Rabu, 21 Oktober 2020

US, Japan, Australia team up for naval exercises in South China Sea - NavyTimes.com

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The guided-missile destroyer John S. McCain linked up with the Royal Australian Navy and the Japan Maritime Self Defense Force in the South China Sea to conduct naval exercises on Monday.

The exercises, which signify the fifth time this year that the U.S. has conducted exercises in the 7th Fleet’s area of operations with Australia and Japan, aim to enhance the ability of forces to work together and maintain maritime security and readiness, the U.S. Navy said.

Specifically, JMSDF’s destroyer JS Kirisame and the Australian Royal Navy’s frigate HMAS Arunta teamed up with the McCain to carry out surface, subsurface, and air defense exercises and other training events.

“By operating with our close allies in this way, here in the South China Sea, we promote transparency, the rule of law, freedom of navigation and overflight, all principles that underpin security and prosperity for the Indo-Pacific, so that all nations in the region may benefit,” Cmdr. Ryan T. Easterday, commanding officer of the McCain, said in a news release.

Royal Australian Navy Cmdr. Troy Duggan, commanding officer of the HMAS Arunta, and JMSDF Capt. Yokota Kazushi, commander of JMSDF Escort Division 8, also stressed the value of the trilateral exercises.

“This activity is a valuable and important opportunity for all three nations,” Duggan said in a Navy news release. “Operating with our partners is essential for building and maintaining high levels of interoperability, and contributes to our shared commitment to the security, stability and prosperity of the Indo-Pacific region.”

All three nations are set to participate in naval exercises known as Malabar sponsored by India next month, Reuters reports.

The U.S. Navy convened in the 7th Fleet area of operations with JMSDF and the Royal Australian Navy during exercise Sea Dragon in February and Exercise Pacific Vanguard last month. The three nations also came together for a trilateral exercise with the Reagan Carrier Strike Group in July, and a multinational group sail with the guided-missile destroyer Barry last month.

Additionally, the McCain, Carrier Air Wing 5, the guided-missile cruiser Antietam and the guided-missile destroyer Halsey joined the aircraft carrier Ronald Reagan and its strike group earlier this month in the South China Sea as the strike group carried out flight operations, maritime strike exercises and training between surface and air units.

The Reagan has visited the South China Sea’s waters a total of three times during its 2020 deployment, Navy Times previously reported.

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Newly discovered gene may give 'sea pickles' their glow: Finding could be first bioluminescent gene identified in a chordate, may be common across tree of life - Science Daily

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A new study describes a bioluminescent gene that could be the reason that so-called "sea pickles," or pyrosomes, an underwater free-floating colony of thousands of tiny animals, reverberate in blue-green light. If confirmed, the finding would be the first bioluminescent gene identified from a chordate -- the group that includes all vertebrates as well as a couple types of invertebrates: sea squirts (including pyrosomes) and lancelets. The research is published today in the journal Scientific Reports.

"We know that throughout the tree of life, there are many hundreds of organisms that can produce light and that they do it for a variety of reasons," said co-author Michael Tessler, an assistant professor at St. Francis College who conducted the research while he was a postdoctoral researcher at the American Museum of Natural History. "Our work suggests that there is a common gene shared among at least some animals that, with a few small changes, could be responsible for this bioluminescence. A baseline gene like this could help explain how many of these very different organisms, like a brittle star and the sea pickle, ended up with the same ability to glow."

The idea for this study arose in 2017 when co-author David Gruber, a Museum research associate and a Presidential Professor at Baruch College, was off the coast of Brazil testing a new collecting tool outfitted to a submersible: squishy robotic hands meant to gently grab delicate sea creatures. The expedition team, which included Museum Curator John Sparks and was funded by the Dalio Family Foundation and OceanX, collected a selection of sausage-sized pyrosomes (Pyrosoma atlanticum).

These gelatinous colonies are made of hundreds of tiny animals called zooids -- each with a heart and a brain -- that work together to move, eat, and breathe. The name pyrosome, which in Greek translates as "fire-body," is derived from their unique bioluminescent displays, which, unlike many bioluminescent animals, can be triggered by light. While pyrosomes attracted the attention of naturalists in the 17th and 18th centuries, many of the most basic facts about their bioluminescence remain elusive.

"Understanding the biochemical pathway for pyrosome bioluminescence is of particular interest because as a chordate, these animals are much more closely related to vertebrates -- and to us as humans -- than many of the more traditional bioluminescent creatures that might come to mind, things like jellyfish or fireflies," Gruber said.

Like other bioluminescent organisms, pyrosomes rely on a chemical reaction between a substrate (luciferin) and a gene (luciferase) to produce light. The researchers found that mixing a common type of luciferin, called coelenterazine, with Pyrosoma atlanticum resulted in bioluminescence. To further investigate the inner workings of this reaction, they sequenced the RNA of the pyrosomes collected in Brazil as well as from additional specimens found in a large bloom off of Vancouver Island in Canada.

The researchers discovered a gene that matches a luciferase often used in biotechnology that is found in sea pansies, a relative of jellyfish, anemones, and corals. They confirmed that the newly discovered pyrosome gene does, indeed, produce light by expressing it in a bacterial colony and adding coelenterazine.

"Being a part of this study felt like being a part of a century-old mystery novel as to how the pyrosome glows in the dark," said Jean Gaffney, a co-author and assistant professor at Baruch College. "I have never worked with a species that was seemingly so alien, but as a chordate is strikingly similar to us."

A similar gene was recently predicted from a bioluminescent brittle star, indicating that these types of luciferases may have evolved convergently from a baseline gene.

"This study advances the debate about pyrosome bioluminescence," Tessler said. "We provide justification for the idea that this animal produces its own light and it might be able to do so because of a pattern of evolution that as repeated throughout the animal tree of life."

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October 20, 2020 at 10:45PM
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RRS Sir David Attenborough departs for sea trials - BBC News

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A

new polar research ship, named after the presenter and naturalist Sir David Attenborough, has left a shipyard in Birkenhead to test scientific equipment and conduct sea trials.

When it finally enters service, the RRS Sir David Attenborough will look at how climate change is affecting Antarctica and its surrounding waters.

Aboard the ship will be Boaty McBoatface, the robotic submarine named in honour of an online poll that suggested the cheeky name for the polar ship.

