Do Humans Influence Jellyfish Populations along Coasts? Animals Environment Oceanography 

Do Humans Influence Jellyfish Coastal Populations?

By Laura Treible @aqua_belle Jellyfish are a common nuisance to beachgoers in the summertime, but why certain years have massive jellyfish blooms while others do not is often a mystery. In recent years, some areas appear to have larger and more frequent blooms, so it is important to determine the causes of blooms in general, as well as whether jellyfish blooms are increasing. How humans impact jellyfish Human activities such as changing our global climate, fishing, and increasing pollution or nutrients entering waterways influence the oceans in many ways. Some…

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Is Climate Change Causing These Moose to Shrink? Biology Environment 

Is Climate Change Causing These Moose to Shrink?

By Emily Rhode @riseandsci The effects of climate change are starting to show themselves in strange and unexpected ways. For the cold-adapted moose of Isle Royale, Michigan, a warming environment could literally be causing them to shrink. According to researchers at Michigan Technological University, the flourishing moose population at the heart of the world’s longest-running predator-prey relationship study is displaying alarming changes that may be most readily explained by environmental pressures. The soon-to-be-released 60-year study of the dynamics between the moose and wolf population of the tiny island in the…

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Citizen Science Promotes Environmental Engagement Citizen Science Environment 

Citizen Science Promotes Environmental Engagement

By Neha Jain @lifesciexplore Citizen science projects are rapidly gaining popularity among the public, in which volunteers help gather data on species that can be used by scientists in research. And it’s not just adults who are involved in these projects—even kids have collected high-quality data in the US. In addition to producing more data for scientific research, citizen science promotes interest in conservation and public awareness. Now, an Australian study has found that first-year university students can benefit from increased environmental engagement and greater understanding of their studies when…

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Sumatran Tigers Clinging to Survival Animals Environment 

Sumatran Tigers Clinging to Survival

By Kate Stone @GotScienceOrg For the past year, a research expedition has tracked endangered tigers through the Sumatran jungles and found the animals barely clinging to survival in low-density populations. The expedition findings have reawakened fears about the possible extinction of these elusive apex predators. What is the key to saving the Sumatran tigers? Protecting their habitat, researchers say. Tigers on the neighboring islands of Java, Bali, and Singapore went extinct in the twentieth century. Their extinction led to new antipoaching efforts by people hoping to help Sumatran tigers avoid…

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Renewable Energy and the Power of Diverse Sources Environment 

Renewable Energy and the Power of Diverse Sources

By Susannah Bruck As we continue to explore new forms of renewable energy, in order to decrease our dependence on oil and coal, researchers are beginning to see which energy sources are the cleanest and most efficient. We also need to consider which forms of renewable energy are viable options to power our homes, businesses, cars, and devices on a large scale. The use of renewable energy in the United States has steadily increased in recent years as the public’s awareness and interest has grown. However, in 2015, only 10…

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Artificial Night-Lights Are Growing, Getting Brighter Environment Technology 

Artificial Night-Lights Are Growing, Getting Brighter

By Neha Jain @lifesciexplore As soon as it gets dark, street lights, which have become widespread in the developed world—and are rapidly expanding in the developing world—are switched on. Indeed, since the second half of the twentieth century, Earth has become brighter at night. Now, new satellite-based research shows that our outdoor artificial night-lights are still spreading to more areas on Earth and have gotten brighter over the past few years. How night-lights impact the world Outdoor lighting is regarded as a necessity, especially in highly populated areas, but artificial…

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How Can Caribbean Corals Cope with Climate Change? Animals Environment Oceanography 

How Can Caribbean Corals Cope with Climate Change?

By Justin Baumann @jbaumann3  The planet is warming. This is a fact we should all be comfortable with by now. As a result of this warming (and other human-caused stressors such as overfishing and nutrient pollution coupled with disease), coral reefs are in decline globally. Corals are animals that live in a symbiotic relationship with algae from the genus Symbiodinium. These symbionts are photosynthetic and transfer sugars to the coral host. While corals can also capture prey using their stinging cells and tentacles, most reef-building corals rely heavily on the…

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Ocean Floor Warming Affects Antarctic Seabed Life Biology Environment Oceanography 

Ocean Floor Warming Affects Antarctic Seabed Life

By Neha Jain @lifesciexplore A rise in ocean temperatures by 1°C may not seem like a lot. But researchers were surprised to find nearly doubled growth of some species with just one-degree rise in ocean warming and varied growth responses of assemblages with two degrees of warming, in the most realistic marine warming study conducted in Antarctica to date. These drastic changes in community structure may have huge consequences for the entire ecosystem, as they affect the food chain. “I was not expecting such a visible difference,” said Gail Ashton,…

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Underwater Gardening: Coral Reefs and Aquaculture Animals Citizen Science Environment Oceanography 

Underwater Gardening: Coral Reefs and Aquaculture

By Shayna Keyles Twitter @shaynakeyles Instagram @shaynakeyles Our oceans are home to most of the world’s biodiversity, and 25 percent of its diversity thrives in coral reefs—that’s about two million species that call the reefs their home. But as reefs suffer the effects of climate change and globalization (several Caribbean reef-building species are now considered endangered), their ecosystems suffer, too. Fish colonies that provide food for coastal communities dry up, and the natural barriers that the reefs create become less effective, leading to more destruction in the wake of tropical…

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Coral Gardening Effectively Restores Staghorn Corals Biology Environment Oceanography 

Coral Gardening Effectively Restores Staghorn Corals

By Neha Jain @lifesciexplore Staghorn corals (Acropora cervicornis)—a threatened species that resembles deer antlers—are effectively restored by coral gardening, a process that involves cutting coral fragments from healthy, wild donor colonies, rearing the coral fragments in underwater nurseries, and outplanting or reattaching onto degraded reefs, finds a study conducted in the Caribbean. The study demonstrates that current restoration methods are very effective, that no excess damage is done to donor colonies, and that once outplanted, the corals behave like wild colonies. Stephanie Schopmeyer, a coral biologist at the University of…

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