Southern Right Whale Dolphin, Coolest Looking Dolphin in the World
by Alexis C. Madrigal
I’ve seen hundreds and hundreds of dolphins, mostly on two lucky trips out into the Monterey Bay. They were primarily common and bottlenose dolphins, the standard representatives of Delphic civilization in my mind. While beautiful, those animals look nothing like the southern right whale dolphin (Lissodelphis peronii), which looks like an orca whale mixed with an Infinity and a yinyang. The Blue Planet Society tweeted this photograph of one taken by Pablo Caceres off the coast of Valparaiso, Chile. This is one glorious-looking animal.
Posts tagged ocean.
Photo by: Peter Allinson (Kingsville, Maryland); 35 miles off the coast of Cancun, Mexico
The scale of coral reef destruction in south Florida is enormous. Nearly 50% of the coral reefs have died in the past two decades. And the problem is getting worse.
But why does this matter? The Key’s reefs are among the most biodiverse ecosystems in the world, and less coral has a cascading affect up the food chain. This affects the fishing and tourism industries, which (like it or not) makes Florida such a big draw. Coral reefs buffer coastal cities against storm surge, protecting countless real estate and businesses worth tens of billions. And in Florida Keys alone, there are over 33,000 jobs that depend on the reefs.
Check out PBS.org/climate-change. “The world’s ocean are absorbing carbon dioxide at an unprecedented rate and the resulting acidification is transforming marine ecosystems. We look at how ocean acidification is already affecting coral reefs in the Florida Keys.”
Who owns the fish in the sea?
Any commercial fisherman used to be able to fish in U.S. oceans. Not anymore.
Today, the right to fish belongs to a number of private individuals who have traded, bought and sold these rights in unregulated markets. This system, called “catch shares,” favors large fishing fleets and has cut out thousands of smaller-scale fishermen. How did this happen?
Watch our animated short to find out!
Nice overview. Still, how is it that the cost of fish is so super low?
The US military - not politicians - is leading the federal government on climate change action.
America’s top military officer in charge of monitoring hostile actions by North Korea, escalating tensions between China and Japan, and a spike in computer attacks traced to China provides an unexpected answer when asked what is the biggest long-term security threat in the Pacific region: climate change.
Navy Admiral Samuel J. Locklear III, in an interview at a Cambridge hotel Friday after he met with scholars at Harvard and Tufts universities, said significant upheaval related to the warming planet “is probably the most likely thing that is going to happen . . . that will cripple the security environment, probably more likely than the other scenarios we all often talk about.’’
“People are surprised sometimes,” he added, describing the reaction to his assessment. “You have the real potential here in the not-too-distant future of nations displaced by rising sea level. Certainly weather patterns are more severe than they have been in the past. We are on super typhoon 27 or 28 this year in the Western Pacific. The average is about 17.”
Via Boston Globe
Piles of beluga whale bones from past hunts. Svalbard, Norway. Via
Bones of Past Hunts
Photograph by Paul Nicklen, National Geographic
Heaps of beluga whale bones on a Svalbard beach bear witness to a whaling heyday long past. The small, social white whales commonly swim in Arctic and subarctic waters where they are still targeted by indigenous people and some larger fishing operations—but in Svalbard they are protected.
Extensive beluga hunting began here in the 18th century and continued unabated until Norway protected belugas here in 1961. In the past four decades the Svalbard population has been bouncing back.
Though many species are slow to reproduce, whale populations around the world have shown an ability to rebound when humans give them protected spaces in which to breed and live.
Infographic: Global Sea Level Rise Projections and Risk to the U.S.A.
A 2012 study by the U.S. Geological Survey determined that sea levels along the East Coast will rise three to four times faster than the global average. The study named Norfolk, New York City, and Boston as the three metro areas most vulnerable to the devastating effects of rising sea levels—ranging from the dramatic increase in storm surge, as winds scoop up water from the sea and dump more of it farther from the coast than ever before, to the steady erosion of roads, buildings, and arable soil as seawater creeps inland.
This photographer has many great shots like this one.
Climate change pushes El Niño and La Niña cycles to new upper temperature limits.
When the Pacific Ocean warms and cools with El Niño and La Niña, we see global temperature rise and fall. This pattern of ocean temperature variability plays into a long-term trend of rising global surface temperatures.
