How Is Plastic Affecting the Arctic?

A new review article, “Plastic Pollution in the Arctic“, contends that high levels of plastic pollution (including microplastics) have infiltrated the Arctic and intensified climate change’s effects. Plastics from agriculture, hydrocarbon exploration, landfills, illegal dumping, industry, households, fisheries, offshore industry and other such sources are routinely carried to and within the Arctic by atmospheric andContinue reading “How Is Plastic Affecting the Arctic?”

Are Climate Change and Plastic Pollution Related?

Plastic pollution and climate change are the most influential stressors to marine environments globally. These stressors are simultaneously occurring and interactive. Marine plastic pollution is made up of the plastic products that have accumulated in the world’s seas. From production to end-of-life, plastic materials release potent greenhouse gases, like carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4) andContinue reading “Are Climate Change and Plastic Pollution Related?”

Can Plastic Pollution Cause Climate Change?

An interesting review titled “The Fundamental Links Between Climate Change and Marine Plastic Pollution” describes the interactive relationship between climate change and marine plastic pollution. The review’s authors claim that climate change and marine plastic pollution are linked in three ways: a) the production of plastic relies on fossil fuel extraction and is thus greenhouseContinue reading “Can Plastic Pollution Cause Climate Change?”

Climate Change Impacts on Seabirds and Marine Mammals

A new review published in Ecology Letters, a peer-reviewed scientific journal, assessed seabird and marine mammals’ responses to climate change and climate variability. Researchers based their analysis on data from more than 480 preexisting studies and found that “the likelihood of concluding that climate change had an impact increased with study duration”. In other words,Continue reading “Climate Change Impacts on Seabirds and Marine Mammals”

What Is Causing Ocean Warming?

If you want to measure the rate at which global temperatures are rising, then the world’s oceans may be the best places to observe. This is not only due to the fact that Earth’s surface is more than 70% water-covered, but also because ocean water absorbs 90% or more of Earth’s excess heat. Heat energyContinue reading “What Is Causing Ocean Warming?”

Cowspiracy Summary: Ocean Facts

Fisheries harvest marine organisms across habitat types. While fisheries do generate food and profit, they could be doing much more harm than good for underwater ecosystems. The film Cowspiracy makes a convincing case for the deleterious affect that large-scale fishing operations have on aquatic habitats, species variety and species abundance. Cowspiracy paints modern fishing asContinue reading “Cowspiracy Summary: Ocean Facts”

What Environmental DNA (eDNA) Reveals About Migration From The Ocean Twilight Zone

So-called twilight zones, also known as disphotic zones or mesopelagic zones, house vast populations of unexploited fish and unexplored habitats, which make these aquatic regions extraordinarily interesting to marine researchers and conservationists. Environmental DNA metabarcoding may prove useful for learning about organisms that live down in ocean twilight zones and how these species travel. EquallyContinue reading “What Environmental DNA (eDNA) Reveals About Migration From The Ocean Twilight Zone”

Whales As Ecosystem Engineers

A new study published in Nature sheds light on the roles whales play in marine ecosystems. Researchers used metabolic models to estimate whale feeding volumes. Whale tagging and acoustic acoustic measurements were used to calculate whale prey densities in the Atlantic, Pacific, and Southern Oceans. Their results suggest that previous assessments greatly underestimated baleen whaleContinue reading “Whales As Ecosystem Engineers”

What Are Ecosystem Services?

Ecosystems services are benefits to human welfare made possible by processes of the natural world. Modern livelihoods depend on nature for various services, materials and ingredients. Micro-bacteria in marine ecosystems produce oxygen. Plants and soils regulate our climate through capturing and storing carbon dioxide in the air. Wetlands curb flooding for coastal territories. Medicines areContinue reading “What Are Ecosystem Services?”

Here’s Why Epicurious Left Beef Recipes Behind

This year, the food company Epicurious decided that it would not add anymore beef recipes to its “recipe’s list”. The company stated that it will no longer feature recipes that include beef on its homepage or social media feed. Epicurious made it obvious that they were leaving beef behind for climate change, and posted thatContinue reading “Here’s Why Epicurious Left Beef Recipes Behind”