Video Journalist: Laura Foster

Read more: Attenborough polar ship leaves construction yard

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October 21, 2020 at 01:01PM
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Japan's Suga opposes actions that boost tension in South China Sea - Reuters

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JAKARTA (Reuters) - Japan opposes any actions that escalate tension in the East and South China Seas, Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said on Wednesday, but added that Tokyo was not aiming at an “Asian NATO” to contain any specific country.

Slideshow ( 5 images )

Suga was wrapping up a four-day trip to Vietnam and Indonesia, his first overseas since taking office last month, as part of Japan’s efforts to bolster ties with key Southeast Asian nations amid concerns about China’s growing assertiveness there.

“Japan is opposed to any actions that escalate tensions in the South China Sea,” Suga told a news conference in the Indonesian capital.

“Let me stress anew the importance of all the countries concerning the South China Sea issues not resorting to force or coercion, but working toward peaceful resolutions of the disputes based on international law.”

The trip follows this month’s meeting in Tokyo of the “Quad”, an informal grouping of India, Australia, Japan and the United States that Washington sees as a bulwark against China’s growing regional influence.

China has denounced the grouping of the four democracies as a “mini-NATO” aimed at containing its development.

“Our response in the South China Sea is not aimed at any one country,” Suga said, when asked if Japan wanted to create an Asian version of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).

Suga must balance Japan’s deep economic ties with China against security concerns, including Beijing’s growing push to assert claims over disputed East China Sea isles.

Some in his ruling party want to see a harder line, after ties warmed under his predecessor, Shinzo Abe.

“Japan is determined to defend its territory, territorial waters and air space,” Suga said, adding that Japan also opposed actions that raised tension in the East China Sea.

Several members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) have territorial disputes with China in the vital South China Sea, but are wary of alienating the group’s major economic partner and getting entangled in an intense confrontation between Washington and Beijing.

But some welcome Japan’s greater engagement in the region.

Suga agreed with President Joko Widodo on Tuesday to speed talks on the export of Japanese defence gear and technology to Indonesia and have their defence and foreign ministers meet soon.

A day earlier, the Japanese leader and Vietnamese counterpart Nguyen Xuan Phuc also agreed in principle on a military equipment and technology export pact.

(This story changes day of the week to Wednesday, not Monday in paragraph 1.)

Reporting by Kiyoshi Takenaka and ELaine Lies in Tokyo, Adi Kurniawan and Heru Asprihanto in Jakarta; writing by Linda Sieg in Tokyo,; Editing by Clarence Fernandez and Raju Gopalakrishnan

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October 21, 2020 at 10:30AM
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Brrrr! 'Supercooled' waters make nearby Antarctic seas seem balmy - Nature.com

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Aerial view of ice pack - Ross Sea, Antarctica.

The Ross Sea (pictured) in Antarctica contains waters that are liquid even though they are colder than seawater's freezing point. Credit: DeAgostini/Getty

Ocean sciences

Elephant seals help to show that tongues of ultra-frigid seawater are relatively common in the Southern Ocean.

The Southern Ocean is riddled with supercooled stretches of liquid water that are colder than the freezing point.

Seawater generally freezes below –1.85 °C, but the icy waters around Antarctica can remain liquid even below that temperature. The subsurface melting of ice shelves can generate supercooled water, as can sea-ice formation. But the extent of supercooling around Antarctica has been unknown.

Alexander Haumann at Princeton University in New Jersey and his colleagues used data collected from research ships, autonomous floats and sensor-wearing Southern elephant seals (Mirounga leonina) to identify regions of the ocean where supercooling was occurring. They found that up to 5.8% of the analysed water profiles from the Southern Ocean had temperatures below the ocean’s surface freezing point, a far greater prevalence than expected.

In almost one-quarter of the profiles that showed supercooling due to sea-ice formation, the ultra-chilly water penetrated into the depths of the ocean. Such supercooled plumes could represent an important pathway for heat loss in the deep ocean that is currently not represented in climate models, the authors say.

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October 22, 2020 at 12:05AM
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Canada's Suncor considers selling North Sea oil and gas fields - WorldOil

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By Laura Hurst and Dinesh Nair on 10/21/2020

(Bloomberg) --Canada’s Suncor Energy Inc. is exploring the sale of a handful of oil and gas fields in the North Sea, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

Suncor is studying divesting the 30,000-barrel-a-day Golden Eagle Area on the UK side of the sea, the people said. Its 26.69% stake could be valued at about $400 million, one of them said. It’s also interested in selling smaller assets on the Norwegian side, valued at an estimated $100 million, another person said.

After a slow start to the year as the coronavirus crisis disrupted plans across the industry, asset-sale activity in the North Sea has picked up in the second half. Exxon Mobil Corp. has begun a process to divest its UK fields and Eni SpA is seeking to sell a production vessel in Norway. Chrysaor Holdings Ltd. this month bought independent oil explorer Premier Oil Plc in a reverse takeover.

Suncor hasn’t started a formal sales process, but is engaging with potential buyers that have shown interest in the fields, one of the people said.

Suncor didn’t respond to a request for comment.

The Calgary-based company is also considering selling its 40% stake in the Rosebank venture west of Shetland, one of the people said. The project, operated by Norway’s Equinor ASA, is one of the U.K.’s largest undeveloped fields.

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October 21, 2020 at 08:17PM
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Destroyer Ross treks into the Barents Sea's arctic waters — again - NavyTimes.com

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The guided-missile destroyer Ross headed back into the Barents Sea on Monday.

Despite decades of avoiding the contentious Arctic waters between Russia and Norway, four U.S. Navy ships and a U.K. Royal Navy ship completed a maritime operation in the Barents Sea in May — marking the first time the service said a U.S. Navy surface ship has done so since the mid-1980s.

And Monday marked yet another occasion when the Navy sailed into those very waters.

“This Barents Sea mission marks a significant milestone, clearly demonstrating our dynamic ability to operate anywhere in the world,” Cmdr. John D. John, the commanding officer of the Ross, said in a Navy news release. “These operations demonstrate the commitment of our crew to transatlantic stability and security.”

The recent operation coincides with Russia’s Navy conducting anti-submarine warfare drills in the Barents Sea, Russian state-run outlet TASS reported Oct. 20.

Bryan Clark, a former U.S. submarine officer who is currently a senior fellow with The Hudson Institute, told Defense News earlier this year that Russia views the Barents Sea and other surrounding waters as “a free zone for Russian submarine operations.”

