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Eutrophication is when a large amount of nutrients enters the water and causes a sharp increase in the algae population, which then rapidly die off once these nutrients are used up, creating low-oxygen conditions. Eutrophication often happens in areas where fertilizer run-off from agriculture gets into the water. In extreme cases, it can kill off a large area of marine life from lack of oxygen.
Can you imagining putting a person in a time capsule and then opening it up 80 million years later to discover that they’re still alive? Scientists have found a bacterial colony buried 100 feet deep in the Pacific Ocean floor that hasn’t received light, oxygen, or food for over 80 million years, and they’re still alive! A very slow metabolism and dividing to make identical copies of themselves allow these bacteria to survive for so long.
Ocean acidification happens when increased carbon dioxide in the air dissolves into the ocean. The excess carbon dioxide lowers the pH of our oceans, making them more acidic. This becomes a threat for sensitive animals like corals and shellfish because it reduces their ability to build calcium carbonate skeletons.
Even though it’s harder for humans to hear when underwater, sound travels much faster and farther in the ocean than in the air. That allows some animals, like humpback whales, to communicate over very large distances and is why you can sometimes hear them singing loudly while underwater during the winter months.
Did you know that some sharks can live in freshwater? The bull shark is able to withstand changes in salinity and swim from the ocean into freshwater rivers.
Photo Credit: WHOI A new scientific study published in the October issue of Integrated Environmental Assessment and Management, Jordi Vives i Batlle describes the status of research and findings on the impacts of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant accident that occurred five years ago in Japan. It is estimated that 80% of the radioactive discharge fallout was over the Pacific Ocean, striking concern for the long-term impacts on marine life. The impacts of radioactivity on marine organisms throughout the food chain are influenced by a few key factors: How long the organisms are... (more)