Scientists at MIT have now identified a key mechanism, which they call the 'ice-ocean governor,' that controls how fast the Beaufort Gyre spins and how much fresh water it stores. In a paper published today in Geophysical Research Letters, the researchers report that the Arctic's ice cover essentially sets a speed limit on the gyre's spin.
In the Mediterranean region, there are numerous UNESCO World Heritage Sites in low-lying coastal areas. In the course of the 21st century, these sites will increasingly be at risk by storm surges and increasing coastal erosion due to sea-level rise.
Like people, blue crabs aren't all the same sizes and shapes. Now Rutgers scientists have discovered substantial differences in the body structures of larval crab siblings and among larvae from different mothers. And that can mean the difference between an early death and survival into adulthood for this important commercial and recreational species.
In an extensive and rigorous study of animal life on the Central Arctic Ocean floor, researchers have shown that water depth and food availability influence the species composition, density, and biomass of benthic communities, according to a study published Oct. 17, 2018, in the open-access journal PLOS ONE.
An international team of earth scientists has linked the establishment of the Mekong River to a period of major intensification of the Asian monsoon during the middle Miocene, about 17 million years ago, findings that supplant the assumption that the river incised in response to tectonic causes.
When they first set out to follow grey reef sharks around the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI), Darcy Bradley and her colleagues intended to survey their movement in the protected waters there. What they found was a disturbing development for the Pacific island nation.
A new study reveals phytoplankton spring blooms in the Arctic Ocean, which were previously nonexistent, are expanding northward at a rate of one degree of latitude per decade. Although blooms did not previously occur in this area, phytoplankton were present in the Arctic's central basin at low biomass. The study also found the primary productivity of the phytoplankton, or the rate at which phytoplankton convert sunlight into chemical energy, is increasing during the spring blooms.
El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) leads to extreme climatic variations called El Niño and La Niña that cause dangerous weather conditions in many regions throughout the world. Currently, a reliable forecast of the ENSO phases can be made about a year beforehand. This study, led by researchers at POSTECH, details a novel method that allows for the accurate forecast of its phases up to 17 months in advance.
Researchers at the University of California, Riverside, have found the oldest clue yet of animal life, dating back at least 100 million years before the famous Cambrian explosion of animal fossils.
Engineers at MIT have developed an algorithm that quickly pinpoints the types of extreme events that are likely to occur in a complex system, such as an ocean environment, where waves of varying magnitudes, lengths, and heights can create stress and pressure on a ship or offshore platform. The researchers can simulate the forces and stresses that extreme events -- in the form of waves -- may generate on a particular structure.