Satellites reveal El Niño's impact

Data from NASA satellites is being used to help scientists analyze how El Niño – a natural, regularly-occurring event that sees large volumes of warm water move through the Pacific Ocean – is affecting a population of tiny ocean plants. A decline in the number of these plants can cause big disruptions to coastal fishing industries.Read More

Environment Feature

Stepping back in time to protect the future of the Great Barrier Reef

Australia's stunning Great Barrier Reef is changing, and not for the better. In the years since the industrial revolution, the increasing amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has made the oceans warmer and also more acidic, which is bad news if you're young coral trying to make your way in the world. In the first study of its kind, a team of scientists has altered the seawater chemistry in a natural section of the reef to mimic pre-industrial conditions, observing just how well the coral was able to grow before we came along and altered the landscape. Gizmag spoke with one of the researchers involved to learn how stepping back in time might make for smarter steps into the future.Read More


MIT develops early warning system for rogue waves

The open ocean is daunting enough when it's relatively calm, but add in the existence of huge, seemingly randomly-occurring walls of water, and it becomes downright terrifying. Now, researchers at MIT have come up with a new way of predicting when a rogue wave is about to hit, giving ships and offshore platforms a few precious minutes to prepare for the dangerous event.Read More


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.Read More


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.Read More


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.Read More


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