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Strengthening Blue Carbon Solutions in US Ocean Policy

By Anne Christianson Photo: Ullstein Bild & Others , Getty Images

Nature is increasingly recognized as foundational to climate action, especially the push to hold global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels in order to avoid the worst consequences of climate change. The climate mitigation and adaptation benefits of blue carbon—carbon stored in marine ecosystems—is a growing part of U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) climate dialogues. However, not all blue carbon “solutions” are created equal.


Stony Brook University Study Shows Benefits Of Growing Kelp Near Oyster Farm Beds

By Julia Heming Photo: Chris Gobler

Scientists from Stony Brook University, led by Dr. Christopher Gobler, have discovered that the growth of kelp reduces ocean acidification, an effect of climate change.
“Kelp can raise the pH of seawater from acidification conditions to actually what we call baseification,” said Gobler. “The conditions that the shellfish need to have maximum growth.”


Climate Change Threatens $2 Trillion ‘Blue Economy’

Photo: Nasa , Mauri Estes

Earth observations like those from NASA satellites are critical to understanding the threats of climate change to Earth’s ocean, according to a recent article in Oceanography led by the Ecological Forecasting program area. The article, titled Integrating Biology into Ocean Observing Infrastructure: Society Depends on It, is featured in a special observing supplement to the journal.


Great Barrier Reef: 91% of coral damaged by bleaching, ‘heartbreaking’ study finds

By Victoria Seabrook

The world’s largest coral reef ecosystem suffered its sixth mass bleaching on record after being hit by three marine heatwaves, the Great Barrier Reef Marine Authority (GBRMA) said in its snapshot report of summer 2021-22.


Mass extinction in oceans can be avoided by curbing fossil fuels

By Craig Welch Photo: David Doubilet/Nat Geo

Near the end of the Permian Period, roughly 252 million years ago, a single supercontinent dominated the planet. The ocean around it was traversed by bony fish covered in armored plates and sea scorpions the size of modern humans. Segmented arthropods such as trilobites ruled the deep, along with all manner of brachiopods, which looked like clams but weren’t, and ammonoids, which resembled shelled nautiluses but were more like squids and octopuses.


Avoiding ocean mass extinction from climate warming

By Justin L. Penn and Curtis Deutsch

Climate change brings with it the increasing risk of extinction across species and systems. Marine species face particular risks related to water warming and oxygen depletion. Penn and Deutsch looked at extinction risk for marine species across climate warming and as related to ecophysiological limits (see the Perspective by Pinsky and Fredston). They found that under business-as-usual global temperature increases, marine systems are likely to experience mass extinctions on par with past great extinctions based on ecophysiological limits alone. Drastically reducing global emissions, however, offers substantial protection, which emphasizes a need for rapid action to prevent possibly catastrophic marine extinctions.


Destructive Algae Blooms Persist In East Hampton Waters

By Michael Wright

Stony Brook University researchers who have been monitoring the tidal waters and ponds around East Hampton for a decade said that the summer of 2021 saw some of the highest… more


Ocean Warming Doubles Odds for Extreme Atlantic Hurricane Seasons

By Bob Berwyn Photo: Go Nakamura , Getty Images

For storm-battered residents of the Caribbean, the Southeast and the Gulf Coast, new research on hurricanes is rarely good news, with recent studies showing trends toward stronger storms that intensify suddenly near the coast and maintain their strength longer after hitting land.


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.