Recently in the Oceanic Research Category


Life took root more than four billion years ago on our nascent Earth, a wetter and harsher place than now, bathed in sizzling ultraviolet rays. What started out as simple cells ultimately transformed into slime molds, frogs, elephants, humans and the rest of our planet's living kingdoms. How did it all begin?

Deep-sea hydrothermal plumes--waters nearly two miles down in the ocean--are home to processes that effect life across the planet. However, high pressure and water temperatures that exceed 300 degrees Celsius have made research on the plumes very difficult.

Lobster-Shaped Extrasolar Oceans

Alien planets circling the most common stars in the universe may often have strange lobster-shaped oceans on their surfaces, researchers in China now say.

In the mid-1970s, the first available satellite images of Antarctica during the polar winter revealed a huge ice-free region within the ice pack of the Weddell Sea. This ice-free region, or polynya, stayed open for three full winters before it closed.

After a three-year overhaul and major upgrade, the United States' deepest-diving research submersible, Alvin, has been cleared to return to work exploring the ocean's depths.

A New Dimension to Cyanobacteria

Marine cyanobacteria are the tiny ocean plants that form the base of the ocean's food chain. Other organisms feed on them and are nourished by the oxygen they provide.

Halomonas are a hardy breed of bacteria. They can withstand heat, high salinity, low oxygen, utter darkness and pressures that would kill most other organisms.

In November and December 2012 the Hubble Space Telescope maged Europa's ultraviolet emissions in the search for vapor plume activity.

Earth's volatile elements (H, C, and N) are essential to maintaining habitable conditions for metazoans and simpler life forms.

Oxygen in the atmosphere and ocean rose dramatically about 600 million years ago, coinciding with the first proliferation of animal life. Since then, numerous short lived biotic events -- typically marked by significant climatic perturbations -- took place when oxygen concentrations in the ocean dipped episodically.