When Geological Processes Collide– Exploring the Link Between Earthquakes and Glaciers

What happens when glaciers melt? Scientists have discussed numerous effects of deglaciation including sea level rise and loss of habitats but recently, geologists have been thinking about how glaciers interact with the crust of the earth. Researchers from the University of Alaska, Fairbanks found a link between melting glaciers and earthquakes in Southeast Alaska which adds new understanding about the indirect effects of climate change and the role of humans in natural disasters.

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Sperm Whales Learned to Avoid Nineteenth-Century Whalers

Nineteenth-century whalers questioned why sperm whales were getting drastically more challenging to capture. At the time, whalers of the North Pacific Ocean kept detailed logbooks about sperm whale sightings and harpoon strikes. These logbooks could help provide answers to the problem whalers faced in the 1800s and to the sperm whale populations struggling to recover today. Sperm whales that have encountered whalers might communicate to other sperm whales how to avoid the dangerous whalers. This information transfer between whales could help them adapt to rapidly changing environments.

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The churning seas are slowing down: The Atlantic Ocean circulation at its weakest in millennia

In the Atlantic Ocean there is a giant “river” that affects many aspects of life for us terrestrial dwellers, from the regional climates we enjoy to the sea level at our shore. This “river” is the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC), one of the planet’s major ocean circulation systems. The ocean has been churning for millenia through this circulation system, but now there are signs of change.

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Plastic Pollution and Penguins?

Many people may see plastic pollution as a local issue, but did you know that small pieces of plastic have made their way to super remote locations? Plastic pollution has been documented in Antarctica, one of the most remote locations on the planet, for decades. Now though, scientists are finding out that microplastics, which are harmful to marine life, are also making their way to Antarctica. Researchers documented similar levels of microplastics in Antarctica as other, less remote locations globally. While many come from marine industry, we can all help solve the problem by putting less plastic into the environment.

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Some Soil Microbes Don’t Mind Our Camping Trips

Have you ever thought about the microorganisms living under your tent while you’re camping? It may seem like setting up the tent and trampling all over the campsite may harm the organisms that live in the soil but new study in the Arizona savanna turns that idea on its head. Read on to learn about camping resistant plants, microbes, and resiliency of this awesome ecosystem.

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Fear the dead: Animal carcasses attract life and death for the wider food web

On the 26th August 2016, as storm clouds gather above the alpine plateau of Hardangervidda in southcentral Norway, a herd of wild tundra reindeer grouped together for protection. A split second later, in a moment of miserable luck, the herd fell to the ground dead, having been struck by a bolt of lightning. Norwegian ecologists took this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to study how the mass die-off of 323 reindeer has since impacted the local ecology and food web.

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The Soil, Sand, and Sea: The Journey of Microplastics

As we approach the start of the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development in 2021, it is time we face our unseen but ubiquitous problem: microplastics. What do we know about them, where can we find them, and what does the science say on its impacts on our hydrosphere and biosphere?

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Holding Your Breath: Surviving the Heart of Marine Darkness

As you swim through a coral reef, you see parrot fish, clams and other colorful aquatic creatures swimming elegantly and going about their lives. While you, with your snorkel, are confined to the surface of the water and the occasional dive for as long and as deep as you can hold your breath, the fish “breathe” easily with their gills (or lungs in the cases of some evolutionarily interesting fish). But do they breathe that easily? Living in and getting oxygen from a high-pressure aquatic environment is difficult and metabolically demanding, and some fish have found special ways to make it easier.

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