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Ocean

— Science

Detailed seafloor gravity map brings the Earth's surface into sharp focus

Not so long ago the ocean floor was as unknown as the far side of the Moon. Now, an international team of scientists is using satellite data to chart the deep ocean by measuring the Earth's gravitational field. The result is a new, highly-detailed map that covers the three-quarters of the Earth's surface that lies underwater. The map is already providing new insights into global geology.

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— Environment

SmartFin gathers ocean data while users surf

When it comes to assessing the health of the oceans, scientists already utilize buoys and autonomous vehicles that monitor the deep waters. What they're lacking, however, is information on the waters close to shore – it's an area that's too shallow and/or turbulent for the usual tools. That's why SmartFin was created. It's a surfboard fin, that will allow surfers to gather oceanographic data for scientists.

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— Environment

Ocean-friendly Seabin sucks up surrounding sea trash

The mounting plastic waste in the world's oceans has been the subject of of some pretty bold environmental undertakings, perhaps none more so than the Ocean Cleanup Project aiming to eradicate the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. The Seabin Project represents a smaller-scale approach, but it is noble in its aspirations all the same. Installation in ports and marinas sees this ocean-friendly trash can suck up the surrounding debris and even remove oil from the water.

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— Environment

Shell Ocean Discovery XPrize offers millions to advance ocean exploration

We've seen XPrize competitions to get to the Moon and create a real life Star Trek Tricorder, among other goals. Now the latest competition is taking to the ocean depths with the Shell Ocean Discovery XPrize announced on Monday offering a total of US$7 million in prizes to encourage development of new technologies for unmanned exploration of the world's oceans.

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— Marine

BomBoard adds power and performance to its modular PWC

A year and a half ago, BomBoard introduced a prototype of what was billed as the world's first modular personal watercraft, weighing in at a total assembled weight of 150 lbs (68 kg) and kicking out around 40 hp. The company took what it learned from that model and will be launching a new version with a larger engine and other upgrades, resulting in an almost entirely new and more powerful machine.

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— Marine

Mother and son team to pedal across the Atlantic

With the goal of drawing attention to the mass extinction of species caused by human activity, a mother-and-son team from South Africa is aiming to cross the south Atlantic on a customized boat powered solely with a pedal system. Experienced adventurer Davey du Plessis (27), a raw vegan environmentalist, author and speaker, will lead the 6,450-km (4,008-mi) crossing that is expected to launch in late November, weather permitting. His mother, Robyn Wolff (50), who is also vegan, will be on the boat pedalling with him.


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— Environment

NASA teleconference on sea level change warns of rising oceans

On Aug. 26, NASA held a media teleconference regarding current predictions on sea level rise, highlighting the risks to coastal populations in low-lying areas, and the inherent problems in creating reliable global models. A panel of experts from NASA's recently-founded Sea Level Change Team tells us that ocean levels are inexorably on the rise, but gaps in our understanding and ability to survey risk regions mean we don't know just how fast the change will take place.

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— Marine

Deep-diving research submersible can plunge to 1,700 meters

The team at U-Boat Worx (UBW) has produced a number of futuristic-looking, submersible craft designs over the years, including the Ferrari-esque HP Sport Sub 2 and the superyacht-friendly Sub 3. The latest addition – the C-Researcher – is claimed to be the world’s first fully-transparent, 3-person underwater craft capable of diving to the formidable depth of 1,700 meters (5,577 feet).

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