Environmental activists celebrated last week when oil giant Woodside Petroleum scratched plans to build a US$47 billion natural gas plant on the coast of Northwestern Australia. This area is home to many sea turtles and whale watching is popular just offshore. While this is a victory for the local community, it isn’t the end of the debate because Woodside is now looking at offshore opportunities.
The Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO) is a 60-80 year cycle between warm and cold sea surface temperatures in the North Atlantic. We are currently in a warm period that began in 1995. The last warm period lasted from 1930-1960. New research shows for the first time that trends in European fisheries, like the sudden switch from herring to sardines in the English Channel in the 1930s, reflect the AMO.
Coccolithophores are a kind of microscopic marine algae with hard calcite shells that form the base of marine food chains. The shells make them sensitive to ocean acidification, but a new study suggests that not all will be threatened by it. One particular kind, Emiliania huxleyi, was shown to get much bigger instead of dissolving away, like expected, in highly acidic waters.
Studies of the largest unfinished marine reserve in the world, the Chagos Archipelago in the central Indian Ocean, shows that large-scale marine reserves work. In the Chagos Archipelago, there is a dramatic difference in the number, size and variety of fish when compared to the more common, smaller marine reserves. These results show that big reserves are much more effective at protecting fish than smaller ones, leading many scientists to push for more, big ocean wilderness parks.
Copyright © 2013 by Marine Science Today, a publication of Marine Science Today LLC.