Climate change may bring acidic oceans full of jellyfish

One often-neglected result of climate change is ocean acidification. If this process continues, we may start to see fewer fish and more jellyfish.

PHILIPPE HUGUEN/AFP/Getty Images
  • Since the beginning of the industrial era, humanity has been pumping out unprecedented levels of CO2 into the atmosphere.
  • A significant portion of this CO2 is sucked back into the ocean, where it reacts with water to produce carbonic acid.
  • Most species fair poorly in the newly acidic ocean. Jellyfish, however, seem to resist ocean acidification more than others.
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Surprising Science

Scientists map great white shark genome, revealing clues about cancer and healing wounds

Can learning about the great white shark help protect us from cancer?

(Photo: Lalo Saidy / Barcroft Images / Barcroft Media via Getty Images)
  • Scientists have mapped the entire genome of the great white shark.
  • The team found genetic adaptations that seem to help the fish preserve and repair its genome, clues that may help us better understand why sharks rarely get cancer.
  • The team also identified several gene pathways that might also help explain the fish's extraordinary wound-healing capabilities.
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Surprising Science

Behold, close-ups of the sand from around the cosmos

Think you've seen sand? You haven't seen sand.

Image source: Evil Minion on Shutterstock
  • Microscopic photography exposes the beauty and strangeness of sand.
  • Water wave action produces a startling variety of sand grains.
  • That stuff between your toes is a lot more interesting than you might think.
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Surprising Science

Study: Much of the surface ocean will shift in color by end of 21st century

Climate-driven changes in phytoplankton communities will intensify the blue and green regions of the world’s oceans.

Jennifer Chu | MIT News Office
February 4, 2019

Climate change is causing significant changes to phytoplankton in the world's oceans, and a new MIT study finds that over the coming decades these changes will affect the ocean's color, intensifying its blue regions and its green ones. Satellites should detect these changes in hue, providing early warning of wide-scale changes to marine ecosystems.

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Politics & Current Affairs

We can assess the health of coral reefs by the sounds algae make

Tiny bubbles talk photosynthesis.

(Freeman, et al)
  • During photosynthesis, algae produces a symphony of little "pings."
  • The sounds are produced by oxygen bubbles breaking away from the plants.
  • Monitoring reef health through its sound is a new avenue for acoustic ecology.
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Surprising Science