"By putting some ships up there, we’re telling them: ‘Well, no, this is not a free zone [for] submarine operations — these are international waters,’ " Clark said. “It would be a little like if the Russians deployed a bunch of anti-submarine warfare frigates in the [Virginia Capes Operating Area off Norfolk, Virginia].”

“We couldn’t do anything about it, but it would put us on notice that we maybe needed to be a little more careful,” he said.

(Photo credit: MC2 Tyler Thompson/U.S. Navy)

Meanwhile, U.S. Navy destroyers have trekked into the Barents Sea this year a total of three times this year.

Arleigh Burke-class Aegis destroyers Donald Cook, Porter and Roosevelt, supported by the Supply-class fast combat support ship Supply, joined the Royal Navy’s Type 23 Duke-class frigate HMS Kent in May, according to the U.S. Navy.

Additionally, the U.S. Navy, led by the U.K., headed into the Barents Sea again in September to conduct maritime security operations. The Ross, the Royal Navy frigate HMS Sutherland, the British Royal Fleet Auxiliary RFA Tidespring Tide-class replenishment tanker, and the Royal Norwegian frigate HNoMS Thor Heyerdahl participated in the training in that instance, the U.S. Navy said.

“The realistic and relevant training we are conducting here in the Barents cannot be replicated anywhere else,” John said in September, according to a Navy news release. “This proves we can operate anywhere in the region with our allies.”

Earlier this month, the Ross participated in multilateral training called Exercise Joint Warrior, a bi-annual exercise spearheaded by the U.K. in the Atlantic Ocean. It involved more than 6,000 service members from allied nations including Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Norway, and Portugal.

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October 22, 2020 at 12:46AM
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Japan's Suga opposes actions that boost tension in South China Sea - Reuters

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JAKARTA (Reuters) - Japan opposes any actions that escalate tension in the East and South China Seas, Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said on Wednesday, but added that Tokyo was not aiming at an “Asian NATO” to contain any specific country.

Slideshow ( 5 images )

Suga was wrapping up a four-day trip to Vietnam and Indonesia, his first overseas since taking office last month, as part of Japan’s efforts to bolster ties with key Southeast Asian nations amid concerns about China’s growing assertiveness there.

“Japan is opposed to any actions that escalate tensions in the South China Sea,” Suga told a news conference in the Indonesian capital.

“Let me stress anew the importance of all the countries concerning the South China Sea issues not resorting to force or coercion, but working toward peaceful resolutions of the disputes based on international law.”

The trip follows this month’s meeting in Tokyo of the “Quad”, an informal grouping of India, Australia, Japan and the United States that Washington sees as a bulwark against China’s growing regional influence.

China has denounced the grouping of the four democracies as a “mini-NATO” aimed at containing its development.

“Our response in the South China Sea is not aimed at any one country,” Suga said, when asked if Japan wanted to create an Asian version of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).

Suga must balance Japan’s deep economic ties with China against security concerns, including Beijing’s growing push to assert claims over disputed East China Sea isles.

Some in his ruling party want to see a harder line, after ties warmed under his predecessor, Shinzo Abe.

“Japan is determined to defend its territory, territorial waters and air space,” Suga said, adding that Japan also opposed actions that raised tension in the East China Sea.

Several members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) have territorial disputes with China in the vital South China Sea, but are wary of alienating the group’s major economic partner and getting entangled in an intense confrontation between Washington and Beijing.

But some welcome Japan’s greater engagement in the region.

Suga agreed with President Joko Widodo on Tuesday to speed talks on the export of Japanese defence gear and technology to Indonesia and have their defence and foreign ministers meet soon.

A day earlier, the Japanese leader and Vietnamese counterpart Nguyen Xuan Phuc also agreed in principle on a military equipment and technology export pact.

(This story has been refiled to correct day of the week to Wednesday, not Monday in paragraph 1)

Reporting by Kiyoshi Takenaka and ELaine Lies in Tokyo, Adi Kurniawan and Heru Asprihanto in Jakarta; writing by Linda Sieg in Tokyo,; Editing by Clarence Fernandez and Raju Gopalakrishnan

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October 21, 2020 at 10:34AM
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Reflections by the Sea: Sea Spray - The Coastland Times - The Coastland Times

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By Betsy Ore Glass

The Lord is my strength and my shield;

My heart trusts in him, and I am helped. My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to him in song. 

– Psalm 28:7 NIV

The first time I ever remember vacationing at the beach, our family rented a modest cottage just a few steps from the shore. Most cottages had names and this one was called “Sea Spray” by the hand painted sign that hung by the door. I was a youngster and had never heard the term “sea spray” before and wondered what it meant. It wasn’t long before I found out. It’s the fine spray that the wind blows from the ocean to the shore, bringing with it salt residue from the sea. The windows to our little place had to be washed daily if we were to enjoy any view. The windshield of our car was filmy with the haze of sea spray. Some people call it salt spray. It becomes a fact of life to contend with if you are at the ocean for any length of time. The old-timers just shrug it off, just like they do about the sand in their shoes . . . when they wear them!

God’s protection and covering over us is his shield, just like the sea spray covers everything at the beach. God provides his armor to equip us. Ephesians 6:15 says, “To be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God.”  One part of the full armor of God is the shield of faith. It protects us from the flaming arrows of the evil one. As believers we are not immune to temptation and doubt. This is not God’s work and that is why we have his armor to defend ourselves in spiritual battle. Each day we should ask for God’s full armor to be upon us to protect us throughout the day. We’ll feel ready to meet the struggles that may lie ahead. We are blessed that God gives us these tools to stand firm in the Spirit.

Betsy Ore Glass has long-standing ties to the Outer Banks. From Virginia Beach, her family bought a vacation cottage in the 60s and her love of the area began. Later in the 90s, Betsy and her husband bought a weekend cottage and introduced the area to their children. Then Betsy’s parents retired to KDH where the family gathered often. Reach her at betsyglass1@gmail.com or read additional Reflections at www.betsyoreglass.com.

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October 21, 2020 at 04:05PM
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Selasa, 20 Oktober 2020

Rare white sea turtle found on South Carolina beach - KLTV

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The town says the hatchling is believed to have a genetic condition called leucism, which causes animals to have reduced pigmentation. The condition is described as extremely rare, but it’s unclear exactly how often such turtles are found in the wild.

