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POGO Member News

Tracking Earthquakes in the Mediterranean

GEOMAR scientists start expedition to tectonic plate boundaries off Sicily

The Mediterranean is one of the most popular holiday destinations for Germans. It is also an area where earthquakes happen on a regular basis - with all the associated consequences such as landslides and tsunamis. With the aim of expanding the so far only fragmentary knowledge about the processes on the seafloor of the Mediterranean and improving the risk assessment, researchers from GEOMAR and their colleagues from France and Italy start an expedition on the German research vessel METEOR into the waters southeast of Sicily.

Sensitive youngsters - Young sea stars react more sensitively to ocean acidification than adults

Young sea stars from the Baltic Sea suffer more from the effects of ocean acidification than adults. In a laboratory experiment, scientists from GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel showed that younger animals already eat less and grow more slowly at only slightly elevated carbon dioxide concentrations. Their results are now published in the journal “Marine Ecology Progress Series”.

Five Bigelow Laboratory scientists at sea investigating how phytoplankton help balance the planet

On Wednesday September 17, five scientists from the Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences in East Boothbay will board the R/V New Horizon, where they will spend the next three weeks working round the clock to learn how phytoplankton affect major nutrient cycles in the ocean. Led by Senior Research Scientist Mike Lomas, the team will leave Honolulu and head toward the Equator to gain a better understanding of the complex relationships between ocean chemistry and phytoplankton biology in this dynamic ocean region. They will return to Honolulu on October 8 and be back in Maine shortly thereafter.

Small algae with great potential

Unique laboratory experiment shows rapid evolutionary adaptation to ocean acidification and warming


The single most important calcifying algae of the world’s oceans is able to simultaneously adapt to rising water temperatures and ocean acidification through evolution. A unique long-term experiment with the species Emiliania huxleyi at GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel shows that the evolutionary potential of the algae is much greater than previously thought. In their laboratory evolution experiment, the scientists have shown for the first time that evolutionary adaptations to multiple stress factors do not necessarily interfere with each other. Further work will reveal how evolution in ocean microbes may affect the function of the ocean in removing carbon dioxide to the deep sea and whether or not laboratory findings can be translated into the natural ocean environment.

New atlas of Southern Ocean marine life

A new atlas, providing the most thorough audit of marine life in the Southern Ocean, is published this week by the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR). Leading marine biologists and oceanographers from all over the world spent the last four years compiling everything they know about ocean species from microbes to whales.
It’s the first time that such an effort has been undertaken since 1969 when the American Society of Geography published its Antarctic Map Folio Series.

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