Pacific Ocean News

Members of Professor David Barclay’s lab deploy an underwater acoustic reader. Copyright: David Barclay

Dalhousie University: Quiet Oceans Speak Volumes During Lockdown

professor in the Department of Oceanography, and researchers in his lab took advantage of the current lockdown to explore how the underwater soundscape has changed during the pandemic. Oceans Network Canada, a University of Victoria initiative that operates ocean observatories in the northeast Pacific Ocean and the Salish Sea, provided hydrophones that allowed Barclay and his team to analyse the noise environment of British Columbia’s coastal waters.The paper, recently accepted for publication in the Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, reported measurable reductions in low-frequency

(Image: NOAA)

Near- or Below-normal Hurricane Season Predicted for Central Pacific

activity in the Central Pacific region compared to more active seasons,” said Gerry Bell, Ph.D., NOAA’s lead seasonal hurricane forecaster at the Climate Prediction Center. “Less activity is predicted since ocean temperatures are likely to be near-average in the central and eastern Pacific Ocean where hurricanes form, and because El Nino is not present to increase the activity.”This outlook is a general guide to the overall seasonal tropical cyclone activity in the Central Pacific basin, and does not predict whether, or how many, of these systems will affect Hawaii. The hurricane

(Photo: Allseas)

Drillship to Be Converted for Subsea Mining

with land-based extraction.”In partnership with ocean scientists, DeepGreen is currently undertaking an integrated ocean surface-to-seabed research program to fully understand the impact of collecting nodules from the ocean floor. In addition to generating new scientific knowledge of the Pacific Ocean, insights generated from this research will enable Allseas to design technology solutions that minimize environmental impact of nodule collection operations

Blue whale in the Pacific Ocean. Photo credit: Jessica Morten, Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary, National Ocean Service, NOAA

Study: How Changes in Shipping Patterns Affect Whales

Understanding how changes in shipping traffic and distributions of fin, humpback, and blue whales in the Pacific Ocean affect the risk of whales being struck by ships is the focus of a new study published in the scientific journal, Frontiers. The findings also have implications for highly endangered North Atlantic right whales in the Atlantic Ocean.Dr. Jessica V. Redfern, an Ecologist, Senior Scientist, and Chair of the new Spatial Ecology, Mapping, and Assessment Program (EcoMap) at the New England Aquarium’s Anderson Cabot Center for Ocean Life, is the lead author of the study. She maps the

At 88 years young, Capt. Walsh still runs the day-to-day operations of International Maritime, a consulting company he established in 1976.
Image Courtesy Don Walsh.

Trieste: 60th Anniversary of Deepest Dive

Plunging into the deep, dark abyss of the Pacific Ocean’s Mariana Trench, U.S. Navy Lt. Don Walsh and Swiss engineer Jacques Piccard heard a loud cracking sound in their vessel—the bathyscaphe Trieste, which the Office of Naval Research (ONR) purchased for scientific observations.Already 30,000 feet below sea level, Walsh and Piccard faced the ultimate decision—risk their lives to become the first people to travel to the deepest part of the ocean, the Challenger Deep, or return to safety.The crack had scarred one of Trieste’s outer plexiglass panels. Walsh and Piccard (whose

Solwara 1 project seabed mining tools. Courtesy Nautilus Minerals.

Will 2020 be the year for Subsea Mining?

ocean minerals of commercial interest; polymetallic nodules, seafloor massive sulfides and polymetallic crusts.Polymetallic Nodules were the first of the seafloor minerals to be discovered.  These nodules are of commercial interest for their high manganese content. In one area of the North Pacific Ocean seabed known as the Clarion Clipper Zone, the International Seabed Authority (ISA) estimates there are over 20 billion tons of these nodules. Generally, these nodules lie atop ocean sediment at depths greater than 3000 meters.Seafloor Massive Sulfides (SMS) are formed by undersea volcanos and

 Photo by Michael Fox, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

Study: How Much of Corals’ Nutrition Comes From Hunting

, where, or why corals are eating, we may be able to understand why they survive better in some places than others during future bleaching events.”CoralsFox and his colleagues conducted their study from samples they collected at Palmyra Atoll, a remote US national wildlife refuge in the central Pacific Ocean. After bringing them back into the lab, the researchers removed the coral polyps from their skeletons, and then separated the coral animals and their symbiotic algae in a centrifuge. The team then extracted essential amino acids from the corals, their symbionts, and the tiny zooplankton that

© Alexander/Adobe Stock

July: Earth's Hottest Month Ever Recorded

that was 1.71 degrees F above the 20th-century average of 56.9 degrees, tying with 2017 as the second-hottest year to date on record.It was the hottest year to date for parts of North and South America, Asia, Australia, New Zealand,  the southern half of Africa, portions of the western Pacific Ocean, western Indian Ocean and the Atlantic Ocean.Also, according to NOAA:-- Record-low sea ice: Average Arctic sea ice set a record low for July, 19.8% below average – surpassing the previous historic low of July 2012.-- Average Antarctic sea-ice coverage was 4.3% below the 1981-2010 average

Swedish icebreaker Oden (Photo: University of Rhode Island)

Scientists Find Micro Plastic in Arctic Ice

in both its abundance and its scale," said Brice Loose, an oceanographer at the University of Rhode Island and chief scientist of the expedition, known as the Northwest Passage Project.The scientists' dismay is reminiscent of the consternation felt by explorers who found plastic waste in the Pacific Ocean's Marianas Trench, the deepest place on Earth, during submarine dives earlier this year.The Northwest Passage Project is primarily focused on investigating the impact of manmade climate change on the Arctic, whose role as the planet's cooling system is being compromised by the rapid vanishing

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