Arctic Sees First Underwater Observatory
Scientists received the first data stream Tuesday from the sea floor observatory, a five-meter-wide frame equipped with instruments to measure temperature, pressure, oxygenation and ice thickness was installed last weekend at the hamlet of Cambridge Bay, Nunavut. The University of Victoria’s Ocean Science Network commissioned observatory. The observatory is a smaller version of units designed and operated by UVic-based Ocean Networks Canada. ONC operates NEPTUNE, a cable-connected 800-km deep ocean network of observatories off the west coast of Vancouver Island and VENUS, a 50-km network in the Strait of Georgia. The Cambridge Bay observatory is connected to an onshore monitoring station that relays data to ONC scientists in near real time via the Internet.
Rio Oil&Gas 2012 – Great Outlook for New Business
A major opportunity for new business and new joint ventures was the prime result of the 2012 edition of the Rio O&G. Brazil’s National Petroleum Organization (Onip) believes the event may have been a catalyst for R$ 152,8 million (US$76,4 million) in new business for the next twelve months. A study made by Onip with companies present and the Rio O&G 2012 showed that 84% of these companies expected to undertake some for of new business opportunities in the near future. A total of 13 foreign and 17 local O&G companies negotiated to form joint ventures in the industry, of these 13 expect to close a deal on new joint ventures in the near future. These include local companies and companies from Canada, U.S, England, Argentina, Italy and France.
Scientists Discover New Microscopic Sea Life
The crew of the research Vessel Tara has recently completed a two-and-a-half year 70,000-mile expedition. The expedition provides a snapshot of life at the bottom of the oceanic food chain. More than 30,000 samples of seawater were taken from locations across the globe, from the North Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, south to the remote Antarctic seas. The expedition's findings reveal the diversity and complexity of the tiny plankton that are a vital food source for fish and whales. In total, 1.5 million species of marine microorganisms were recorded – significantly more than were previously believed to exist. They range from creatures that are one centimeter in length, to tiny life forms that are measured in billionths of a meter.
OCEARCH Docks at Working Waterfront Festival in New England
The ship and crew from OCEARCH are currently tied up at the dock in New Bedford, Ma during the annual Working Waterfront Festival. The research supported by OCEARCH can be seen on the series Shark Wranglers televised globally by History Channel. OCEARCH fieldwork involves the attracting, catching, tagging, and bio-sampling of sharks before they are released. The shark is monitored at all times under expert guidance and maintained on the platform by water over its gills. OCEARCH facilitates research by supporting leading researchers and institutions seeking to attain groundbreaking data on the biology and health of sharks, in conjunction with basic research on shark life history and migration.
O&G Exploration to Increase in Brazil
Brazil has been investing in a major effort to increase its exploratory O&G campaign along the countries coast and also inland where major gas reservoirs have been recently located. Unfortunately, this is still not enough as presently Brazil is exploring only 4% of its areas with O&G potential. Of the 7,5 million square kilometers of sedimentary basins located in the country, only 7% have actually been researched, including all the recent major pre-salt discoveries. This points to major untapped O&G potential in the country, the numbers are impressive and point to a need to increase even more the research and exploration of the huge areas still untouched. This further increase in exploration brings various safety and environmental risks along with it.
Scientists and Engineers Work to Market New Instruments
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) researchers have partnered with two companies to build and market undersea technology developed at WHOI: the Imaging FlowCytobot, an automated underwater microscope, and BlueComm, an underwater communications system that uses light to provide wireless transmission of data, including video imagery, in real or near-real time. WHOI biologists Robert Olson and Heidi Sosik, creators of the Imaging FlowCytobot, have licensed their instrument to Falmouth-based McLane Research Laboratories, which manufactures and sells a wide range of precision oceanographic instruments. WHOI engineers Norman E. Farr and Jonathan Ware are partnering with U.K.-based underwater acoustics and communications company Sonardyne International Ltd.…
New Studies Show Heat Waves to Move Toward Coasts
A new study by researchers at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UC San Diego, suggests that the nature of California heat waves is changing due to global warming. Climate researchers detected a trend toward more humid heat waves that are expressed very strongly in elevated nighttime temperatures, a trend consistent with climate change projections. Moreover, relative to local warming, the mid-summer heat waves are getting stronger in generally cooler coastal areas. Classic California heat waves have been characterized as interior desert and valley events that are hot during the day and marked by dryness and strong nighttime cooling.
SSR Continues Work on the Port Nicholson
The company Sub Sea research continues work on the Port Nicholson, a wreck found in Boston harbor the beginning of the year. The Port Nicholson was torpedoed by a German U-boat in the summer of 1942. The Port Nicholson is a steel-hulled, 481 ft. merchant ship, coal fired freighter built in 1918 at the Tynes & Wear shipyard. She was carrying two special envoy USSR agents overseeing the delivery of a very important Lend-Lease payment from the USSR to USA. She along with 4 other commercial vessels were being escorted by an unusually high number of military ships. The normal ratio at the time was near 1:10 or less but this convoy ratio was 6:5. Maybe it was the fact they were delivering 1,707,000 oz. troy, in 400 oz. bars of platinum.
SeaBotix Collaborates with Canadian Navy at 2012 RIMPAC
RIMPAC, the Rim of the Pacific Exercise is the world’s largest international maritime warfare exercise. RIMPAC is held during June and July in Honolulu, Hawaii. With RIMPAC the United States Pacific Command seeks to enhance interoperability between Pacific Rim armed forces, as a means of promoting stability in the region to the benefit of all participating nations. The Pacific faces several potential conflicts, which the United States Department of Defense believes may require naval force-on-force engagements. These include the possibility of the Peoples Republic of China invading Taiwan in the event of its declaration of independence, North Korean aggression toward South Korea, the US, and Japan.
Robots Assist in Re-build of Coral Reefs
A team of researchers from Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh has developed a swarm of robots to hand build-damaged coral reefs. The team of 'coralbots', each working individually to simple rules, will piece together damaged pieces of coral, allowing them to regrow. The approach is inspired by the behavior of natural swarms of insects such as bees and wasps, which collectively build substantial and complex structures. Volunteer scuba divers can help assist regrowth by reassembling coral fragments, but they are limited by the length of time they are able to stay underwater and the depths of the coral, which may be too far down for divers to reach. Swarm robots have an added benefit to the project in that they reduce the engineering requirements for extremely robust robots.
Stanford Researchers Use Wave Glider to Track Predators
Stanford Scientist Barbara Block is using the Liquid Robotics Wave Glider to track predators in the Pacific. Dr. Block has long been involved in the Tagging of Pacific Predators (TOPP) program. Tagging of Pacific Predators began in 2000 as one of 17 projects of the Census of Marine Life, an ambitious 10-year, 80-nation endeavor to assess and explain the diversity and abundance of life in the oceans, and where that life has lived, is living, and will live. Block and her colleagues found North America's West Coast to contain several varied creatures like tuna, white sharks, sea turtles, seals, and albatross. Therefore, the California Current is likened to Africa's Serengeti. This initiative also involves wiring up the favorable regions discovered during TOPP.