In events that could exacerbate sea level rise over the coming decades, stretches of ice on the coasts of Antarctica and Greenland are at risk of rapidly cracking apart and falling into the ocean, according to new iceberg calving simulations from the University of Michigan.

“If this starts to happen and we’re right, we might be closer to the higher end of sea level rise estimates for the next 100 years,” said Jeremy Bassis, assistant professor of atmospheric, oceanic and space sciences at the U-M College of Engineering, and first author of a paper on the new model published in the current issue of Nature Geoscience. (more…)

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Interview with Dr. Anwar Zahid: ‘Environmental Issues in Bangladesh’

Dr. Anwar Zahid has been working in the field of hydrogeology, groundwater model and environmental geology for more than 17 years. Currently he is the Deputy Director of Ground Water Hydrology, Bangladesh Water Development Board and also Deputy Project Director of coastal water resources assessment project of the Bangladesh Government. Dr. Zahid is involved in many research activities in his fields of expertise in collaboration with national and international institutions and universities and 35 of his research papers has been published in reputed journals and books. He is a research fellow of German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) and International Water Management Institute (IWMI) and visited 18 countries in connection with research and academic activities.

Recently we spoke with Dr. Zahid to discuss issues related to major environmental problems in Bangladesh, how climate change can affect the country’s coastal areas. Moreover, to know if there is any government initiative to cope with the rising sea-level.

Q: What are the major environmental problems in Bangladesh?

Dr. Zahid: Bangladesh is a disaster-prone country and almost every year, the country experiences disasters like tropical cyclones, storm surges, coastal erosion, floods, droughts and saline water encroachment in the coast. Because of its geographic location and low lying topographic condition, Bangladesh is likely to be in extreme vulnerable conditions under the current scenario of changing climatic conditions. Especially the low lying coastal area is at maximum risk. Groundwater is the major source of fresh water across much of the country but there has been very little study on the potential effects of development stresses and climate change on this resource. All components of the system e.g. recharge, discharge, storage and quality can be affected by changes in both climate and population stresses. (more…)

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Sandy’s Underwater Sandscapes

UD researchers studying ‘fingerprint’ left on seafloor by Hurricane Sandy

Beneath the 20-foot waves that crested off Delaware’s coast during Hurricane Sandy, thrashing waters reshaped the floor of the ocean, churning up fine sand and digging deep ripples into the seabed. Fish, crustaceans and other marine life were blasted with sand as the storm sculpted new surfaces underwater.

UD scientists cued up their instruments to document the offshore conditions before, during and after Sandy’s arrival to scrutinize the differences and better predict the environmental impact of future storms. (more…)

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Shark Social Networking

Shark migrations studied with underwater robot along Delmarva Peninsula

University of Delaware researchers are using an underwater robot to find and follow sand tiger sharks that they previously tagged with transmitters. The innovative project is part of a multi-year partnership with Delaware State University to better understand the behavior and migration patterns of the sharks in real time.

“In the past week our new, specially equipped glider OTIS – which stands for Oceanographic Telemetry Identification Sensor – detected multiple sand tiger sharks off the coast of Maryland that were tagged over the past several years,” said Matthew Oliver, assistant professor of oceanography in UD’s College of Earth, Ocean, and Environment. “This is the first time that a glider has found tagged sharks and reported their location in real time.” (more…)

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Bright Outlook for Fall Foliage

North Carolina’s fall foliage should put on a vivid show as it washes over the state this month. With color already beginning to pop in the western mountains, the foliage forecast is bright, says Dr. Robert Bardon, forestry and environmental resources professor at North Carolina State University.

“The biggest thing to worry about is wet rainy weather that can dampen colors,” Bardon says. “If there’s enough wind and rain, trees can begin dropping leaves.” (more…)

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Scientists Uncover Vast Differences in Earth’s Polar Ocean Microbial Communities

ANN ARBOR— An international team of scientists, including a University of Michigan graduate student, has demonstrated that a clear difference exists between the marine microbial communities in the Southern and Arctic oceans, contributing to a better understanding of the biodiversity of marine life at the poles.

The most comprehensive comparison of microbial diversity at both of Earth’s polar oceans showed that about 75 percent of the organisms at each pole are different. This insight sheds light on newly recognized biodiversity patterns and reinforces the importance of studying Earth’s polar regions in the face of a changing climate. And it highlights the need for further research on the impacts of sea ice, seasonal shifts and freshwater input in both regions. (more…)

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Long Menopause Allows Killer Whales to Care for Adult Sons

Scientists have found the answer to why female killer whales have the longest menopause of any non-human species – to care for their adult sons.

Led by the Universities of Exeter and York and published in the journal Science the research shows that, for a male over 30, the death of his mother means an almost 14-fold-increase in the likelihood of his death within the following year.

The reason for the menopause remains one of nature’s great mysteries and very few species have a prolonged period of their lifespan when they no longer reproduce, as in humans. However, female killer whales stop reproducing in their 30s-40s, but can survive into their 90s. While different theories have been put forward for the evolution of menopause in humans, including the well-established ‘grandmother’ hypothesis, there has been no definitive answer to why females of a small number of other species, including killer whales, also stop reproducing part-way through their lives. (more…)

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