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King tides, boosted by sea-level rise, are flooding communities along the East Coast - Washington Post

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But there was no storm to be found. In fact, many places enjoyed pleasant weather and sunshine. Yet coastal flood advisories plastered the coast, forcing road closures and flooding properties.

The culprit? King tides. A name informally attached to extra-high tides spurred by astronomical alignments, king tides often reach their peak in the fall. Decades ago, their impact was minimal. But added to the background of climate-driven sea-level rise, nowadays they are routinely problematic.

“I think of this like a stacking of phenomena,” said William Sweet, an oceanographer with NOAA specializing in sea-level rise and flooding issues. “We didn’t flood 30 or 40 years ago, but since then … sea levels have been a half-foot to a foot higher.”

The rise in water has left thousands of homes and businesses vulnerable to sunny-day flooding, disrupting daily life and undermining property values in some areas.

As greenhouse gases resulting from human activity continue to accumulate in the atmosphere and warm the climate, sea-level rise and coastal inundation will only continue to grow with time, even on sunny days.

What are king tides and why are they greatest in the fall?

October is typically the worst month for king tide flooding, with some of the highest water levels of the year.

King tides are the highest tides that occur and are easily predictable based on the orbits of the sun and the moon. Both celestial bodies exert a gravitational pull on the oceans, helping generate tides. The closer either body, the greater the tide.

Earth is closest to the sun in January, by a margin of more than 3.1 million miles compared with June. That increases tides in the months leading up to and around the new year.

High tides are then maximized when the moon reaches its closest point to Earth in its orbit, known as perigee, which occurred Friday.

Local weather plays a role in tides, too, and tends to enhance them in the fall. Along the East Coast, one of the biggest influences on tides is the Bermuda High, a high-pressure system anchored west of the Azores over the open Atlantic. Winds swirl in a clockwise pattern around it.

During the summer, flow around the Bermuda High brings heat and humidity to the Gulf and East Coasts and soupy conditions to the eastern United States. But during the winter, the Bermuda High shifts farther south and east, its influence on local winds dwindling. The onshore flow it generates is maximized in the summer and reaches a minimum during winter.

That means that the overlap of onshore winds and sun/moon-enhanced tides is greatest during the fall, particularly in the months of September, October and November. The tides are usually the most severe in October, having the most propensity for widespread impact. Waters are also still warm from summertime, and “thermal expansion” makes sea levels just a tad higher.

King tides flooding the East Coast

On Sunday, Monday and Tuesday, king tide flooding was rampant up and down the East Coast, despite otherwise tepid weather.

In Key West, Fla., the National Weather Service warned that “flooded roads will probably be a mixture of rain and salt water” after heavy downpours moved through the area. The office posted a photo to Twitter showing the overnight flooding.

Miami, Jacksonville, Charleston and Wilmington, N.C., were all included in coastal flood advisories Tuesday.

Some roads were cut off in Mount Pleasant, S.C., while intersections were flooded in Charleston. Just last month, Charleston suffered a similar episode of king tide flooding, which hit much of the downtown area and medical district.

The shoreline flanking Washington, D.C., was placed under a coastal flood advisory Monday as well, while in Queens, N.Y., water bubbled up out of street drains on submerged streets.

In Boston, minor splashover was forecast and did occur, but issues were minimal since high pressure overhead suppressed the surge. Localized flooding was also noted farther to the north in northern New England.

Supercharged tides because of sea-level rise

King tides are a natural phenomenon, but added to the background of rising seas, their impact and disruptive potential is growing exponentially. In Miami, for example, a roughly six-inch increase in sea level since 1996 has led to a twelvefold spike in action-tier flooding.

Sweet, of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, noted that the sea level isn’t just rising — the rate of rise is accelerating.

In 2019, “what we found was that 90 percent of the tide gauges that we analyzed on the East Coast or Gulf Coast [had] highest all-time sea levels,” Sweet said. “In many instances we were one or two inches higher than we were at the last record sea level. Sea levels are stacking up, and even when you have a garden variety [assortment] of processes, now it can mean flooding in the streets when the same phenomenon was happening [without flooding] 30 or 40 years ago.”

One of the challenges with communicating sea level rise is that the impacts associated with it are nonlinear. In other words, even if sea level were to rise at a constant rate, the amount of flooding coastal communities experience would jump far more quickly.

“At 75 percent of these East and Gulf Coast locations, [flooding is] now accelerating on an annual basis,” Sweet said. “That’s a very important notion to understand. And once infrastructure becomes compromised, once [those impacts are] noticed, the change is going to be quick rather than a slow process.”

It’s an issue already taking a toll on coastal communities, many of which are scrambling to plan for the future.

“As sea levels continue to rise, the flooding will become less storm surge flooding and more tidal flooding,” Sweet said. “Then it becomes an elevation game. Already communities are using data to see where they are exposed, and when they have opportunities to relocate critical infrastructure using the types of data we collect to make sound decisions.”

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October 21, 2020 at 01:41AM
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Brevard Zoo releases 370-pound sea turtle back into the ocean - FOX 35 Orlando

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Photo by the Brevard Zoo

The Brevard Zoo says that they have released a 370-pound female loggerhead, the zoo's largest-ever sea turtle patient, into the ocean on Tuesday morning.

The sea turtle just finished a successful rehabilitation stint at the zoo's healing center. She was found struggling to nest in July by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC). They found abnormalities on the turtle, like an old, healed injury on the shell, as well as swelling and weakness. 

MORE NEWS: Trump, Biden to have mics cut during opponent's answers in Thursday's debate

The zoo said that the turtle, which they named 'Perseverance' after the NASA rover, was transported to the healing center after several failed nesting attempts. Ultrasounds revealed that she had difficulty passing eggs. So, they induced her and she laid over 100 eggs. They were buried for incubation on a beach in southern Brevard County.

The sea turtle was reportedly also given nutritional support, fluids, and medications prior to its release at Cocoa Beach. 

Tune in to FOX 35 Orlando for the latest Central Florida news.

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October 21, 2020 at 01:00AM
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Rare white sea turtle found on South Carolina beach - WMBF

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The town says the hatchling is believed to have a genetic condition called leucism, which causes animals to have reduced pigmentation. The condition is described as extremely rare, but it’s unclear exactly how often such turtles are found in the wild.

