How Carbon Impacts Our Ocean’s pH

In my previous blog, I talked about how the levels of carbon dioxide are increasing in the oceans, and how that will impact the ocean circulation and temperature of the ocean. However, there is a much bigger problem than the rise of ocean temperature that we must deal with. This problem is known as Ocean Acidification.

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GEOS 240: Solving the Scallop Theorem.

In the previous post it was mentioned that organisms living within a low Reynolds number (Re) should not be able to swim. This is because the viscous forces dominate the fluid, and inertia is reduced to practically nothing. Any reciprocal motion results in no net motion. If an organism is to swim in these conditions, then their method of locomotion must be different than the motions humans are used to.

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North Pacific Gyre: Human Waste Disposal

The Pacific Ocean is the largest of the four oceans on planet earth, making it home to over hundreds of marine species.  The Pacific Ocean is also home to the North Pacific Gyre otherwise known as the great pacific garbage patch.  The North Pacific Gyre consists of four large currents that rotate in a clockwise manner, which is what causes debris to cluster and build up in this area (Marine Debris).

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Salmon and Climate Change

Salmon have to go through one of the most grueling migrations in the world. Of all the salmon species the Chinook and Sockeye Salmon, These two species have to migrate over 1400 kilometers from their birthplaces to the ocean and back to their birthplace(Scheurell et al. 2009).

A mature adult male Chinook salmon, note the special breeding coloration.

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Japan’s scientific whaling’s issue-Siqi Cui

20090213_whales - Taken with a Canon EOS-1Ds Mark II - 20090213_whales

Although Japan has stopped the killing of the humpback whale which is endangered species, its whaling for scientific research still will be continued. In 2007, “the Japanese government is determined to bring about a return of commercial whaling. In spite of the enormous criticism from environmentalists, overseas governments, and anti-whaling proponents, the Japanese government has not wavered in its strong belief that it has a right to conduct whaling.

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The Other Side of the Greenhouse Effect

By: Alex Jarrett

Despite the recent uproar during the past decade and a half concerning the global warming phenomenon, in numerous discussions I’ve had with peers and parents it is apparent that many people are unaware of the importance of Earth’s oceans in helping to regulate the planets climate. The current oceanic circulation pattern is the dominant mechanism by which heat is carried from the equatorial to the polar latitudes, a perfect example being the temperate climate enjoyed by Western Europe despite its high latitudes (Vellinga and Wood 2002).

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The Erosive and Depositional Poperties of Turbidty Currents

“Turbidity currents are particle-laden gravity-driven underflows in which particles are largely or wholly suspended by fluid turbulence” (Meiburg et al. 2010). Turbidity currents frequently occur at the mouth of a river due to the constant outflow of loose sediments and fine particles (Heezen et al. 1952).  Heeze, Ewing, and  Merzies’s journal article dicusses how turbidity currents are likely to occur close to the mouths of rivers at or near the head of submarine canyons.

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Langmuir Circulation: Another Piece to the Puzzle

While currents (caused by density gradients) and wind friction (shear) are the most commonly discussed means of ocean circulation, another more confusing effect is likely to contribute significantly to ocean mixture: Langmuir circulation. It is thought that this phenomenon is responsible for transporting sediments, diluting pollutants, and keeping plankton fed with nutrients (Kukulka). It presents itself as floating bands of debris (see figure 1)s.

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Tetrodotoxin in The Blue Ringed Octopus

Tetrodotoxin (TTX), found in a variety of animals, is commonly known for its existence in the Puffer fish (Benzer, 2011). This neurotoxin is both heat stable and water soluble, and works by specifically blocking the sodium channels, stopping action potential along an axon (Benzer, 2011; University of Maryland, 2001).

Figure 1: A comparison between the binding of a hydrated Na+ ion and tetrodotoxin

Hydrated Na+ ions bind to the channel reversibly, lasting for only a few nanoseconds while TTX will bind to the ion channel for tens of seconds.

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Tsunami Origins and Generation Variations

Now that we understand the formation and characteristics of a tsunami, we are left to wonder where a tsunami originates. Because tsunamis occur unpredictably, they seem to arise instantaneously. However, tsunamis do not occur out of the blue, so to speak. Tsunamis originate in response to the disturbance that seaquakes, landslides, volcanic eruptions, meteorological disturbances, and bulloid impacts can exert on a water column.

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