Ocean Research – February

2019:  FEB | APRIL | JUNE


Indian Monsoons Affect Atlantic Hurricane

Strong monsoons in the Indian Ocean can induce easterly winds that push Atlantic Ocean hurricanes westward, increasing the likelihood they’ll make landfall in the Americas, the American Geophysical Union reported. A new study finds that in years when summer rainstorms in India are stronger, Atlantic hurricanes move further westward toward land. In years where the rains aren’t as strong, hurricanes tend to curve northward earlier and fizzle out in the north Atlantic Ocean.

This discovery could help scientists better predict the path of hurricanes.

Reuters Series Shines Light
On Climate Change in Ocean

In the last few decades, oceans have undergone unprecedented warming. Reuters reporters and photographers reveal this natural disaster in the series “Ocean Shock”: reuters.com/investigates/special-report/ocean-shock-warming.

Among the findings are that fish are moving 10 times farther on average than land animals affected by rising temperatures, and warming waters are stressing tropical nations, but the aquaculture industry is adding to the pressure on fisheries; roughly 20 percent of the world’s wild-caught fish are ground up to make fishmeal.

360° Video from
Salish Sea Expedition

Researchers captured 360° images down to nearly 1,000 ft. near Friday Harbor in the San Juan Islands during the 2018 Salish Sea Survey Expedition. The Boxfish 360 camera from Oceans 360, a nonprofit to increase awareness of the oceans’ importance, was mounted to the exterior of Cyclops 1, a five-person manned submersible owned and operated by OceanGate. The expedition, conducted in September 2018, included seven dives over five days to allow three teams of scientists to observe the feeding strategies of deep-sea red urchins, document the sand-wave habitat of Pacific sand lances, and assess the potential impacts of scientific trawling on the ecosystem.

Environmental Think-Tank
For Market-Based Solutions

UC Santa Barbara’s Bren School of Environmental Science & Management has launched the Environmental Market Solutions Lab (emLab), a “think-and-do tank” that will develop market-based solutions to address urgent environmental problems.

The emLab will follow the approach developed by UC Santa Barbara’s Sustainable Fisheries Group, which has successfully combined academic and pragmatic considerations for ocean challenges over the past 12 years.

Link Between Climate Change,
Ancient Civilization’s Demise

More than 4,000 years ago, the Harappa culture thrived in the Indus River Valley (now Pakistan and northwestern India), where they built sophisticated cities, invented sewage systems predating ancient Rome’s, and engaged in long-distance trade with Mesopotamia. Yet by 1,800 B.C.E., Harappans had abandoned their cities for smaller villages in the Himalayan foothills.

A new study from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution found evidence that climate change likely drove the Harappans to resettle far away. Starting roughly 2,500 B.C.E., a shift in temperatures and weather patterns over the Indus Valley caused summer monsoon rains to gradually dry up, making agriculture difficult or impossible near Harappan cities.

Chinese Ocean Science Market

MacArtney Singapore has delivered a TRIAXUS ROTV with customized sensor payload to the Chinese Academy of Science (CAS) for oceanographic research projects in the South China Sea. This TRIAXUS ROTV is the first to enter the Chinese ocean science market.

The sensor payload comprises a Teledyne RDI ADCP, Sea-Bird 911 CTD with dissolved oxygen sensor, and a WET Labs ECO fluorometer.

Rangers Collect Arctic Data

Researchers from Fisheries and Oceans Canada have partnered with the Canadian Rangers to collect winter oceanographic data across the Arctic Ocean; measurements scientists wouldn’t have otherwise been able to achieve.

The Rangers, reservists in the Canadian military in remote communities, plan the week-long expeditions alongside the researchers and manage the logistics involved in profiling RBRconcerto CTDs into scientifically interesting parts of the Arctic Ocean. “The underlying philosophy is that people with experiential knowledge of place have something to offer science,” said Eddy Carmack, who led the inception of the program, called Canadian Rangers Ocean Watch (CROW).

New Tool for Acoustic
Backscatter Measurements

A new tool to measure both sediment concentration and size is being built by ASL Environmental Sciences Inc. The multifrequency ultrasonic device (MUD) is based on ASL’s acoustic zooplankton fish profiler (AZFP).The MUD and AZFP echosounders can be configured with up to four frequencies, ranging from 38 kHz to 2 MHz.

The MUD prototype is based on higher frequencies (200 and 769 kHz, 1.2 and 2.0 MHz) for a broad range of particle-size discrimination. While the AZFP is a high-gain device for low scattering conditions and the greatest possible range, the MUD echosounder is a lower gain system for higher backscatter regimes such as the bottom or high concentrations of suspended sediment.