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Tag archives for Water

Diving Deep Below Arctic Ice to Bring Back Our Ocean’s Skeletons: #bestjobever

Polar expeditions to explore the ocean are not for the faint of heart. Above the water’s surface, you better be on alert for polar bears. Below, you better be game for diving 60 feet under sea ice into freezing temperatures. Watch National Geographic grantee Branwen Williams lead a team to the Canadian Arctic to do both in an effort to better understand how our oceans and the climate are changing over time.

A Market-Based Strategy for Sustainable Water Management

By Brian Richter, Chief Scientist, Water, The Nature Conservancy Australia is one of the driest inhabited places on Earth. Yet nearly two-thirds of the country’s land area is devoted to agriculture, generating 93 percent of the domestic food supply. The country is only able to sustain this level of food production through irrigation and an…

Volcanic Eruption Affects Sea Level Rise

A new study in the journal Scientific Reports suggests that the evidence to pinpoint expected acceleration of sea-level rise due to climate change was hiding behind the effects of a 1991 eruption of Mount Pinatubo. This eruption sent tens of millions of tons of sulphur dioxide into the stratosphere and may have masked the effects of industrial…

Canada oks use of Corexit for oil spills—despite what we’ve learned in the Gulf

Co-authored by Erica Cirino After Shell Oil’s Brutus oil well platform 90 miles south of the Louisiana coast spewed more than 88,000 gallons of crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico this May, Shell contracted Clean Gulf Associates and Marine Spill Response Corporation to clean up its mess. The two companies deployed workers in boats…

More ocean acidification, less coral?

Co-authored by Erica Cirino Scientists have known for about 15 years that ocean acidification has made it more difficult for hard corals and shelled marine organisms to survive. To grow, hard corals as well as clams, oysters, and others pull calcium and carbonate molecules out of the water and join them together to create calcium…

Return to the World’s Oldest Desert (and Its Bats!)

Theresa Laverty studies the drivers of desert bat abundance and diversity for her Ph.D. in Joel Berger’s lab at Colorado State University. She has returned to Namibia a second time and is in the midst of another year of fieldwork.

It’s Catching, If You’re a Clam: Infectious Cancer Spreading in Soft-Shell Clams, Other Mollusks

It sounds like the plot of a summer horror flick: Malignant cells floating in the sea, ferrying infectious cancer everywhere they go. The story is all too true, say scientists who’ve made a discovery they call “beyond surprising.” Outbreaks of leukemia that have devastated populations of soft-shell clams (Mya arenaria) along the east coast of…

On World Oceans Day, A View from the Top

A conversation with Bertrand Piccard, the scientist-adventurer currently on the American leg of his global solar flight on the Solar Impulse 2, on the view from 28,000 feet, how we nearly turned our ocean into a dump for nuclear waste and win-win solutions for a healthy planet. We spoke on the eve of World Oceans Day.…

What’s up with microbeads? An update on a tiny terror wreaking havoc in our waterways

Co-authored by Erica Cirino In March, I wrote about a new study with a scary conclusion: Experts estimate there are more than 165 million plastic pieces in the New York-New Jersey Harbor Estuary, a region where fresh river water meets seawater close to shore. Many of those plastic pieces are exceedingly small in size—called, “mircoplastics,”…

Submarine Diving in Deep-Sea Galápagos: #bestjobever

What’s it like to submarine dive a thousand feet underwater to an unexplored region of the Galápagos Islands? Marine conservationist and National Geographic Emerging Explorer Jessica Cramp takes us on a journey to find out.

Melting of Totten Glacier Could Trigger 6 Foot Sea-Level Rise

A new study published in the journal Nature is drawing attention to the effect of warming water on the world’s largest ice mass, Totten Glacier in East Antarctica. Melting of the glacier, which has an ice catchment area bigger than California, could lift oceans at least two meters (6.56 feet). According to researchers who mapped the shape of…

How street art can help keep waterways clean and clear of trash

Co-authored by Erica Cirino I’m strolling down Main Street in Northport, a nautical, perhaps quintessential, Long Island village that comes complete with bay views and the scent of sea spray in the air. A friend across the street calls my name just as I’m making the difficult decision of whether or not I should enter…

Fish Run Through It: The Importance of Maintaining and Reconnecting Free-Flowing Rivers

By Jeff Opperman, Director and Lead Scientist, Great Rivers Program, The Nature Conservancy Eventually, all things merge into one, and a river runs through it.  – Norman Maclean This sparse sentence by Norman Maclean comprises some of the most beautiful words written about rivers in the English language. It captures how rivers serve as living…

Mapping out the chronic effects of silent oil spills

By Anna Kulow We are all familiar with the images from massive oil spills. A sea otter blackened by a thick coating of oil on its fur. Masses of dead fish floating in iridescent seawater. Pelicans being lifted from the water, hydrocarbons dripping from their saturated feathers. However, the majority of oil pollution in our oceans…

A Pacific salmon hub is under threat

The Skeena River snakes out of fir-lined fjords on the misty northern coast of British Columbia, and washes over a thousand-acre sandbar. Flora Bank is a biological bottleneck over which millions of finger-length young salmon enter the sea each spring. Scientist Allen Gottesfeld calls Flora Bank the “Grand Central Station” for the watershed. All streams…