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October 20, 2020 at 07:21PM
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Depths of the Weddell Sea are warming five times faster than elsewhere - Phys.org

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Depths of the Weddell Sea are warming five times faster than elsewhere
Southern Ocean. Credit: Thomas Steuer

Over the past three decades, the depths of the Antarctic Weddell Sea have warmed five times faster than the rest of the ocean at depths exceeding 2,000 meters. This was the main finding of an article just published by oceanographers from the Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research (AWI). In the article, they analyze an unprecedented oceanographic time series from the Weddell Sea and show that the warming of the polar depths is chiefly due to changed winds and currents above and in the Southern Ocean. In addition, the experts warn that the warming of the Weddell Sea could permanently weaken the overturning of tremendous water masses that takes place there—with far-reaching consequences for global ocean circulation. Their study was just released on the online portal of the Journal of Climate.

Over the past several decades, the world's oceans have absorbed more than 90 percent of the heat trapped in the atmosphere by greenhouse-gas emissions, effectively slowing the rise in around the globe. In this regard, the Southern Ocean is pivotal. Though it only accounts for 15 percent of the world's oceans in terms of area, because of the overturning that takes place there, it absorbs roughly three-fourths of the heat.

Until recently, very little was known about what happens to this heat in the depths of the Southern Ocean, due to the lack of sufficiently long time series. In order to trace the development down to the seafloor, researchers relied on regularly repeated ship-based measurements taken with 'CTD' probes (Conductivity, Temperature and Depth). These probes have now become so precise that they can measure changes in down to the nearest ten-thousandth of a degree Celsius. The data they gather can also be used to determine the water masses' density and salinity.

For the past 30 years, AWI oceanographers have been taking these temperature and salinity readings during expeditions to the Weddell Sea on board the German research icebreaker Polarstern—always at the same sites, always from the surface to the seafloor, and always with extremely high accuracy. By doing so, the researchers have produced the only time series of its kind on the South Atlantic and the Weddell Sea, which has now allowed them to precisely reconstruct the warming of the Weddell Sea and identify potential causes.

Only the water below 700 meters is growing warmer

Their findings are surprising. "Our data shows a clear division in the water column of the Weddell Sea. While the water in the upper 700 meters has hardly warmed at all, in the deeper regions we're seeing a consistent temperature rise of 0.0021 to 0.0024 degrees Celsius per year," says Dr. Volker Strass, an AWI oceanographer and the study's first author.

These values may seem minuscule at first glance. But, as Strass explains, "Since the has roughly 1,000 times the heat capacity of the atmosphere, these numbers represent an enormous scale of heat absorption. By using the temperature rise to calculate the warming rate in watts per square meter, you can see that over the past 30 years, at depths of over 2,000 meters the Weddell Sea has absorbed five times as much heat as the rest of the ocean on average." Through the formation of bottom water in the Weddell Sea, this heat is then distributed to the deep basins of the world's oceans.

Depths of the Weddell Sea are warming five times faster than elsewhere
Credit: Alfred Wegener Institute

Potential effects on global circulation

In the Weddell Sea, which represents the southern extension of the Atlantic Ocean and is roughly ten times the size of the North Sea, tremendous water masses cool down. In the course of sea-ice formation they take on salt, sink to deeper water layers as cold and heavy Antarctic Bottom Water, and then spread to the great ocean basins as a deep-sea current. This overturning is considered to be an important motor for the global ocean circulation. The warming of the depths of the Weddell Sea could weaken that motor, since warmer water has a lower density. Consequently, it is lighter and could fill higher layers of the water column.

"Our already shows a temperature-related loss in density in the deeper water masses of the Weddell Sea. This change is most pronounced in the Bottom Water," says co-author and AWI oceanographer Gerd Rohardt. Whether or not the Antarctic Bottom Water will continue to fulfill its function as the deepest limb of the global ocean overturning circulation chiefly depends on how the density of the water masses above it changes. "In order to monitor these developments, we'll need to continue our regular ship-based readings in the Weddell Sea," says the researcher.

Tracking down the cause: Winds and currents are transporting more heat farther south

As the cause of the increased heat input in the depths of the Weddell Sea, the researchers have identified a change in the wind and current systems over and in the Southern Ocean. "Over the past three decades, the westerlies and with them the Antarctic Circumpolar Current have not only shifted one to two degrees to the south; they have also intensified. As a result, the diameter of the Weddell Gyre has decreased, and the flow speed of the water masses has increased. Because of these two factors, more heat from the Circumpolar Current is transported to the Weddell Sea today than when we first began our measurements," explains Prof Torsten Kanzow, Head of the AWI's Climate Sciences Division and another co-author of the study.

Once the heat reaches the depths of the Weddell Sea, the major bottom currents distribute it to all ocean basins. "Our time series confirms the pivotal role of the Southern Ocean and especially the Weddell Sea in terms of storing in the depths of the world's oceans," says Volker Strass. If the warming of the Weddell Sea continues unchecked, he explains, it will have far-reaching consequences not only for the massive ice shelves on the southern coast of the Weddell Sea, which extend far out into the ocean, and as such, for sea-level rise in the long term, but also for the conveyor belt of ocean circulation as a whole.


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Quo vadis Antarctic bottom water?

More information: Volker H. Strass et al, Multidecadal Warming and Density Loss in the Deep Weddell Sea, Antarctica, Journal of Climate (2020). DOI: 10.1175/JCLI-D-20-0271.1

Citation: Depths of the Weddell Sea are warming five times faster than elsewhere (2020, October 20) retrieved 20 October 2020 from https://ift.tt/3jc8jWd

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Newly discovered gene may give 'sea pickles' their glow - Phys.org

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Newly discovered gene may give 'sea pickles' their glow
Members of the research team off the coast of Brazil collecting a Pyrosoma atlanticum specimen with a special soft robotic arm outfitted on a submersible Credit: OceanX

A new study describes a bioluminescent gene that could be the reason that so-called 'sea pickles,' or pyrosomes, an underwater free-floating colony of thousands of tiny animals, reverberate in blue-green light. If confirmed, the finding would be the first bioluminescent gene identified from a chordate—the group that includes all vertebrates as well as a couple types of invertebrates: sea squirts (including pyrosomes) and lancelets. The research is published today in the journal Scientific Reports.

"We know that throughout the tree of life, there are many hundreds of organisms that can produce light and that they do it for a variety of reasons," said co-author Michael Tessler, an assistant professor at St. Francis College who conducted the research while he was a postdoctoral researcher at the American Museum of Natural History. "Our work suggests that there is a common gene shared among at least some animals that, with a few small changes, could be responsible for this bioluminescence. A baseline gene like this could help explain how many of these very different organisms, like a brittle star and the sea pickle, ended up with the same ability to glow."

