The Beacon

Blog Tags: Climate Change

Ocean Roundup: Humpback Whales Communicate to Feed at Night, Bangladesh Oil Spill Threatening Sundarbans Mangroves, and More

Humpback whales feed with "tick-tock" noises at night

A humpback whale feeding. New research shows humpback whales make “tick-tock” noises to feed at night. (Photo: Garrett Coakley / Flickr Creative Commons)

- European Union fishery ministers reached agreements on commercial catch regulations for 2015, allowing for increased catches in cod, prawns, plaice, haddock, and more in certain areas. Many conservationists are criticizing the decision, saying it defied scientific advice to decrease many of these catches. The Guardian


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Ocean Roundup: Task Force Releases Recommendations on Seafood Fraud, Sea Otters Critical to Healthy Marshes, and More

Sea otters are important to maintaining healthy marshes

A sea otter in California. Sea otters play important roles in maintaining healthy marsh ecosystems. (Photo: USFWS Pacific Southwest Region / Flickr Creative Commons)

- Today, President Obama’s designated Task Force on tackling seafood fraud released  their first set of recommendations for eliminating the issue. While many conservationists are hailing the recommendations—such as instilling better enforcement and encouraging collaboration among organizations—as a positive first step, they say there is still much work to be done. National Geographic


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Ocean Roundup: Humpback Whales Frequenting New York City Waters, Oceans House Over 5 Trillion Plastic Pieces, and More

There are 5 trillion pieces of plastic in the oceans

Marine litter on a beach. (Photo: Bo Eide / Flickr Creative Commons)

- A new study has but a number on the amount of plastic floating in the oceans: at least 5.25 trillion pieces of plastic, weighing nearly 269,000 tons, are floating around the oceans. The team found that tiny plastic pieces made up the majority of the plastic in the oceans. Smithsonian


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Ocean Roundup: Some Baby Coral Can Adapt to Ocean Acidification, Electric Eels Stun Prey with Electric Discharge, and More

Baby staghorn corals could stand ocean acidification

Staghorn coral (Acropora cervicornis). New research shows baby staghorn coral may be able to adapt to acidic conditions. (Photo: FWC Fish and Wildlife Research Institute / Flickr Creative Commons)

- New research on baby corals shows hope for coral reefs in the face of climate change, finding that some baby corals are able to adapt to more acidic conditions. The research primarily focused on staghorn corals, which is a key reef-building species in the Indian and Pacific. The Guardian


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Ocean Roundup: Seals Can Pick up Pings from Acoustic Tags on Fish, Climate Change Making Crabs “Sluggish,” and More

Grey seals may be able to detect pings from fishing gear

Grey seal (Halichoerus grypus) in Santander bay, Cantabria, Spain. New research shows grey seals may be able to pick up pings from acoustic tags on fish. (Photo: Oceana / Enrique Talledo)

- New research shows that seals are picking up on the pings from acoustic tags on fish. Through experiments, the researchers found that seals located fish with acoustic tags on them more easily than untagged fish. BBC News


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Extroverted Sharks and Stressed Penguins: Uncovering Personality in Ocean Animals

Native little penguins have different personalities

Native little penguins’ personality may play a role in their ability to cope with climate change. (Photo: M Kuhn / Flickr Creative Commons)

Though it’s easy to see that our domesticated four-legged friends have quirky personalities, new studies show that some ocean animals may just have their own, too. And not only do some animals have unique personalities, but their disposition may just play unique evolutionary roles.


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Ocean News: Loggerhead Sea Turtles Can Get the Bends, Global Sea Surface Temperatures at Highest Point, and More

Loggerhead sea turtles can get the bends after interaction with fisheries

A loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta) in the Mediterranean. New research shows loggerheads can get the bends after commercial fishing capture. (Photo:  Oceana / Juan Cuetos)

- The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) announced that it was adding Pacific bluefin tuna to their "red list" of threatened species during the 2014 World Parks Congress in Sydney. The group cited its massive demand in Asian sushi and sashimi markets as reasons for population declines over the past 22 years. Business Insider


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Ocean Roundup: Gulf of Maine Cod Fishery Closed, Climate Change Worsening Dead Zones, and More

Fishery managers closed the Gulf of Maine fishery

Cod (Gadus morhua). Fishery managers closed the Gulf of Maine cod fishery for six months. (Photo: Oceana / Carlos Minguell)

- Researchers have discovered that they can examine how much plastic debris seabirds ingest on the open ocean by studying its concentration in birds’ preening oil. The scientists say this will help them understand how trash is affecting other marine species. ABC


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Scientists Alarmed about Climate Change Catastrophe

New IPCC synthesis issued dire warning about climate change

A polar bear in the Arctic. (Photo: Smudge 9000 / Flickr Creative Commons)

“Human influence on the climate system is clear, and recent anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases are the highest in history.  Recent climate changes have had widespread impacts on human and natural systems.”


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Ocean Roundup: New Robot to Study Emperor Penguins, IPCC Sounds Alarm on Climate Change Inaction, and More

A new robot will help scientists study penguins in Antarctica

Emperor penguins in Antarctica. (Photo: Christopher Michel / Flickr Creative Commons)

- Scientists have invented a remote-controlled robotic emperor penguin, which resembles an emperor penguin chick, to help them better study emperor penguins in Antarctica. Because emperor penguins are extremely shy, they tend to back away and change their natural behavior whenever scientists try to study them. The Associated Press


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