SeaHarmony welcomes all ocean scientists, ocean educators, resource managers, artists, and ocean related organizations and community groups.
The ocean plays a huge role in controlling Earth’s climate. Large amounts of energy from the sun are absorbed by the ocean, and that heat gets redistributed around the world by large-scale ocean currents. Changes in these currents are predicted to occur as the earth warms, resulting in changes to both small scale and large scale weather and climate.
Satellites orbiting thousands of miles above the earth’s surface are used to monitor some of the tiniest organisms in the ocean. Phytoplankton are microscopic organisms that use the green pigment chlorophyll and the sun’s energy to produce food. NASA satellites can detect this green variation in the ocean’s color, which scientists use to estimate changes in the population of phytoplankton.
In the ocean, as on land, elements are constantly being cycled through different animals. An important player in this cycling process is bacteria. Bacteria can take organic matter, such as a fish carcass, and break it down to some of the essential compounds required for life. Bacteria sometimes get a dirty reputation, but they’re actually nature’s recyclers!
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.
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.
Photo: NOC Eight years after the establishment of a Marine Protected Area (MPA) off North West Scotland in the Rockall Trough, scientists have found a complex story for deep-sea coral reefs. Deep sea corals are different from their tropical counterparts in that they do not form a symbiotic relationship with dinoflaggelate algae, and can therefore survive in colder, deeper, and darker waters. Similar to tropical reefs, cold-water corals provide habitat for many other organisms, including commercially important fish species. Unfortunately, this means that cold-water corals are often in areas... (more)