Ecosystems

Scientists: Warming temperatures could trigger starvation, extinctions in deep oceans by 2100
February 24, 2017 08:25 AM - Oregon State University

Researchers from 20 of the world’s leading oceanographic research centers today warned that the world’s largest habitat – the deep ocean floor – may face starvation and sweeping ecological change by the year 2100.

New Study Helps Explain How Garbage Patches Form in the World's Oceans
February 24, 2017 06:40 AM - University of Miami

A new study on how ocean currents transport floating marine debris is helping to explain how garbage patches form in the world’s oceans. 

Researchers from the University of Miami (UM) Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science and colleagues developed a mathematical model that simulates the motion of small spherical objects floating at the ocean surface. 

Forests worldwide threatened by drought
February 23, 2017 04:23 PM - University of Stirling

Forests around the world are at risk of death due to widespread drought, University of Stirling researchers have found. An analysis, published in the journal Ecology Letters, suggests that forests are at risk globally from the increased frequency and severity of droughts.

Air pollution may have masked mid-20th century sea ice loss
February 23, 2017 04:06 PM - AGU - American Geophysical Union

WASHINGTON, DC — Humans may have been altering Arctic sea ice longer than previously thought, according to researchers studying the effects of air pollution on sea ice growth in the mid-20th Century. The new results challenge the perception that Arctic sea ice extent was unperturbed by human-caused climate change until the 1970s.

Oil and Gas Wastewater Spills, including Fracking Wastewater, Alter Microbes in West Virginia Waters
February 23, 2017 08:46 AM - Todd B. Bate via Rutgers University

Wastewater from oil and gas operations – including fracking for shale gas – at a West Virginia site altered microbes downstream, according to a Rutgers-led study.

The study, published recently in Science of the Total Environment, showed that wastewater releases, including briny water that contained petroleum and other pollutants, altered the diversity, numbers and functions of microbes. The shifts in the microbial community indicated changes in their respiration and nutrient cycling, along with signs of stress.

Fishing for bacteria in New Zealand
February 23, 2017 08:25 AM - University of Manitoba

If you asked Richard Sparling, what he did during his sabbatical early last year, he’d probably say “fishing in New Zealand.”

But this ambiguous answer by the department of microbiology associate professor does not tell the whole story.

Sediment Flows into Galveston Bay Studied to Help Understand Health of Watershed
February 23, 2017 08:14 AM - United States Geological Survey (USGS)

A better understanding of sediment and freshwater flow into Galveston Bay is now available from a new U.S. Geological Survey report, done in cooperation with the Texas Water Development Board, and the Galveston Bay Estuary Program.

Sediment Flows into Galveston Bay Studied to Help Understand Health of Watershed
February 23, 2017 08:14 AM - United States Geological Survey (USGS)

A better understanding of sediment and freshwater flow into Galveston Bay is now available from a new U.S. Geological Survey report, done in cooperation with the Texas Water Development Board, and the Galveston Bay Estuary Program.

Science vs. the sea lamprey
February 22, 2017 12:01 PM - Concordia University

Of all the fishy predators in the Great Lakes, few are more destructive than the sea lamprey. There’s something of a horror movie in their approach: jawless, they attach to prey such as salmon, whitefish or trout with a sucker mouth and drain the victim of its blood and lymph.

For years, scientists and policy-makers have been trying to devise strategies to curb this population, which first arrived from Europe through shipping channels in the early 20th century.

New studies quantify the impacts of water use on diversity of fish and aquatic insects in NC streams
February 22, 2017 11:47 AM - RTI International

The health of fish and aquatic insects could be significantly affected by withdrawals of fresh water from the rivers and streams across North Carolina according to a new scientific assessment.

A series of studies were conducted by a team of researchers, led by Jennifer Phelan, Ph.D., a senior ecologist at RTI International, to understand the relationships between changes in streamflow and the diversity of fish and richness of aquatic insects.

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