Marine Science

“Miracle” Microbes Thrive at Earth’s Extremes

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

For the past 30 years scientists have scoured the most inhospitable environments on Earth searching for life. Just about everywhere researchers look, they find it thriving in microscopic form.

These organisms, known as extremophiles, snuggle up to scalding hydrothermal vents in the Pacific Ocean. They cling to ice in Antarctica. They burrow in the high deserts of Chile and wallow in salty lake beds of East Africa.

New Trap May Take Deep-Sea Fish Safely Out of the Dark

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: July 1, 2004   View Article

In the cold and dark depths of the seas, some fish attract their prey with bioluminescent lures. Others have huge mouths that allow them to chomp enough food in a single bite to sustain them for weeks.

Scientists are eager to learn more about these creatures, but whenever they try to bring them up to the surface and transport them to a laboratory, they die.

Deep Sea Hot Spots Harbor Abundant Life

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: June 24, 2004   View Article

The deep ocean floor is a dark, cold, remote, and seemingly lifeless place that until recently lay largely below the radar of science and exploration. But with advances in technology, scientists are accessing the deep and finding life everywhere they look.

“Typically the deep sea is very sparsely populated and at first glance it may appear as a vast, desolated plain of mud,” said Jeffrey Drazen, a marine biologist with the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute in Moss Landing, California.

Technology Opens Deep Seas to Exploration

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: June 22, 2004   View Article

Humans yearning to chart undiscovered realms of planet Earth need only look below the surface of the ocean.

“About 90 percent of the oceans remain unexplored, and most of this is the deep sea,” said Jeffrey Drazen, a marine biologist with the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute in Moss Landing, California.

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.

© 2008-2010 Collected Writings By John Roach