The idea for this study arose in 2017 when co-author David Gruber, a Museum research associate and a Presidential Professor at Baruch College, was off the coast of Brazil testing a new collecting tool outfitted to a submersible: squishy robotic hands meant to gently grab delicate sea creatures. The expedition team, which included Museum Curator John Sparks and was funded by the Dalio Family Foundation and OceanX, collected a selection of sausage-sized pyrosomes (Pyrosoma atlanticum).

Newly discovered gene may give 'sea pickles' their glow
Pyrosoma atlanticum under white light (top) and producing bioluminescence following mechanical stimulation Credit: © D. Gruber

These gelatinous colonies are made of hundreds of tiny animals called zooids—each with a heart and a brain—that work together to move, eat, and breathe. The name pyrosome, which in Greek translates as 'fire-body,' is derived from their unique bioluminescent displays, which, unlike many bioluminescent animals, can be triggered by light. While pyrosomes attracted the attention of naturalists in the 17th and 18th centuries, many of the most basic facts about their bioluminescence remain elusive.

"Understanding the biochemical pathway for pyrosome bioluminescence is of particular interest because as a chordate, these are much more closely related to vertebrates—and to us as humans—than many of the more traditional bioluminescent creatures that might come to mind, things like jellyfish or fireflies," Gruber said.

Like other bioluminescent organisms, pyrosomes rely on a chemical reaction between a substrate (luciferin) and a gene (luciferase) to produce light. The researchers found that mixing a common type of luciferin, called coelenterazine, with Pyrosoma atlanticum resulted in bioluminescence. To further investigate the inner workings of this reaction, they sequenced the RNA of the pyrosomes collected in Brazil as well as from additional specimens found in a large bloom off of Vancouver Island in Canada.

A compilation of manually stimulated Pyrosoma atlanticum bioluminescence taken soon after collection in Brazil. Credit: OceanX

The researchers discovered a gene that matches a luciferase often used in biotechnology that is found in sea pansies, a relative of jellyfish, anemones, and corals. They confirmed that the newly discovered pyrosome gene does, indeed, produce light by expressing it in a bacterial colony and adding coelenterazine.

"Being a part of this study felt like being a part of a century-old mystery novel as to how the pyrosome glows in the dark," said Jean Gaffney, a co-author and assistant professor at Baruch College. "I have never worked with a species that was seemingly so alien, but as a chordate is strikingly similar to us."

A similar gene was recently predicted from a bioluminescent brittle star, indicating that these types of luciferases may have evolved convergently from a baseline gene.

"This study advances the debate about pyrosome bioluminescence," Tessler said. "We provide justification for the idea that this animal produces its own light and it might be able to do so because of a pattern of evolution that as repeated throughout the animal tree of life."


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Brazilians start to unravel the mystery of North American insect bioluminescent systems

More information: Michael Tessler et al, A putative chordate luciferase from a cosmopolitan tunicate indicates convergent bioluminescence evolution across phyla, Scientific Reports (2020). DOI: 10.1038/s41598-020-73446-w

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'No other choice': Groups push to protect vast swaths of Antarctic seas - Mongabay.com

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‘This is a matter of political will’

The body responsible for making decisions surrounding Antarctica’s marine region is the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR), an international commission with 25 member states and the European Union, as well as 10 acceding states. Originally established to manage krill fisheries in the Southern Ocean, the commission meets each year in Hobart, Australia, to negotiate total allowable catches for fisheries, and to discuss other matters related to Antarctica’s marine region, including the designation of MPAs.

Any decision requires a consensus among all members, and proposals can take a long time to be approved. For instance, it took more than five years for the commission to approve a proposal to turn a region of the Ross Sea into an MPA, according to Werner. But it finally went ahead in 2016: now 1.55 million km2 (nearly 600,000 mi2)of the Ross Sea is classified as an MPA, with 1.12 million km2 (432,000 mi2) of the region fully protected from commercial fishing.

“In CCAMLR, everything is possible,” said Werner, who acts as an official observer and scientific representative at the commission. “You can have a proposal blocked for years like the Ross Sea, and then one day [it happens].”

Map showing existing MPAs and proposed MPAs in the Southern Ocean. Image by Pew Charitable Trusts.

The nations that may hinder efforts to approve the three new MPA proposals are China and Russia, which have fishing interests in these regions, conservationists say. According to Werner, every year, China extracts about 50,000 metric tons of krill from the Southern Ocean, and Russia takes about 400 metric tons of toothfish from the Ross Sea region.

“This is a matter of political will,” Werner said. “If the political will is there, it’s to be done. If the political will is not there, we can be in the same place as we are right now, and kind of stuck.”

The establishment of these three MPAs would help move the world closer to the goal of protecting 10% of the oceans by 2020, a key target for ocean protection as set out by the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 14 and the Convention on Biological Diversity’s Aichi Target 11.

“We’ve lost 50% of the biodiversity on Earth in 40 years,” Philippe Cousteau, a spokesperson for Antarctica2020 and grandson of famed oceanographer Jacques Cousteau, told Mongabay. “In order to stem that crisis, we need to protect 30% of the ocean by 2030 … this year, the goal was to get 10% protected, that would still leave 20% in the decade, which is a lot. But there’s no time for waste.”

Right now, only about 5% of the world’s oceans are protected with MPAs, according to the Marine Conservation Institute.

“It’s kind of a last-ditch effort to make that 2020 deadline of 10% of our ocean being protected,” Ashlan Cousteau, also a spokesperson for Antarctica2020, and Philippe Cousteau’s wife, told Mongabay. “That’s why we’re pushing so hard for this.”

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Senin, 19 Oktober 2020

Rare white sea turtle found on Kiawah Island - WECT

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WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - Volunteers with the Kiawah Island Turtle Patrol spotted a rare white sea turtle hatchling crawling across the sand while checking sea turtle nests on a South Carolina beach, Sunday, according to an Associated Press, SC, report Monday, October 19.

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Mystery over decline in sea turtle sightings - Science Daily

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The number of sea turtles spotted along the coasts of the UK and Ireland has declined in recent years, researchers say.

University of Exeter scientists studied records going back more than a century (1910-2018) and found almost 2,000 sea turtles had been sighted, stranded or captured. Recorded sightings increased dramatically in the 1980s and 1990s -- possibly due to more public interest in conservation, and better reporting schemes. Numbers have dropped since 2000, but the reasons for this are unclear.

