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Ocean

Marine

Clever Buoy uses sonar to raise the shark alarm

In many parts of the world, shark attacks are a very real possibility for anyone entering the ocean. While suspended nets do help keep the toothsome fish separated from swimmers, they're far from from 100 percent reliable, plus sharks (along with other marine animals) regularly get caught in them and perish – as sharks are one of the ocean's apex predators, removing them from the ecosystem could have disastrous consequences. The Clever Buoy, however, may prove to be an effective method of keeping humans and sharks apart, with no harm coming to either. Read More

Science

Floating nuclear plants could prove tsunami-proof

The most frightening part of a tsunami hitting a nuclear power plant is what comes after – radioactive leaks that contaminate the water around the plant are exceedingly difficult to contain. The clean up of the radioactive water around the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant in Japan, which was struck by a tsunami in 2011, is expected to take decades. MIT researchers have come up with an alternative; they propose building floating nuclear plants, far enough offshore to simply ride out a tsunami and emerge unscathed.Read More

Science

Sharks help scientists and themselves, by wearing cameras and swallowing sensors

Perhaps you've seen footage from National Geographic's "Crittercam," an underwater video camera that has been attached to animals such as sharks and whales. Well, scientists from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa and the University of Tokyo have gone one better. Not only have they been putting cameras on sharks to see what they get up to, but they've also been slipping them ingestible sensors, to monitor their dietary habits. The data that they've gathered could help protect shark populations, and the overall health of the ocean. Read More

Marine

GE using medical X-rays to inspect undersea pipelines

Using X-rays and other forms of radiation has been a standard tool for testing pipelines for decades, but until now it's been largely confined to factories and land-based pipelines instead of the deep seabed. That’s changing as GE adapts its medical X-ray systems to work in the crushing pressures of the deep oceans, as part of a remote-controlled submersible rig for examining pipelines in place.Read More

Environment

Seafloor carpet mimics muddy seabed to harness wave power

Many organizations around the world are looking at ways to harness the power of waves as a renewable energy source, but none are covering quite the same ground as a team of engineers from the University of California (UC), Berkeley. The seafloor carpet, a system inspired by the wave absorbing abilities of a muddy seabed, has taken exploring the potential of wave power to some intriguing new depths.Read More

Environment

Study links stronger Pacific trade winds to pause in global warming

Despite an overwhelming consensus among climate scientists that warming trends over the past century are most likely the result of human activities, some claim that a plateau in global surface air temperatures since 2001 is evidence to the contrary. However, a new study suggests the recent stabilization of air temperatures is a result of abnormally strong east to west trade winds, causing warmth to be stored temporarily beneath the western Pacific ocean. Read More

Digital Cameras

Ovision takes the iPhone on a voyage to the bottom of the sea

If you want to snap some pics with your iPhone while snorkeling or scuba diving, there are already a number of polycarbonate underwater housings that will let you take your phone to a depth of 30 meters (100 ft) or so. A few others can protect it down to around 57 m (187 ft). According to Montreal-based product designer Pierre-Yves Pépin, however, his Ovision housing is good to at least 91 m (300 ft). Read More

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