Recently in the Oceanic Research Category


A team led by University of Minnesota researchers has discovered that deep-sea bacteria dissolve carbon-containing rocks, releasing excess carbon into the ocean and atmosphere.

Oceans Without Oxygen

With no dissolved oxygen to sustain animals or plants, ocean anoxic zones are areas where only microbes suited to the environment can live. "You don't get big fish," said UC Santa Barbara biogeochemist Morgan Raven. "You don't even get charismatic zooplankton." But although anoxic oceans may seem alien to organisms like ourselves that breathe oxygen, they're full of life, she said.

The hypothesis that one or more biodiversity drops in the Phanerozoic eon, evident in the geological record, might have been caused by the most powerful kind of stellar explosion so far known Gamma Ray Bursts (GRB) has been discussed in several works.

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.