oceanroamers

Providing management & consulting services to the marine, diving and tourism industries since 2003.

135 Years of global warming in 30 seconds

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Bacteria Are Evolving To Eat The Plastic We Dump Into The Oceans

Bacteria Are Evolving To Eat The Plastic We Dump Into The Oceans
The ocean is full of plastic, a grim marker of the Anthropocene . There are floating, continent-size patches of it in the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans, and there are newly formed ones in the Arctic. There are some uninhabited islands that are drowning in the stuff. Weirdly, though, scientists have come to the conclusion that, based on the amount of plastic we make every year, there is only about one-hundredth as much of the plastic floating around as the numbers would suggest. Although there are many possible explanations for this, a new study available on the pre-print server bioRxiv has concluded that microbes are breaking the plastic down. This may sound utterly bizarre, but just last year, researchers discovered that a newly discovered species of bacteria was able to shatter the molecular bonds of polyethylene terephthalate (PET), one of the most common forms of plastic. They’re literally using it as...
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What the World Will Look Like 4°C Warmer

What the World Will Look Like 4°C Warmer
Polynesia is gone – sunk beneath the waves. Pakistan and South India have been abandoned. And Europe is slowly turning into a desert. This is the world, 4°C warmer than it is now.  But there is also good news: Western Antarctica is no longer icy and uninhabitable. Smart cities thrive in newly green and pleasant lands. And Northern Canada, Scandinavia and Siberia produce bountiful harvests to feed the hundreds of millions of climate refugees who now call those regions home. This map, which shows some of the effects a 4°C rise in average temperature could have on the planet, is eight years old, but it seems to get more contemporary as it ages (and the planet warms). Antarctica is white with snow and ice, on the ground and, traditionally, on most maps. This map has turned the continent's western end incongruously green. And only last week did reports confirm that Antarctica...
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The faces of climate change: How a rapidly warming Arctic is destroying a way of life

The faces of climate change: How a rapidly warming Arctic is destroying a way of life
There is no shortage of alarming climate change stories. We hear about the rapid rate of Arctic sea ice loss; about abnormally high temperatures in the Far North; polar bears resorting to eating birds' eggs instead of meat to survive. 'We are becoming collateral damage.' - Sheila  Watt-Cloutier What's often absent in these stories is the faces of those most affected. People have been living in the challenging climate of the North for what some estimate to be 20,000 years. It is their home. It is their way of life.  But their home is changing, and they are racing to change with it. Rapid change The Arctic is the fastest-warming place on Earth, with the average temperature increasing by about 3.5 C since the beginning of the 20th century . And many climatologists believe that we're just beginning to see the effects of a warming planet; the climate is playing catch-up with the increased...
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Watch Corals Move in Timelapse Video

Watch Corals Move in Timelapse Video
Corals and other "slow life" do move, though we often think of them as very nearly static. In order to see their movement, you need to change your perspective -- slow way down, photograph in timelapse, and then carefully assemble the result so that humans can understand what that motion looks like from the perspective of such a slow creature. Photographer Daniel Stoupin has done just that with his short film Slow Life, three and a half minutes of timelapse that took nine months to create. Behold, and definitely go fullscreen: Slow Life from Daniel Stoupin on Vimeo. What's most interesting to me is how much these creatures look like photographs of galaxies. "As above, so below," as they say. Stoupin wrote a lengthy article about this film that's well worth a read. Here's part: The most important living organisms that play the key functions in the biosphere might not...
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