Recently in the Oceanic Research Category


For the first time, researchers have mapped the biological diversity of marine sediment, one of Earth's largest global biomes. Although marine sediment covers 70% of the Earth's surface, little was known about its global patterns of microbial diversity.

The discovery of hydrothermal vents - where volcanoes at the seafloor produce hot fluid exceeding 350 degrees Celsius, or 662 degrees Fahrenheit, fundamentally changed our understanding about Earth and life in the 1970s. Yet, life at and underneath the seafloor is still very much a mystery today.

A New Look At Deep Sea Microbes

Microbial cells are found in abundance in marine sediments beneath the ocean and make up a significant amount of the total microbial biomass on the planet.

This is a community draft white paper for submission to the Decadal Survey in Planetary Science and Astrobiology, reflecting the views of the NASA Astrobiology Program's Research Coordination Network for Ocean Worlds (NOW).

Why do carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere wax and wane in conjunction with the warm and cold periods of Earth's past?

At the Endeavour Segment of the Juan de Fuca Ridge, about 350 kilometers (220 miles) northwest of Washington State, the seafloor is ripping apart.

The COVID-19 pandemic is a stark reminder that we move through a world shaped by unseen life. Bacteria, viruses, and other microscopic organisms regulate the Earth's vital functions and resources, from the air we breathe to all our food and most of our energy sources.

A new study shows that "hotspots" of nutrients surrounding phytoplankton -- which are tiny marine algae producing approximately half of the oxygen we breathe every day -- play an outsized role in the release of a gas involved in cloud formation and climate regulation.

Roughly 430 million years ago, during the Earth's Silurian Period, global oceans were experiencing changes that would seem eerily familiar today. Melting polar ice sheets meant sea levels were steadily rising, and ocean oxygen was falling fast around the world.

A team of oceanographers are heading out on a voyage of discovery this month, exploring in detail for the first time a hydrothermal vent field in the Arctic Ocean.