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Ocean Characteristics

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Catlin Seaview Survey Last Updated on 2012-02-23 00:00:00 Introducing our new project - the Catlin Seaview Survey.   More »
The Wave Last Updated on 2010-09-17 00:00:00     Giant waves are both fearsome and awesome. Author Susan Casey speaks with Living on Earth’s Steve Curwood about her new book, “The Wave: In Pursuit of the Rogues, Freaks, and Giants of the Ocean”. The book follows big wave surfers, mariners and scientists who have encountered huge waves and have lived to tell the tale.   Click Here to listen to Story YOUNG: Now with luck, none of the kids sailing in Boston Harbor will ever encounter a truly massive wave. Monster waves that gobble up ships leaving no trace nor survivors are the stuff of myth and legend – and Hollywood, think "Poseidon Adventure". But better instruments and satellite tracking have shown that huge freak waves are not really that uncommon. Susan Casey, who wrote about great white sharks in her book "The Devil's Teeth", has a new book about great blue waves. It's... More »
Ocean Color Can Deflect Hurricanes, Study Suggests Last Updated on 2010-08-13 00:00:00 For centuries, artists from Hokusai to Hopper have used the ocean's colors to move people. Now a new study says they have the power to move hurricanes too. What's more, global warming may already be changing the ocean's color—and therefore helping to determine who hurricanes will hit, and who they'll spare. Led by oceanographer Anand Gnanadesikan, the study used computer simulations to look for links between ocean color and strong tropical cyclones—called hurricanes in the North Atlantic Ocean and the northeastern Pacific and known as typhoons in the northwestern Pacific. "Our group develops climate models," said Gnanadesikan, of the U.S. Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory in Princeton New Jersey. "One of my jobs is to try to make those more realistic." One way to make the models more realistic is to look more closely at little-studied variables, such as ocean color. In the... More »
Scientists Uncover Deep Ocean Current Near Antarctica Last Updated on 2010-04-24 00:00:00 SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Scientists have discovered a fast-moving deep ocean current with the volume of 40 Amazon Rivers near Antarctica that will help researchers monitor the impacts of climate change on the world's oceans. A team of Australian and Japanese scientists, in a study published in Sunday's issue of the journal Nature Geoscience, found that the current is a key part of a global ocean circulation pattern that helps control the planet's climate. Scientists had previously detected evidence of the current but had no data on it. "We didn't know if it was a significant part of the circulation or not and this shows clearly that it is," one of the authors, Steve Rintoul, told Reuters. Rintoul, of the Antarctic Climate and Ecosystems Cooperative Research Center in Hobart, said it proved to be the fastest deep ocean current yet found, with an average speed of 20 cm (7.9 inches) a... More »
How scientists found world's deepest undersea volcanoes Last Updated on 2010-04-13 00:00:00 A team of British scientists surprised the world this week with its discovery of volcanic vents spewing superheated water from a trench three miles below the surface of the Caribbean. The vents, nicknamed "black smokers" because they gush sooty columns of what looks like smoke, were found 5,000 meters deep in the depths of the Cayman Trough, the world's deepest undersea volcanic rift. Scientists found the vents with the help of instruments towed behind their ship and a robot submarine, which helped them explore previously undocumented undersea depths. "It's a start of a new era in exploration," said expedition leader Doug Connelly, a geochemist with the National Oceanography Centre in Southampton, England. Volcanic vents are cracks in the Earth's crust that allow magma, gas and other material to escape the surface. Water surging from the smokers can be as hot as 760 degrees... More »