32 posts in Water

Jun 27, 2017 / Geology, Water, M9

Distant earthquakes can cause underwater landslides

New research finds that large earthquakes can trigger underwater landslides thousands of miles away, weeks or months after the quake occurs.
Researchers analyzing data from ocean-bottom seismometers off the Washington-Oregon coast tied a series of underwater landslides on the Cascadia Subduction Zone to a 2012 magnitude-8.6 earthquake in the Indian Ocean — more than 8,000 miles away. These underwater landslides occurred intermittently for nearly four months after the April earthquake. 
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Jun 22, 2017 / Water

Nature spotlights UW geophysicists’ fight to save lives with seafloor sensors

Inventor and entrepreneur Jerry Paros and University of Washington scientists are monitoring undersea faults for movements and signs of the next catastrophic earthquake. A recent Nature article looks at Paros, who has donated $2 million to the UW, and the collaborative project he’s working on with researchers including the School of Oceanography’s Emily Roland and William Wilcock. Over the course of his career, Paros developed an ultra-precise quartz sensor for oil, gas and other industry applications. 
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‘Black swan’ events strike animal populations

Black swan events are rare and surprising occurrences that happen without notice and often wreak havoc on society. The metaphor has been used to describe banking collapses, devastating earthquakes and other major surprises in financial, social and natural systems.
A new analysis by the University of Washington and Simon Fraser University is the first to document that black swan events also occur in animal populations and usually manifest as massive, unexpected die-offs. 
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UW’s Kristin Laidre awarded Pew marine fellowship to study effects of climate change, subsistence hunting on polar bears

Polar bears depend on sea ice for essential tasks like hunting and breeding. As Arctic sea ice disappears due to climate change, bears across the species’ 19 subpopulations are feeling the strain.
But even as scientists try to quantify just how much melting sea ice is affecting polar bears, another group that depends on the iconic mammal for subsistence also is at risk of losing an important nutritional and economic resource. 
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‘The blob’ of abnormal conditions boosted Western U.S. ozone levels

An unusually warm patch of seawater off the West Coast in late 2014 and 2015, nicknamed “the blob,” had cascading effects up and down the coast. Its sphere of influence was centered on the marine environment but extended to weather on land.
A University of Washington Bothell study now shows that this strong offshore pattern also influenced air quality. The climate pattern increased ozone levels above Washington, Oregon, western Utah and northern California, according to a study published Feb. 
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Will more snow over Antarctica offset rising seas? Don’t count on it

A new study out of Earth and Space Sciences finds that warmer temperatures don’t necessarily equal more snowfall in Antarctica after all.
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Scientists recommend immediate plan to combat changes to West Coast seawater chemistry

Global carbon dioxide emissions are triggering troubling changes to ocean chemistry along the West Coast that require immediate, decisive actions to combat through a coordinated regional approach, a panel of scientific experts has unanimously concluded.
A failure to adequately respond to this fundamental change in seawater chemistry, known as ocean acidification, is anticipated to have devastating ecological consequences for the West Coast in the decades to come, the 20-member West Coast Ocean Acidification and Hypoxia (OAH) Science Panel warned in a comprehensive report unveiled April 4. 
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NOAA funds Washington Sea Grant to help communities protect their coasts

Washington SeaGrant was recently awarded nearly $900,000 by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to help coastal communities protect against hazards, including tsunamis, winter storms and sea-level rise.
The three-year project will help prepare Washington’s roughly 3,100 miles of coastline and more than 45 coastal cities for current and future hazards. The award is one of six NOAA Regional Coastal Resilience Grants awarded this year. 
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Jan 12, 2016 / Geology, Water

Ocean observatory comes alive

This month, researchers from across the globe gain unprecedented access to data from the U.S. Regional Cabled Ocean Observatory.
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The dream lab: UW’s Friday Harbor Laboratories

Make no mistake, the sea is changing. Warming waters are causing some organisms to become more abundant, while undermining others’ ability to fight off disease. Invasive species, overfishing and mutated diseases are all signs and sources of changes to come. Increased acidity, whether from human activities like runoff and carbon emissions or from the upwelling of deeper waters, affects the ability of clams, oysters and fish to form shells and skeletons. 
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