Tag Archives | Oceanography

UFO At The Bottom Of The Baltic Sea?

medium_baltic-ufo-and-trackSomething very large and circular slid across the ocean floor off the coast of Sweden. Is it a UFO? If so, our extraplanetary visitors should be commended on selecting the best country for initiating contact. Via Gizomodo:
Swedish sea treasure hunters have found something extraordinary: A 60-foot disc sunk in the bottom of the ocean, with what appears to be 985-foot-long impact tracks leading to it.
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The Gulf Of Mexico’s Blue Plate Special

From Wikimedia Commons

Michael Edward writes about the ongoing ecological disaster that has befallen the population of the Gulf of Mexico, at blueplague.org:

There’s a new proprietary recipe being force-fed to all of us here on the Gulf of Mexico that is now becoming available worldwide. Although this recipe has been closely guarded for 8 months, we were able to break it down after examining the plentiful supply us “Gulf Coasters” have available here. The ingredients are abundantly available while both the recipe and the brewing process are not as secret as everyone had thought.

THE GULF BLUE PLATE (BP) SPECIAL

Fill a large bowl with saline ocean water, add a generous proportion of thick crude oil, then pour in a cup of liquid Correct-it (available from Nalco under the brand name Corexit) making sure you don’t spill any on yourself, stir gently, and then let it sit for a day or two.

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Scientists Find Damage to Coral — Essential to Marine Life — Near BP’s Oil-Spill Well

CoralThe Associated Press reports via CommonDreams:

For the first time, federal scientists have found damage to deep sea coral and other marine life on the ocean floor several miles from the blown-out BP well — a strong indication that damage from the spill could be significantly greater than officials had previously acknowledged.

Tests are needed to verify that the coral died from oil that spewed into the Gulf of Mexico after the Deepwater Horizon rig explosion, but the chief scientist who led the government-funded expedition said Friday he was convinced it was related.

“What we have at this point is the smoking gun,” said Charles Fisher, a biologist with Penn State University who led the expedition aboard the Ronald Brown, a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration research vessel. “There is an abundance of circumstantial data that suggests that what happened is related to the recent oil spill,” Fisher said.

For the government, the findings were a departure from earlier statements.

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Are Oyster Herpes the Latest Symptom of Global Warming?

OysterOK if it's not global warming related (a very contentious issue on disinfo.com), what the hell has been f#cking these oysters? Rachel Kaufman writes on National Geographic News:
New strain can kill 80 percent of an oyster bed in a week, experts say. Don't worry — oyster herpes isn't a new side effect of eating "the food of love." The incurable, deadly virus is, however, alarming fishing communities in Europe, where oyster herpes seems to be spreading — and could go on spreading as seas continue to warm, experts say. In July lab testing of farmed oysters detected the first known United Kingdom cases of herpes in the shellfish. The virus has already killed between 20 to 100 percent of breeding Pacific oysters in some French beds in 2008, 2009, and 2010, according to the French Research Institute for Exploitation of the Sea.
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Man (In A ‘Jaws’-Like Event) Films and Survives A Near-Miss Shark Attack

JAWSChuck Patterson is clearly a survivor, as he describes:
... the day before I shot this video, i was surfing with a couple friends and 2 sharks circled us for about 15 minutes. the next day, i decided to go back out at around the same time and take my GO PRO HD HERO camera mounted on a 10 ft pole and do some exploring. Sure enough within 5 minutes a 9 ft shark came out of no where and circled twice and slapped his tail on my board before disappearing. then a minute later a 7 ft young juvenile Great White swam circles around me for 12 minutes. It was an unreal experience that I will cherish forever...
If only the good Mr. Quint had such fortune ...
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Nothing Good in This One-Year Projection of the Gulf Coast Oil Spill (Video)

Gulf Coasr Oil Spill ProjectionCyriaque Lamar posted on io9.com this interesting research from the University of Hawaii. Cyriaque Lamar writes:
Researchers at the University of Hawaii at Mānoa have created a simulation of the potential spread of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill over 360 days. Their hypothetical scenario? All sorts of bad. Researchers at Mānoa's School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology (SOEST) have created a model that charts the oil's possible path over the course of approximately a year:
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Toxins Found in Whales Bode Ill for Humans

WhalingArthur Max writes on the AP:

AGADIR, Morocco — Sperm whales feeding even in the most remote reaches of Earth’s oceans have built up stunningly high levels of toxic and heavy metals, according to American scientists who say the findings spell danger not only for marine life but for the millions of humans who depend on seafood.

A report released Thursday noted high levels of cadmium, aluminum, chromium, lead, silver, mercury and titanium in tissue samples taken by dart gun from nearly 1,000 whales over five years. From polar areas to equatorial waters, the whales ingested pollutants that may have been produced by humans thousands of miles away, the researchers said.

“These contaminants, I think, are threatening the human food supply. They certainly are threatening the whales and the other animals that live in the ocean,” said biologist Roger Payne, founder and president of Ocean Alliance, the research and conservation group that produced the report.

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The Great Atlantic Garbage Patch

The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is not alone. We now have our very own on the East coast. Via AP: garbage_patch
Researchers are warning of a new blight on the ocean: a swirl of confetti-like plastic debris stretching over thousands of square miles (kilometers) in a remote expanse of the Atlantic Ocean. The floating garbage — hard to spot from the surface and spun together by a vortex of currents — was documented by two groups of scientists who trawled the sea between scenic Bermuda and Portugal's mid-Atlantic Azores islands. "We found the great Atlantic garbage patch," said Anna Cummins, who collected plastic samples on a sailing voyage in February. The debris is harmful for fish, sea mammals — and at the top of the food chain, potentially humans — even though much of the plastic has broken into such tiny pieces they are nearly invisible.
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Massive Iceberg Could Alter Ocean Currents

Evidence of global warming? From Discovery News:

A massive iceberg struck Antarctica, dislodging another giant block of ice from a glacier, Australian and French scientists said Friday.

The two icebergs are drifting together about 62 to 93 miles (100 to 150 kilometers) off eastern Antarctica following the collision on Feb. 12 or 13, said Australian Antarctic Division glaciologist Neal Young.

“It gave it a pretty big nudge,” Young said of the 60-mile (97-kilometer) -long iceberg, about the size of Luxembourg, that collided with the giant floating Mertz Glacier and shaved off a new iceberg. “They are now floating right next to each other.”

The new iceberg is 48 miles (78 kilometers) long and about 24 miles (39 kilometers) wide and holds roughly the equivalent of a fifth of the world’s annual total water usage, Young told The Associated Press.

The iceberg that hit the Mertz Glacier is called B9B and had broken free from another part of Antarctica in 1987.

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