Archives for April 2014

Opportunity: Marine Biologist Positions, City of San Diego

OpportunityThe City of San Diego currently has openings for three full-time, permanent marine biologist positions with its Marine Biology Laboratory and Ocean Monitoring Program.

The recruitment period for these positions is presently April 25 – May 9, 2014.

Interested parties should visit the City’s job website ( during this timeframe for application information and procedures.

Click here for more information.

Consortium for Ocean Leadership

Newly Clocked Exoplanet Spins a Whole Day in 8 Hours

Time flies on beta Pictoris b, a behemoth gas planet orbiting a young neighbor star about 63 light-years from Earth.
Discovery News

China says could add big-polluting regions to carbon market

BEIJING (Reuters) – China is developing plans to expand its pilot carbon trading schemes into more of its key industrial regions, a top climate official said, as the country continues its drive to curb emissions.

Reuters: Environment

Oyster reefs can outpace sea-level rise

Sea-level rise represents a threat to intertidal oyster reefs and knowledge of their growth rates is needed to quantify the threat. This study presents direct measurements of intertidal oyster reef growth and develops an empirical model of reef accretion. The authors show that previous measurements underestimate growththe reefs studied here seem able to keep up with projected sea-level rise.

Nature Climate Change doi: 10.1038/nclimate2216

Nature Climate Change – AOP – science feeds

Beijing targets kebab vendors’ grills in war on pollution

BEIJING (Reuters) – Alarmed by pollution in the Chinese capital, authorities in Beijing will crack down on smoky outdoor grills from May 1, in a move that will hit the city’s popular kebab stalls, state media reported on Wednesday.

Reuters: Environment

Increased local retention of reef coral larvae as a result of ocean warming

The impact of ocean warming on coral larvae survival and dispersal is investigated using a dynamic model. The authors find that globally most reefs will experience large increases in the local retention of larvae, which make populations more responsive to local conservation efforts. However, increased larvae retention will also weaken connectivity between populations, which may affect recovery if a local population is severely disturbed.

Nature Climate Change doi: 10.1038/nclimate2210

Nature Climate Change – AOP – science feeds

Observed changes in extreme wet and dry spells during the South Asian summer monsoon season

The South Asian summer monsoon has an impact on over one billion people. This study applies statistical techniques to precipitation observations (over the period 1951–2011) and finds significant increases in daily precipitation variability, the frequency of dry spells and the intensity of wet spells, whereas dry spell intensity decreases.

Nature Climate Change doi: 10.1038/nclimate2208

Nature Climate Change – AOP – science feeds

Why Do We Finish Other Peoples’ Sentences?

We can predict what others will say far more often than previously thought, research shows. Continue reading →
Discovery News

Cheap carbon and biodiversity co-benefits from forest regeneration in a hotspot of endemism

Selecting economically viable forest management strategies that deliver carbon storage and biodiversity benefits can be a difficult task. Now, research in the western Andes of Colombia shows that naturally regenerating forests can quickly accumulate carbon and support diverse ecological communities at minimal cost.

Nature Climate Change doi: 10.1038/nclimate2200

Nature Climate Change – AOP – science feeds

Citizen Scientists Match Research Tool When Counting Sharks: Dive Guides Monitoring Sharks on Coral Reef at Similar Level to Telemetry

(Click to enlarge image) A tiger shark (Galeocerdo curvier) swims toward the camera as lemon sharks (negaprion brevirostris) eat behind her. (Credit: iStockphoto/Amanda Cotton)

(Click to enlarge image) A tiger shark (Galeocerdo curvier) swims toward the camera as lemon sharks (negaprion brevirostris) eat behind her. (Credit: iStockphoto/Amanda Cotton)

Shark data collected by citizen scientists may be as reliable as data collected using automated tools, according to results published April 23, 2014, in the open access journal PLOS ONE by Gabriel Vianna from The University of Western Australia and colleagues.

(From ScienceDaily) – Shark populations are declining globally, and scientists lack data to estimate the conservation status of populations for many shark species.

Citizen science may be a useful and cost-effective means to increase knowledge of shark populations on coral reefs, but scientists do not yet know enough about how data collected by untrained observers compares to results from traditional research methods. To better understand the reliability of datasets collected by citizen science initiatives, researchers in this study compared reef shark sightings counted by experienced dive guides (citizen scientists), with data collected from tagged reef sharks by an automated tracking tool (acoustic telemetry). 62 dive guides collected data during over 2,300 dives using standardized research protocols, including reporting on the dive site, date, species, counts, estimated depth, current, visibility, and number of tourist divers in the group. Both data sets were collected at coral reefs on the Pacific island of Palau over a period of five years.

Scientists found a strong correlation between the number of grey reef sharks observed by dive guides and those identified by telemetry at both daily and monthly intervals. The authors suggest that the same variation in shark abundance was detectable by both citizen scientists and telemetry. Furthermore, the presence of tourist divers didn’t correlate with the number or average depth of reef sharks recorded by telemetry, indicating that shark behavior was unaffected by the divers’ presence during the study. The guides’ data also suggests that the water’s current strength and temperature may have impacted the relative abundance of sharks at the monitored sites, which corroborates previous telemetry data. The authors posit that the correlated results demonstrate the potential role citizen science may play in shark conservation in coral reef ecosystems.

Gabriel added, “Our study shows that with a little bit of training and a good sampling design, recreational divers collect very useful data that can be used to monitor shark populations over long periods of time and across large spatial areas. Such programs have relatively small costs when compared with other methods currently used.”


Consortium for Ocean Leadership