As they grow, corals are bathed in a sea of marine microbes, such as bacteria, algae, and viruses. While these extremely abundant and tiny microorganisms influence coral communities in a variety of ways, a new study by researchers at WHOI, BIOS and UCSB reveals that corals also have an impact on the microbes in waters surrounding them.
There was a period during the last ice age when temperatures in the Northern Hemisphere went on a rollercoaster ride, plummeting and then rising again every 1,500 years or so. Those abrupt climate changes wreaked havoc on ecosystems, but their cause has been something of a mystery. New evidence shows for the first time that the ocean's overturning circulation slowed during every one of those temperature plunges -- at times almost stopping.
Five years of data collected on reefs and offshore in Bermuda shows that coral reef chemistry – and perhaps the future success of corals – is tied not only to the human carbon emissions causing systematic ocean acidification, but also to seasonal and decadal cycles in the open waters of the Atlantic, and the balance of biochemical processes in the coral reef community.
Our oceans need an immediate and substantial reduction of anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions. If that doesn't happen, we could see far-reaching and largely irreversible impacts on marine ecosystems, which would especially be felt in developing countries.
New research on coastal sediments, funded in part by BIOS’s Risk Prediction Initiative, shows that prehistoric hurricanes along the northern East Coast of the United States were likely more frequent and intense than those that have hit within recorded history.
New maps, based in part on long-term data from BIOS, show how changing seasons and geography impact acidification patterns and highlight where marine organisms may face the biggest challenges as carbon dioxide emissions continue to impact ocean chemistry.
Ammonium deposited over the open ocean comes almost entirely from natural marine sources, not from human activities like agriculture, as was previously believed, a new study of rain samples taken in Bermuda suggests.
Two years of rainwater samples collected at the Tudor Hill Marine Atmospheric Observatory enabled a team of researchers from BIOS, Brown University and Princeton University to track sources of nitrogen to the open ocean.
BIOS scientist Rachel Parsons (Oceanic Microbial Observatory Lab Manager) is lead author on a study that looked at the microbial communities within Devil's Hole, Bermuda. Read more to learn how Devil's Hole acts as a natural laboratory for research related to climate change.