Not too long ago NPR did a story about how plastic in the ocean is contaminating Seafood . Many people are familiar with the dangers associated with mercury consumed by potential seafood, but this is another thing we should probably all be aware of.
And for something even more depressing… The Guardian covered a recent study predicting that the deep sea is going to be hit hard by climate change. Many assume that the deepest habitats on earth would be safe from climate change, but that is likely not the case. The study published in Global Change Biology (open access) looks at 50 years (!!) of abundance data for two copepod species from the NE Atlantic and finds they they are not adapting to keep up with changing sea temperatures. These are key food sources in the area, and it looks like the range of the cold water species is dramatically decreasing as the warm water species increases. Many had thought (hoped?) that individual species would adapt to changing temperatures over time, but this study shows that may not be the case.
Environmental microbiologists are interested in is how microbes move, particularly anything that might enable microbes to move long distances relative to their microscopic size. Anyone interested in climate change is interested in methane from the ocean and how it does or doesn’t make its way to the atmosphere. This article from live science caught my eye because it describes new finding presented at a conference in early december that deal with both of these things. Apparently methane-eating microbes may be riding along on methane bubbles that leave the seafloor as they travel through the water column, and they may be consuming that methane before it reaches the surface. The results are preliminary, but the group doing the research has a webpage describing this “bubble shuttle”.
And for fun some - weird fish. Back in November, Australia’s News.com published this list of the 10 weirdest fish in the world. About a month later this list of 10 even weirder fish popped up at the most excellent Southern Fried Science blog. Enjoy!