"Lots of factors could affect the changing of numbers of sea turtles sighted," said Zara Botterell, of the University of Exeter and Plymouth Marine Laboratory. "Climate change, prey availability and environmental disasters such as the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill could all influence turtle numbers and behaviour.

"However, sea turtle populations in the North Atlantic are largely stable or increasing, and the apparent decrease may represent reduced reporting rather than fewer turtles in our seas. One reason for this could be that fewer fishing boats are at sea now than in the past -- and fishers are the most likely people to see and report turtles."

The most common turtles spotted off the UK and Ireland are leatherbacks -- making up 1,683 of the 1,997 sightings since 1910. Leatherbacks are thought to be the only sea turtle species that "intentionally" visits these waters, with adults arriving in summer in search of their jellyfish prey.

Meanwhile, juvenile loggerheads (240 since 1910) and Kemp's ridley turtles (61) are more often spotted in winter -- likely carried on currents and finding themselves stranded in cold waters.

There are seven sea turtle species in total, and the others are much rarer in UK and Irish waters. Only 11 green turtle sightings were found in the records (all from 1980 to 2016), while just one hawksbill (Cork, Ireland in 1983) and one olive ridley (Anglesey, Wales in 2016) have been recorded. The only species never recorded in UK or Irish waters is the flatback, which is only found around Northern Australia, Southern Indonesia and Southern Papua New Guinea.

Most of the recorded sightings of turtles in the UK and Ireland were along western and southern coasts. Of the 1,997 turtles sighted, 143 were "bycatch" (caught accidentally) in fishing lines, nets and ropes -- and the large majority of these were released alive.

The study used the TURTLE database, operated by Marine Environmental Monitoring.

The research team thanked the many members of the public who have reported turtle sightings and strandings, and noted the "pivotal role" of the UK Cetacean Strandings Investigation Programme (CSIP) and Scottish Marine Animal Stranding Scheme (SMASS), funded by UK governments.

"We have been lucky to analyse this unique dataset that exists because Britain and Ireland are a real hotbed of engaged citizen science, where members of the public report their sightings in schemes supported by conservation charities and government bodies," said Professor Brendan Godley, who leads the Exeter Marine research group.

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Materials provided by University of Exeter. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.

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Early-arriving endangered Chinook salmon take the brunt of sea lion predation on the Columbia - UW News

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October 19, 2020

sea lion eating a salmon

A sea lion devours a salmon. Opportunistic sea lions have learned that by swimming as far as 145 miles up the Columbia River, they can easily feast on migrating salmon.LE Baskow

The Columbia River is home to one of the West Coast’s most important Chinook salmon runs. Through late spring and early summer, mature fish return from the sea and begin their arduous journey upriver to spawn. In recent years, these fish have faced an additional challenge: hungry California sea lions.

A new University of Washington and NOAA Fisheries study found that sea lions have the largest negative effect on early-arriving endangered Chinook salmon in the lower Columbia River. The results published Oct. 19 in the Journal of Applied Ecology.

Opportunistic sea lions have learned that by swimming as far as 145 miles upriver, they can easily feast on migrating salmon, including those hindered by the Bonneville Dam.

“We investigated whether mortality rates varied depending on the specific threatened Chinook salmon population, determined by when they arrive in the river,” said lead author Mark Sorel, a doctoral student at the UW School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences. “We found that, based on their individual return timing and the abundance of sea lions in the river when they return, individual populations experience different levels of sea lion-associated mortality.”

Researchers learned that the earliest arriving populations of Chinook salmon experienced an additional 20% mortality over previous years, and the later arriving populations experienced an additional 10%. This increase in mortality was associated with increased sea lion abundance at those times of year in the period of 2013 to 2015 compared to the period of 2010 to 2012.

sea lions gather on docks at the mouth of the columbia river

Hundreds of male California sea lions cover docks in Astoria, Oregon, at the mouth of the Columbia River.Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife

The numbers of California sea lions are highest at the mouth of the Columbia in early spring, before they depart for their breeding grounds in southern California. The researchers also discovered that the earliest arriving salmon migrate through the lower Columbia River more slowly than those arriving later in the season, thereby increasing their exposure to predation.

“This information on how different populations are affected by sea-lion associated mortality is key because recovery of endangered Chinook salmon requires multiple of the individual populations to be healthy,” said Sorel.

California sea lions have seen their numbers rebound along much of the U.S. West Coast since the passage of the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972, which protects them from being killed, captured and harassed. The increased presence of sea lions is now at odds with the endangered salmon populations on which they feed, putting managers in a difficult position.

Researchers are concerned that something must be done quickly as these hunting behaviors are learned, and the problem could continue to grow exponentially. In August, the National Marine Fisheries Service granted approval for Washington, Idaho, Oregon and several Pacific Northwest tribes to capture and euthanize both problematic California and Steller sea lions within a larger area of the lower Columbia and Willamette Rivers. Previously, only California sea lions could be killed in these rivers if managers deemed them a threat to salmon.

This complicated decision was enacted after non-lethal methods, such relocation and hazing, to limit the impact sea lions have on salmon — plus some targeted lethal removal — were met with limited success.

“This is often a challenging management problem as both sea lions and salmon are of strong interest to the public, and both are protected under federal statutes,” said Sorel. “Management must consider multiple social values and operate within existing legal frameworks.”

Continued monitoring will help to reduce the remaining uncertainty about the effects of sea lions on salmon and the expected outcomes of alternative management actions.

Other co-authors are Richard Zabel and A. Michelle Wargo Rub of NOAA Fisheries Northwest Fisheries Science Center; Devin Johnson of NOAA Fisheries Alaska Fisheries Science Center; and Sarah Converse, leader of the U.S. Geological Survey Washington Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit and UW associate professor. This research was funded by the National Marine Fisheries Service West Coast Protected Resource Division.

For more information, contact Sorel at marks6@uw.edu and Converse at sconver@uw.edu.

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B-52s cross Atlantic for North Sea training - AirForceTimes.com

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A pair of B-52 Stratofortresses from Barksdale Air Force in Louisiana made a round trip to Europe for a major NATO training exercise last week.

The B-52s, from Barksdale’s 2nd Bomb Wing, took off from the United States Oct. 14, the base said in a release a day later, and crossed the Atlantic Ocean for the bomber task force mission.

