Sea Spray, Coral Bleaching and Blue Sharks

Written by on April 25, 2013 in Marine Life

Daily Summary

Sea spray.

Sea spray. Photo credit: Per Jensen via photopin cc.

Biological Activity Alters the Ability of Particles from Sea Spray to Seed Clouds

When waves in the ocean break, tiny air bubbles are formed. Those bubbles rise to the surface and burst, releasing gasses and tiny particles called aerosols into the atmosphere. A team of researchers has recently found that ocean biology can change the chemical composition of that sea spray, influencing the way clouds are formed over the ocean. For example, when certain bacteria were present in the water, fewer clouds were formed.

Insights Into Deadly Coral Bleaching Could Help Preserve Reefs

When exposed to the exact same conditions, what causes some corals to survive and others to die? For the first time, researchers found that the corals themselves — specifically, the light-scattering properties of their skeletons — play a role in their ability to withstand potentially deadly bleaching events. The researchers found that corals that were less efficient at light scattering were able to retain their symbiotic algae better under stressful conditions, making them more likely to survive. Corals that scatter light more efficiently do better under regular conditions, but suffer in stressful conditions.

Star coral, Seriatopora hystrix.

Star coral, Seriatopora hystrix. Photo credit: Liné1.

Shark’s record dive into the blue

A previously tagged male blue shark made a record-breaking dive off the Bay of Plenty Coast this week. Bodhi, the 2.5m shark, dived 1250 down probably chasing a squid which comprises 60 percent of a blue shark’s diet. The previous record-holder was a female blue shark that reached a depth of 1160m.

A blue shark (Prionace glauca).

A blue shark (Prionace glauca) caught on skipjack bait. Photo credit: Apex Predators Program, NOAA/NEFSC.

Copyright © 2013 by Marine Science Today, a publication of Marine Science Today LLC.

About the Author

About the Author: Emily Tripp is the Publisher and Editor of MarineScienceToday.com. She holds marine science and biology degrees from the University of Miami's Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science and a Master of Advanced Studies degree in Marine Biodiversity and Conservation from Scripps Institution of Oceanography. When she's not writing about marine science, she's probably running around outside or playing with her dog. .

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