The signature pattern for El Niño is warmer-than-average surface temperature in the central and eastern Pacific Ocean, such as this episode from 2009 and 2010. All that warm water heats the air above it, so when we have an El Niño we get warmer-than-average surface temperature patterns.
That leads to warmer global temperature. The “global temperature” is a single number calculated from observations around the world and throughout the year shown on maps like this.
The last El Niño episode—when the Pacific Ocean was warmer than average—was in 2010. You can see how much warmer it was than the following year, 2011. Cold water in the central and eastern Pacific marks a La Niña episode. That cold water pushed global surface temperature down compared to 2010.
How does this pattern play out in the long-term? Over the last five decades, the globally averaged surface temperature has creeped upward at about a quarter degree per decade. Notice that 2005 and 2010—both of which followed El Nino events—were the warmest recorded in the past 133 years. El Niños pushed these years over the top of long-term trends. La Niña years act as you would expect, lowering global temperature below the long-term trend line. The cold surface water in the Pacific lowers surface temperature in the air, and that affects global temperature.
Via Climate Watch. This is a screen shot of the video. I couldn’t figure out how to embed it.
Extremely dangerous Category 5 Typhoon Evan headed towards Fiji. Massive destruction predicted. The island nation Samoa was hit and devastated by Evan yesterday. The entire country has no power or running water.
On a dim February evening, seven people crowded around a row of television monitors in a shack on the rear deck of the RV Nathaniel B. Palmer. The research icebreaker was idling 30 kilometres off the coast of Antarctica with a cable as thick as an adult’s wrist dangling over the stern. At the end of that cable, on the continental shelf 1,400 metres down, a remote-operated vehicle (ROV) skimmed across the sea floor, surveying a barren, grey mudscape. The eerie picture of desolation, piped back to the television monitors, was the precursor to an unwelcome discovery.
The ROV had visited 11 different sea-floor locations during this 57-day research cruise along the Antarctic Peninsula in 2010. Each time, it had found plenty of life, mostly invertebrates: sea lilies waving in the currents; brittlestars with their skinny, sawtoothed arms; and sea pigs, a type of sea cucumber that lumbers along the sea floor on water-inflated legs. But at this spot, they were all absent.
After 15 minutes, the reason became clear: a red-shelled crab, spidery and with a leg-span as wide as a chessboard, scuttled into view of the ROV’s cameras. It probed the mud methodically — right claw, left claw, right claw — looking for worms or shellfish. Another crab soon appeared, followed by another and another. The crowded shack erupted into chatter. “They’re natural invaders,” murmured Craig Smith, a marine ecologist from the University of Hawaii at Manoa. “They’re coming in with the warmer water.”
Sleeping sperm Whales, Pico, Azores, Portugal, 2010. Via Aqua Graphics.
(Photo: NASA / JSC)
The awesome power of Typhoon Bopha was in full view of the International Space Station over the weekend, and since then the Pacific storm has strengthened to super typhoon status with sustained winds greater than 150 mph (240 kilometers per hour). The storm was headed for the Philippines, where memories of last year’s killer storm are still fresh.
Quite the slide show on the Yenisei River, Russia.
“The Yenisei River powers Russian heavy industry and carves picturesque vistas as it flows over 3000 miles from Mongolia through Siberia before emptying out into the Arctic Ocean. Reuters photographer Ilya Naymushin documents much of the life on the river from his base in Krasnoyarsk, a city of nearly a million at the intersection of the Yenisei and the Trans-Siberian railroad. Gathered here are images of the Yenisei River through the seasons by Naymushin, most taken near Krasnoyarsk.”
Seaside Heights, Post Sandy by Stephen Wilkes
“As I flew over the area, the ocean appeared dead calm; there were no waves, the water looked as if I was in the Caribbean, not the Atlantic,” says photographer Stephen Wilkes of the November 4 helicopter ride during which he captured this eerie vision of Seaside Heights, NJ. The area was devastated by Superstorm Sandy. The Star Jet roller coaster at Casino Pier—normally a symbol of fun and frivolity—sits in the Atlantic Ocean.
This photograph is part of our Art for Sandy Relief project released in collaboration with TIME’s photo editors. All net proceeds of these editions support six local charities.