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Oceans, Coral Reefs

NASA Finds Drought in Eastern Mediterranean Worst of Past 900 Years

A new NASA study finds that the recent drought that began in 1998 in the eastern Mediterranean Levant region, which comprises Cyprus, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine, Syria, and Turkey, is likely the worst drought of the past nine centuries.

Scientists reconstructed the Mediterranean’s drought history by studying tree rings as part of an effort to understand the region’s climate and what shifts water to or from the area. Thin rings indicate dry years while thick rings show years when water was plentiful.


NASA 25-Year Study Finds Sea Level Rise Accelerating

Global sea level rise has been accelerating in recent decades, rather than increasing steadily, according to a new study based on 25 years of NASA and European satellite data.

 


NASA Satellites Reveal Major Shifts in Global Freshwater

In a first-of-its-kind study, scientists have combined an array of NASA satellite observations of Earth with data on human activities to map locations where freshwater is changing around the globe and to determine why.

The study, published Wednesday in the journal Nature, finds that Earth’s wet land areas are getting wetter and dry areas are getting drier due to a variety of factors, including human water management, climate change and natural cycles.

A team led by Matt Rodell of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, used 14 years of observations from the U.S./German-led Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) spacecraft mission to track global trends in freshwater in 34 regions around the world.


U. S. Land and Sea Now Protected by President Obama Increased to 265 million acres

Efforts on every scale from international to local, cooperatively and individually, are increasingly responding to this stark reality by setting aside land and regions of the seas as preservation areas which are now being protected to various extents. President Obama has taken again this past week action to invest and conserve America's natural treasures. President Barack Obama commented on the 12th of February 2016 upon designation of millions of acres in three new national monuments in the California desert to bring the land and sea he has protected to 265 million acres.


Assumptions About Fish Populations' Fluctuations Challenged by New NSF Research

According a National Science Foundation (NSF), scientific literature and fisheries management and conservation efforts have for years assumed that the survival of adult fish is relatively constant through time. They further held that most fluctuations in the numbers of adults come from variation in the number of young fish that are produced and survive to maturity. Those assumptions have been challenged by new research by the National Science Foundation's Long-Term Ecological Research (LTER) Network. 

 

 

 

 

 


Sixth Largest Marine Protected Area In The World Created By Palau

On October 28, 2015, Tommy E. Remengesua, Jr., President of the Republic of Palau signed into law the “Palau National Marine Sanctuary Act,” creating “the sixth largest marine protected area in the world, while setting aside a zone for domestic fishing.” According to Nature Conservancy Palau supports more than 400 species of coral species and nearly 1,300 varieties of reef fish.


Scientists Find Coral Reefs Defy Ocean Acidification Odds in Palau: Palau reefs show few of the predicted responses

Scientists are studying coral reefs in areas where low pH is naturally occurring to answer questions about ocean acidification, which threatens coral reef ecosystems worldwide. A new study led by scientists at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) found that coral reefs in Palau seem to be defying the odds, showing none of the predicted responses to low pH except for an increase in bio-erosion--the physical breakdown of coral skeletons by boring organisms such as mollusks and worms.


World’s Largest Fully Protected Marine Reserve Established by U.K. Government: Pitcairn Islands Marine Reserve

U.K. government establishes world’s largest fully protected marine reserve and sets a new standard for monitoring. The 834,334-square-kilometre reserve (322,138 square miles) is home to at least 1,249 species of marine mammals, seabirds and fish, the new reserve protects some of the most near-pristine ocean habitat on Earth.


World's Second-Largest Shark Sanctuary Established by Federated States of Micronesia.

Sharks are safer in the Pacific Ocean, thanks to Micronesia's establishment of the world's second-largest shark sanctuary. The protected area, equal in size to India, will help strengthen the marine ecosystem and economy.


NASA Announces New Mission to Track Water in Earth’s Soil

 

A new NASA satellite that will peer into the topmost layer of Earth's soils to measure the hidden waters that influence our weather and climate is in final preparations for a January 29, 2015 dawn launch from California. The Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) mission will take the pulse of a key measure of our water planet: how freshwater cycles over Earth's land surfaces in the form of soil moisture. This data will be used to enhance scientists' understanding of the processes that link Earth's water, energy and carbon cycles.


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