Ocean

Researchers harness a NASA satellite to track microplastics in the Atlantic

Researchers harness a NASA satellite to track microplastics in the Atlantic

Researchers from the University of Michigan have devised a way to use data collected by NASA satellites to track the movement of tiny pieces of plastic in the Atlantic Ocean. The plastic they're tracking is known as microplastics and forms when plastic trash in the ocean begins to break down from a combination of sun rays and the motion of ocean waves. Microplastics are a significant concern for the marine ecosystem as the small pieces are harmful to marine organisms and the ecosystem in general.

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Researchers find that coelacanths may live for nearly a century

Researchers find that coelacanths may live for nearly a century

A fish swims in the deep ocean called the coelacanth with odd lobe-shaped fins that grows to extremely large proportions. Coelacanths can reach lengths of up to six feet and weigh about 200 pounds, making them about the size of a human male. Researchers have recently discovered that coelacanths can live for up to five times longer than previously expected.

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Michelin Wing Sail Mobility project makes massive cargo ships more efficient

Michelin Wing Sail Mobility project makes massive cargo ships more efficient

Michelin is a name that's most often associated with tires of all sorts. The company has a project that has nothing to do with automotive tires that is called the Wing Sail Mobility (WISAMO) project that slots into the company's sustainable inflatability endeavors. WISAMO is a project that aims to increase the efficiency of massive cargo ships that carry products across the oceans. The project wants to increase the efficiency of cargo ships and reduce their emissions output by equipping them with two massive inflatable sails that deploy to take advantage of the winds at sea.

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Project Ocean-Shot aims to restore dead coral reefs

Project Ocean-Shot aims to restore dead coral reefs

Scientists say that global warming is contributing to the decline of coral reefs around the world. Marine scientist Deborah Brosnan says she remembers diving on a coral reef near the Caribbean island of Saint Barthelemy, where she swam a reef teeming with life. She returned to the same location after hurricane Irma in 2017 and dove the reef again to discover that it was dead with no sea creatures and no living coral.

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Study highlights sea-level rise on the US Atlantic coast

Study highlights sea-level rise on the US Atlantic coast

Researchers from Rutgers University say the rate of increase in sea level in the 20th century along the US Atlantic coast was the fastest seen in 2000 years. Researchers say that southern New Jersey had the fastest rates of sea-level rise in the entire US. According to the team, global increases in sea level from melting ice and warming oceans between 1900 and 2000 resulted in a rate of increase that's more than twice the average for the years 0 to 1800.

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A new type of basalt rock discovered under the ocean floor

A new type of basalt rock discovered under the ocean floor

A team of researchers, including scientists from the University of Leeds, has discovered a new type of basalt while drilling into the Pacific Ocean floor. The discovery of the new variety of basalt suggests that ocean floor eruptions that began in the Earth's mantle were hotter and more voluminous than researchers previously believed. The basalt discovered by the scientists is said to be distinctly different from other known types of basalt.

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Vertebrates had the tools for walking long before they crawled out of the ancient oceans

Vertebrates had the tools for walking long before they crawled out of the ancient oceans

Scientists say that the very first vertebrates that walked our planet probably did so in the depths of the oceans millions of years before they moved to land. In 2018, scientists discovered that the little skate fish and some basil sharks were able to essentially walk across the ocean's bottom using some of the same neural circuits that we use for walking today. It was commonly believed that vertebrates only learned to walk when they began to leave the sea for the land about 380 million years ago.

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Purdue researchers create a cheap underwater glider

Purdue researchers create a cheap underwater glider

Autonomous submersible probes and drones are of use to scientists all around the world for exploring the oceans. There are challenges with designing underwater drones and other autonomous underwater vehicles because they can be intrusive to the environment and have trouble fitting through confined spaces. Researchers at Purdue University have created a new underwater drone that's highly maneuverable and low cost.

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Study finds Gulf Stream in the Atlantic Ocean is extremely weak

Study finds Gulf Stream in the Atlantic Ocean is extremely weak

A new study was published this week that found a critical current system in the Atlantic Ocean that helps to redistribute heat around the planet is extremely weak. The current is called the Gulf Stream, and according to the researchers on the study, it's moving more slowly now than it has in the last 1600 years. Interestingly, a similar study made the same claim back in 2018.

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Scientists observe octopuses punching fish proving 2020 is tough all over

Scientists observe octopuses punching fish proving 2020 is tough all over

No one likes a bully who punches for no reason. In the human world, we tend to avoid that type of person, and as it turns, the aquatic world also has its share of bullies. Scientists recently published a study where they observed octopuses punching fish. The most interesting part of the octopus' aggressive behavior is that there appeared to be no other reason than spite in some cases.

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MIT Underwater Backscatter Localization is like GPS for the ocean

MIT Underwater Backscatter Localization is like GPS for the ocean

Tracking drones or whales under the ocean is very difficult because GPS signals break down rapidly in seawater. Typically tracking objects underwater is done using acoustic signaling, but tracking devices using that technique typically require batteries, making them short-lived. MIT has a new solution that might make it easier to conduct ocean explorations and track sea creatures dubbed Underwater Backscatter Localization or UBL.

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