Irukandji threat to southern waters
A study led by Griffith University revealed a surprising benefit of ocean acidification: it may provide some protection from the dangerous Irukandji jellyfish for those around South East Queensland, Australia. Irukandji jellyfish are tiny but extremely venomous — a sting from Irukandji usually results in hospitalization. Simulating future climate change scenarios, researchers found that while higher sea temperatures could allow adult Irukandji to expand their range, increasing ocean acidification may inhibit the growth of juveniles. Irukandji are represented by at least six species of cubozoan jellyfish found throughout the world’s tropical zones, so these findings have global implications.
Measuring the impact of breaking waves on climate change
New research is focusing on the impact of breaking waves on climate change. The ‘Spar Buoy’ was developed by the National Oceanography Centre and is now measuring waves breaking in the open ocean off the coast of Newfoundland. The findings will provide more insight into the air-sea exchange of gas and aerosols at the surface of the ocean, which play a crucial role in climate change for two main reasons. Carbon dioxide is absorbed into the ocean at the sea surface and sea-spray aerosols contribute to cloud formation over the ocean, which impacts how much of the sun’s radiation gets reflected back into space.
Study maps human impacts on top ocean predators along U.S. west coast
A new study reveals the areas along the west coast of the U.S. where human impacts are highest on marine mammals. Many of those high-impact areas are located within the boundaries of National Marine Sanctuaries which means there is a possibility to increase protection. The study used tracking data for eight of the 23 species of marine predators that have been tracked since 2000 as a part of the Tagging of Pacific Predators (TOPP) program. Those species included: blue whales, humpback whales, northern elephant seals, California sea lions, black-footed and Laysan albatrosses, sooty shearwaters, and leatherback sea turtles. The impacts from human activities included things like fishing, shipping, climate change and pollution. Areas where key habitats for marine predators and human impacts overlap are the areas that should be managed more carefully.
Copyright © 2013 by Marine Science Today, a publication of Marine Science Today LLC.