It's hard to study a creature when you only catch fleeting glimpses of it. Up until recently, that was one of the big stumbling blocks for marine biologists and ecologists, but advances in electronic tracking technology have allowed them to peer farther across, and deeper under, the surface of the oceans than ever before.
Satellite tracking systems and acoustic sensors are giving researchers insights into the behavior and lifestyles of some very elusive animals in the ocean, including the fabled white shark.
Sharks are disappearing from the world's oceans. The numbers of many large shark species have declined by more than half due to increased demand for shark fins and meat, recreational shark fisheries, as well as tuna and swordfish fisheries, where millions of sharks are taken as bycatch each year.
A new study by the Bronx Zoo-based Wildlife Conservation Society found that jack rabbits living in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem have apparently hopped into oblivion. The study, which appears in the journal Oryx, also speculates that the disappearance of jack rabbits may be having region-wide impacts on a variety of other prey species and their predators.
BEIJING - About 100,000 migratory birds disappeared in recent fierce snow storms in eastern China, state media reported Sunday.
Prattville, Ala. - The mayor of a town near Montgomery, Ala., says a tornado has destroyed numerous homes and may have trapped victims in the wreckage.
Every year, storms over West Africa disturb millions of tons of dust and strong winds carry those particles into the skies over the Atlantic. According to a recent study led by University of Wisconsin-Madison atmospheric scientists, this dust from Africa directly affects ocean temperature, a key ingredient in Atlantic hurricane development.
"At least one third of the recent increase in Atlantic Ocean temperatures is due to a decrease in dust storms," says lead author Amato Evan, a researcher at UW-Madison's Cooperative Institute for Meteorological Satellite Studies (CIMSS).
In a paper published online today in "Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems," the team of scientists describes how dust in the atmosphere cools the ocean by decreasing the amount of energy that reaches the water. The study also demonstrated that the large amount of dust blowing off of Africa in the 1980s and '90s likely cooled the Atlantic enough to prevent conditions that could have resulted in more devastating hurricane seasons similar to 2004 and 2005.
David Ljunggren, Peter GallowayReuters
Fri, 15 Feb 2008 14:33 UTC
Ottawa - Canada's massive oil sands are "the most destructive project on earth" and the federal government must intervene to clean up the mess, a leading green group said on Friday.
A 6.0-magnitude earthquake struck Bolivia in the region of Potosi near the border with Chile on Saturday, the U.S. Geological Survey said.
The quake struck at 1445 GMT (0945 EST) at a depth of 83 miles, the survey said.