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A Big Climate Warning from One of the Gulf of Maine’s Smallest Marine Creatures

By Derrick Z. Jackson Photo: Gregory Rec

Given the rate at which the waters in the Gulf of Maine are heating up, Mainers may need to swap out the lobsters on their license plates for squid. All of New England could issue new specialty plates featuring creatures threatened by the speed climate change is slamming the gulf: a critically endangered right whale, a cute puffin or a vanishing cod.


The past’s extreme ocean heat waves are now the new normal

By Carolyn Gramling Photo: Chelle Gentemann , JPL

Yesterday’s scorching ocean extremes are today’s new normal. A new analysis of surface ocean temperatures over the past 150 years reveals that in 2019, 57 percent of the ocean’s surface experienced temperatures rarely seen a century ago, researchers report February 1 in PLOS Climate.


As waters warm and the lobster population booms off Canada, tensions rise between Indigenous and commercial fishermen

By David Abe Photo: Jessica Rinaldi/globe Staff

Under the close watch of federal officers on surrounding patrol vessels, Robert Sack navigated his old boat toward his clandestine traps in the cold waters that his people have fished for centuries, expecting to be arrested at any moment. In an act considered illegal by the Canadian government, Sack’s first mate dropped a grappling hook overboard to haul up a bounty of traps loaded with lobsters in what has become one of the world’s richest fishing grounds.


Integrating Biology into Ocean Observing Infrastructure: Society Depends on It

By F. Muller- Karger & Others Photo: Fabrice Dudenhofer & Others

The link between humans and life in the sea is not something most of us think about every day. However, we humans have historically built communities close to the sea, and we have studied how marine organisms grow, where they aggregate, and how their distribution changes throughout the day and with the seasons so that we can manage our activities to exploit them more effectively or protect them for other purposes. We use the sea for shipping and recreation, to extract energy, and to derive natural products such as medicines (Figure 1). These activities, when added to other industries, as well as research, technology, education, and governance, add up to about US$2 trillion a year. This “blue economy” is described as a knowledge-based economy in which data and information guide solutions to societal challenges (Spinrad, 2021). Similar to the way we built monitoring systems to improve global weather forecasting over the past 100 years, sustaining a blue economy now depends on a global ocean observing system to provide accurate and timely data about life in the sea.


Climate Change and Harmful Algal Blooms

Scientists predict that climate change will have many effects on freshwater and marine environments. These effects, along with nutrient pollution, might cause harmful algal blooms to occur more often, in more waterbodies and to be more intense. Algal blooms endanger human health, the environment and economies across the United States.


To draw down carbon and cool off the planet, ocean fertilization gets another look

By Warren Cornwall

In January 2009, a German research ship set out for the Southern Ocean carrying 6 tons of iron and a boatload of controversy. The iron was meant to trigger a massive phytoplankton bloom that would suck carbon dioxide (CO2) from the air, but environmentalists objected, viewing the trial as a reckless form of geoengineering. The German government briefly suspended the work, before letting it go ahead. It would be the last iron fertilization experiment for more than a decade.


Rising From the Antarctic, a Climate Alarm

By Henry Fountain and Jeremy White

The immense and forbidding Southern Ocean is famous for howling gales and devilish swells that have tested mariners for centuries. But its true strength lies beneath the waves.


The lobster trap

By Penelope Overton Photo: Brianna Soukup , Portland Press Herald

A hard rain falls all around Johnny McCarthy, beading across the sprawling deck of his brand-new lobster boat, as he steers around the hidden threat of Folly Ledge through an ink-black night and into his home port.


NASA-supported Study Confirms Importance of Southern Ocean in Absorbing Carbon Dioxide

By Sofie Bates

Observations from research aircraft show that the Southern Ocean absorbs much more carbon from the atmosphere than it releases, confirming it is a very strong carbon sink and an important buffer for some of the effects of human-caused greenhouse gas emissions, according to a new NASA-supported study.


Wildlife officials move to feed Florida’s starving manatees

By Lori Rozsa Photo: Eva Marie Uzcategui/Getty Images

A record manatee die-off in Florida this year has become so dire that federal officials are taking a once unthinkable step — feeding the wild marine mammals to help them survive the winter…