To fix the reef we first need to fix the land – but where do we start?

photo: To fix the reef we first need to fix the land – but where do we start?

Photo: The Great Barrier Reef, Northern Queensland, Australia

Rivers deliver sediment from land to the ocean. This sediment contains nutrients which can feed microscopic algae in water. But, if there is too much sediment and nutrients, delivered by floods from land-based erosion, algal blooms can occur that have negative effects on the Great Barrier Reef.

The challenge is that sediment comes from many different locations and we need to know … [more…]

Glacier depth affects plankton blooms off Greenland:

Study shows complex connection between meltwater discharge and nutrient input — ScienceDaily

Summary: The unusual timing of highly-productive summer plankton blooms off Greenland indicates a connection between increasing amounts of meltwater and nutrients in these coastal waters. Researchers now show that this connection exists, but is much more complex than widely supposed. Whether increasing meltwater has a positive or negative effect on summertime phytoplankton depends on the depth at which … [more…]

A marine phytoplankton virus affects cloud formation

photo: Emiliana huxleyi. A marine phytoplankton virus affects cloud formation

Photo: the phytoplankton species Emiliana huxleyi, coming soon to a cloud near you.

A species of marine phytoplankton that explodes after contracting a virus may play a role in regulating Earth’s climate, a new study finds.

Emiliania huxleyi is a type of single-celled plant-like organism called a coccolithophore that occurs ubiquitously in the world’s oceans. Under the right conditions, it multiplies rapidly to form giant aggregations, known as blooms, up … [more…]

Proving Terrible For the Marine Life: Microplastics

photo: glittering holiday ornaments. Proving Terrible For the Marine Life by Microplastics

A seemingly harmless arts and craft material, glitter has been a part of fun Do It Yourself projects, an intricate part of the fashion and makeup world, and an all-around well-loved item for years. Yet beneath all that glitz and glam lies an unfortunate and little-known truth: that glitter is causing serious harm to the environment.

Glitter is known for its tendency to stick to all available surfaces and be … [more…]

Two Factors Increasing the Risk of Harmful Algal Blooms (HABS)

Two Factors Increasing the Risk of Harmful Algal Blooms (HABS)

A Result of Human Activities and Climatic Change

Harmful algal blooms (HABs) are an emerging public health issue that can contaminate the environment, drinking water, recreational water, and food. Exposure to HAB toxins through water, food, or air may cause a range of mild to severe symptoms in both humans and animals. HAB-associated exposures can result in symptoms that affect the skin, stomach and intestines, lungs, and nervous system. HABS