Other stories worth reading this weekend:
Chilean blue whale conservation
The government of Chile approved the creation of a new marine protected area on the southern coast. The Tic-Toc MPA has an area of around 90,000 ha and, according to the World Wildlife Fund, will boost conservation efforts for blue whales and dolphins.
Flame Retardant Penguins?
New research reveals that Antarctica and the Southern Ocean may not be as pristine as we all thought. Researchers found high levels of the flame retardant hexabromocyclododecane (HBCD) in parts of the McMurdo Sound, which is a gateway to the Ross Sea. HBCD has the potential to affect brain development and weight in animals and has already been found in small sea sponges and Adelie penguins.
Masters Of Marine Disguise
The ocean is a competitive environment and one of the best ways to avoid a predator or hide from prey is to blend into the background. Check out this great post on some of the ocean’s best camouflage masters.
Ocean trash reborn as art in Alaska
A new exhibit at Alaska’s Anchorage Museum turns marine debris into art. It can be hard to get the public to care about ocean pollution when the issue seems so far away. This exhibit is designed to change that by showing people one of the biggest problems in the ocean up close and personal.
Offshore Wind Farms Work Like Hurricane Speed Bumps
A new study reveals that wind farms may be good for more than just pollution-free energy. Scientists found that in addition to generating energy, giant wind farms could also help “mitigate the destructive forces of hurricanes.” The power of the hurricane would diminish when passing through the wind farm and would lessen the destructiveness and the damage caused on shore.
Polar Bear Habitat Revealed in Google ‘Street View’ Photos
A new collaboration between Google and Polar Bears International (PBI) is bringing polar bears to homes and classrooms around the world. With the help of a Google Street View “Trekker,” the PBI team captured images from a Google Street View look at polar bear habitat. In addition to seeing the polar bears on Google Maps, researchers have also used this project to establish a baseline of what the polar bear habitat looked like in October and November of 2013.
Slapped in the face by a whale’s tail
Yes, seriously. A whale watcher got more than she bargained for when a whale got surprisingly close to the boat and its tail hit her in the face. She and the whale were unharmed.
Still-fresh remnants of Exxon Valdez oil protected by boulders
It’s been 25 years since the infamous Exxon Valdez oil spill in Prince William Sound, Alaska. New research reveals that some Alaskan beaches still have hidden pockets of oil that was positively identified as that from the Exxon Valdez. The study focused on learning how long oil persists after a spill and highlights how thorough cleanup crews need to be.
Whales, ships more common through Bering
A new study demonstrates that there is a growing number of both whales and ships in the Arctic. Three years of underwater recordings in the Bering Strait reveals more detections of Arctic and sub-Arctic whales traveling through the narrow passage. As ice melts, more species are expanding their territory and the researchers note that this trend will continue.
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