The bombers flew to the North Sea to take part in a training exercise hosted by NATO over the North Sea, coordinating with other participants in the air and on the ground. That exercise, which ultimately lasted two weeks, involved more than 50 aircraft from multiple NATO nations, and was designed to ensure that allied air forces can effectively work together, the Air Force said.

B-52s from Minot Air Force Base in North Dakota conduct interoperability training with aircraft from the Baltic Air Policing mission during a long-range strategic Bomber Task Force mission throughout Europe and the Baltic region. The bombers participated in the Baltic Operations, or BALTOPS, maritime exercise June 7-16. (Courtesy Estonian Air Force)

The B-52s then flew back non-stop to the United States, with the help of aerial refueling from the U.S., Dutch, German and Italian air forces. The refueling missions included KC-135 Stratotanker aircraft from the 100th Air Refueling Wing at RAF Mildenhall in England, which refueled the bombers off the coast of Scotland.

The Air Force said the flight was intended to demonstrate U.S. support for its allies and partners, and its “shared commitment to global security and stability.”

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Reason for falloff in sea turtle sightings around UK and Irish coasts unclear, say scientists - The Guardian

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Sightings of sea turtles around the coasts of the UK and Ireland are showing signs of decline, scientists say, although it is unclear what is behind the drop.

Researchers say an analysis of a multi-agency database has revealed that between 1910 and 2018 there were 1,997 records of sightings, strandings or capture of turtles – alive or dead – with 84% relating to leatherback turtles.

Other species recorded included green turtles, Kemp’s ridley turtles and an olive ridley turtle, a small species that favours tropical waters, which was stranded on Anglesey, Wales, in 2016.

While leatherback turtles come to UK waters looking for jellyfish, loggerheads and Kemp’s ridley turtles are transported into the area on currents from the Caribbean or North Atlantic.

However, the team behind the study say the records show concerning trends. Among their findings, they say reports of leatherback turtles increased over the decades to a peak in the 1990s, but since then records appear to have gradually declined.

While there were 553 instances in the 1990s, there were 464 in the 2000s and 256 since 2010 – although the data for the most recent decade is not yet complete.

The team suggest the uptick in earlier decades could be down to a true rise in turtle numbers, greater awareness of reporting schemes, warmer waters or even an increase in prey. Likewise, Zara Botterell, lead author of the study from the University of Exeter, said the apparent decline could be down to many different factors.

“It could be climate change [or] prey availability, but it could also be reporting,” she said, noting there has been a decrease in the number of fishing boats operating in the UK – a key source for turtle sightings.

The study, published in the Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom, also reveals records of Kemp’s ridley turtles have increased since the 1980s, although they, too, have seen a recent decline, albeit only in the past couple of years.

The team say the uptick for this species could be a result of conservation efforts in the US and Mexico to protect turtle nests and prevent nesting females being caught in shrimp nets. Their subsequent drop in numbers, they add, might be linked to the Deepwater horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010 – a core part of the turtles’ range – among other factors, including a decline in observers.

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Mystery over decline in sea turtle sightings - Phys.org

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Mystery over decline in sea turtle sightings
Green turtle. Credit: Rod Penrose, MEM

The number of sea turtles spotted along the coasts of the UK and Ireland has declined in recent years, researchers say.

University of Exeter scientists studied records going back more than a century (1910-2018) and found almost 2,000 sea turtles had been sighted, stranded or captured.Recorded sightings increased dramatically in the 1980s and 1990s—possibly due to more public interest in conservation, and better reporting schemes.Numbers have dropped since 2000, but the reasons for this are unclear.

"Lots of factors could affect the changing of numbers of sighted," said Zara Botterell, of the University of Exeter and Plymouth Marine Laboratory. "Climate change, prey availability and environmental disasters such as the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill could all influence turtle numbers and behaviour.

"However, in the North Atlantic are largely stable or increasing, and the apparent decrease may represent reduced reporting rather than fewer turtles in our seas.One reason for this could be that fewer are at sea now than in the past—and fishers are the most likely people to see and report turtles."

Mystery over decline in sea turtle sightings
Leatherback turtle. Credit: Jane Newman

The most common turtles spotted off the UK and Ireland are leatherbacks—making up 1,683 of the 1,997 sightings since 1910.Leatherbacks are thought to be the only sea turtle species that "intentionally" visits these waters, with adults arriving in summer in search of their jellyfish prey.

Meanwhile, juvenile loggerheads (240 since 1910) and Kemp's ridley turtles (61) are more often spotted in winter—likely carried on currents and finding themselves stranded in .

There are seven sea turtle species in total, and the others are much rarer in UK and Irish waters.Only 11 green turtle sightings were found in the records (all from 1980 to 2016), while just one hawksbill (Cork, Ireland in 1983) and one olive ridley (Anglesey, Wales in 2016) have been recorded.The only species never recorded in UK or Irish waters is the flatback, which is only found around Northern Australia, Southern Indonesia and Southern Papua New Guinea.

Most of the recorded sightings of turtles in the UK and Ireland were along western and southern coasts.Of the 1,997 sighted, 143 were "bycatch" (caught accidentally) in fishing lines, nets and ropes—and the large majority of these were released alive.

Mystery over decline in sea turtle sightings
Loggerhead turtle. Credit: Melvin Grey

The study used the TURTLE database, operated by Marine Environmental Monitoring.

The research team thanked the many members of the public who have reported turtle sightings and strandings, and noted the "pivotal role" of the UK Cetacean Strandings Investigation Programme (CSIP) and Scottish Marine Animal Stranding Scheme (SMASS), funded by UK governments.

"We have been lucky to analyse this unique dataset that exists because Britain and Ireland are a real hotbed of engaged citizen science, where members of the public report their sightings in schemes supported by conservation charities and government bodies," said Professor Brendan Godley, who leads the Exeter Marine research group.

The paper, published in the Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom, is entitled: "Long-term insights into marine turtle sightings, strandings and captures around the UK and Ireland (1910-2018)."


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New study reveals migratory habits of teenage green turtles

More information: Zara L. R. Botterell et al, Long-term insights into marine turtle sightings, strandings and captures around the UK and Ireland (1910–2018), Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom (2020). DOI: 10.1017/S0025315420000843

Citation: Mystery over decline in sea turtle sightings (2020, October 19) retrieved 19 October 2020 from https://ift.tt/3dBfar0

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