New Scientist Goes Deep

Lots of cool stuff from New Scientist in the last week! Don't have much time to offer an analysis of them as I am down in North Carolina house-hunting. But I encourage you to "tawk amongst ya selves". Here are some wet offerings:

Giant Vacuum Cleaner Leaves Reefs Thriving

"To create the Super Sucker, biologists modified a system designed for gold dredging. Seaweed from reefs is sucked up and dumped onto mesh sorting tables on a barge. Native organisms inadvertently vacuumed are removed and returned to the reef and the seaweed is eventually used by farmers as fertiliser.
The researchers could only remove about 90% of the seaweed, so they expected that the algae would grow back, necessitating periodic cleaning. Instead, within weeks, the remaining seaweed was gone and two years later it has still not returned."

Colliding Continents Create Havens for Life

""Temperature is certainly facilitating diversity, but if it was only temperature in the Eocene, you would have really high diversity in modern Africa," says lead author Willem Renema of the Natural History Museum in Leiden, the Netherlands.

"We realised these are distinct locations where you have major complex collisions between continents."

At the early phase of collision, Renema says, a lot of new and different habitats are created, such as rocky and sandy shores, and deep and shallow basins, all of which can accommodate a lot of different species.

The current IAA hotspot lies in the region of convergence between the Eurasia, Australia and the Pacific/Philippine Sea plates."

Arctic Ice Continues to Thin

"Christian Haas of the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research in Bremerhaven, Germany, and his team estimated the thickness of late summer ice at the North Pole in 2001, 2004 and 2007. They found that the ice was on average 1.3 metres thick at the end of the summer in 2007. By contrast, its depth was 2.3 metres in 2001 and 2.6 metres in 2004.
Previously, glaciologists had measured ice thickness in spots by placing instruments directly on the ice. Records from 1991 show that the summer ice that year was 3.1 metres thick."

Hmm... I think I see a trend there!

More like this

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We've talked about deep-diving seals here before. Now it appears oceanography is being outsourced to Antarctica. Grad students beware, seals are the latest species to steal deep-sea jobs away from hard-working americans! The Sunday Times UK reports:"SCIENTISTS are uncovering the deepest secrets of…
... in a freshwater lake. I know, its not the deep sea but it is deep and it involves ocean-going submersibles! Lake Baikal is pretty interesting in its own right though. Its home to one fifth of the worlds liquid freshwater, hundreds of unique flora and fauna including the Baikal Seal and was…
There has been lots of discussion of this year's arctic sea ice extent. Last year was a shocking 23% lower record breaker. That's 23% lower than the previous record, for which one had to go all the way back to....2005! That's not 23% below the 1979-2001 average, but 23% below the lowest…

Well, I guess if the extent of the arctic ice isn't being reduced as forecast there's always the shift to thickness to point at. Very resourceful, these grant driven enterprises.

By vanderleun (not verified) on 04 Aug 2008 #permalink