Nutrient

Sea Slime Killing U.S. Seabirds

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: October 30, 2009   View Article

Hundreds of birds are washing up on the shores of the U.S. Pacific Northwest coated with a foamy sea slime, scientists say.

The slime, which comes from algae blooms in the ocean, saps the waterproofing ability of the birds’ feathers, experts say.

Cicadas as Food: Summer’s Low-Fat Snack?

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: May 22, 2007   View Article

High-protein, low-carb dieters take note: The billions of cicadas emerging from the ground this month in the midwestern U.S. are a healthy alternative to that bacon double-cheeseburger without the bun.

“They’re high in protein, low in fat, no carbs,” said Gene Kritsky, a biologist and cicada expert at the College of Mount St. Joseph in Cincinnati, Ohio, speaking to National Geographic News during the last major cicada outbreak, in 2004.

Scientists Track Nutrients Around Oceans

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: June 17, 2004   View Article

The glass-hoarding behavior of single-celled plants called diatoms that dominate the surface layer of the ocean around Antarctica has allowed scientists to map the delivery of ocean nutrients around the world.

“Diatoms basically come to dominate wherever there is enough silicic acid and other nutrients around,” said Jorge Sarmiento, a professor of ocean and atmospheric sciences at Princeton University in New Jersey.

Ocean “Conveyor Belt” Sustains Sea Life, Study Says

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: June 15, 2004   View Article

An estimated three-quarters of all marine life is maintained by a single ocean-circulation pattern in the Southern Hemisphere that pulls nutrient-rich waters from the deep ocean, brings them to the surface, and distributes them around the world.

“This is really something,” said Jorge Sarmiento, a professor of atmospheric and ocean sciences at Princeton University in New Jersey. Sarmiento made the discovery using sophisticated computer models.

Can Iron-Enriched Ocean Thwart Global Warming?

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: June 9, 2004   View Article

Virtually all life in the world’s oceans is directly or indirectly dependent on one-celled plants called phytoplankton. These plants, which live at the ocean surface, feed on ocean nutrients to survive.

But about 20 to 30 percent of these crucial nutrients sink out of reach of the phytoplankton each year, according to Jorge Sarmiento, a professor of atmospheric and ocean sciences at Princeton University in New Jersey.

Hawaii Ridge Helps “Stir” Ocean Waters, Study Says

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: August 18, 2003   View Article

Imagine a cup of black coffee. Add a spot of cream. Watch. The white glob swirls, tendrils stretch to the rim and get thinner. Black and white meld to milky brown but black patches remain, white tendrils linger. Grab a spoon. Stir. The patches and tendrils disappear. Sip. Enjoy.

The interactions of motion that mix the coffee and cream are difficult to understand, says Dan Rudnick, an oceanographer at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California in San Diego. His task is even more difficult. He and his colleagues are on a quest to understand how mixing happens in the oceans.

Rich Coral Reefs in Nutrient-Poor Water: Paradox Explained?

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: November 7, 2001   View Article

Coral reefs are the rain forests of the oceans, teeming with a biological diversity that boggles the mind. Just how did such profusion of life come to thrive in crystal-clear—and thus nutrient poor—water? The question has eluded scientists since Charles Darwin took his famous voyage on the H.M.S. Beagle in the 1830s.

Now, a team of German and Jordanian researchers may have the answer to this so-called coral reef paradox: an abundance of sponges that dwell inside the nooks and crannies of reef interiors.

© 2008-2010 Collected Writings By John Roach