Archives for November 2016

Corals much older than previously thought

Coral genotypes can survive for thousands of years, possibly making them the longest-lived animals in the world, according to researchers at Penn State, the National Marine Fisheries Service and Dial Cordy & Associates.

The team recently determined the ages of elkhorn corals  — Acropora palmata — in Florida and the Caribbean and estimated the oldest genotypes to be over 5,000 years old. The results are useful for understanding how corals will respond to current and future environmental change.

ENN: Top Stories

At least five dead, dozens injured as tornadoes rip through U.S. South

(Reuters) – At least five people were killed and dozens were injured after tornadoes tore through the U.S. South overnight and into Wednesday, leaving emergency crews scrambling to save lives and assess damage.


Reuters: Environment

EPA to finalize 2025 vehicle emissions rules without change: sources

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will announce Wednesday a plan to finalize vehicle emissions standards through 2025 — a move strongly opposed by major automakers and likely to set up a significant fight early in the next administration, two sources briefed on the plan.


Reuters: Environment

Opportunity: PhD Position: Phylogenomics/Population Genomics Of Deep-Sea Sponges At The University Of Bergen (Dec. 14)

Ocean Leadership ~

employment-opportunites-e1433868852278There is a vacancy for a PhD position in phylogenomics/population genomics of deep-sea sponges at the Department of Biology within the Marine Biodiversity Group. The position is for a fixed term of 3 years.

The research will be performed in the scope of the EU-funded project “Deep-sea sponge grounds ecosystems of the North Atlantic: an integrated approach towards their preservation and sustainable exploitation – SponGES”, a collaborative effort coordinated by the University of Bergen and involving 20 European, Canadian and American partners.

The project’s primary goal is to develop an integrated ecosystem-based approach for the preservation and sustainable exploitation of deep-sea sponge ecosystems of the North Atlantic, which requires a deep understanding of their diversity, evolutionary and connectivity patterns.

Phylogenetic and population-level studies performed in sponges have been in most part restricted to shallow-water species, and relatively limited in terms of the nature and number of markers used. In SponGES we will employ a genomic-based approach to investigate the phylogenetic relationships, biogeographic patterns as well as genetic diversity, structure and connectivity of several deep-sea grounds-forming species at different spatial scales.

The candidate will be based at the University of Bergen and enrolled in its PhD programme but have several research stays in the Natural History Museum (NHM) London, and will further collaborate with researchers from the University of Uppsala (Sweden) and Fisheries and Oceans Canada (Canada).

Application Deadline: December 14, 2016 

For more information: https://www.jobbnorge.no/en/available-jobs/job/131183/phd-position-in-phylogenomics-population-genomics-of-deep-sea-sponges 

General information:
Detailed information about the position can be obtained by contacting:
Professor Hans Tore Rapp, Hans.Rapp@uib.no
Postdoctoral researcher Joana R Xavier, Joana.Xavier@uib.no

The post Opportunity: PhD Position: Phylogenomics/Population Genomics Of Deep-Sea Sponges At The University Of Bergen (Dec. 14) appeared on Consortium for Ocean Leadership.


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Opportunity: Postdoctoral Fellow In Bioinformatics At The University Of Bergen (Dec. 14)

Ocean Leadership ~

employment-opportunites-e1433868852278There is a vacancy for a postdoctoral fellow position at the Department of Biology within bioinformatics. The position is for a period of 4 years, and is connected to the Marine Biodiversity Group.

The Marine Biodiversity Group of UiB has been focusing on the taxonomy, systematics and biogeography of marine invertebrates and algae of both shallow and deep-sea habitats of the Boreo-Arctic region, using a range of approaches from classical taxonomy to next-generation-sequencing technologies.

The research will be in great part performed in the scope of the EU-funded project SponGES on the “Deep-sea sponge grounds ecosystems of the North Atlantic: an integrated approach towards their preservation and sustainable exploitation”, a collaborative effort coordinated by the University of Bergen and involving 20 European, Canadian and American partners.

The project’s primary goal is to develop an integrated ecosystem-based approach for the preservation and sustainable exploitation of deep-sea sponge ecosystems of the North Atlantic, which requires a deep understanding of their diversity, evolutionary and connectivity patterns.

Phylogenetic and population-level studies performed in sponges have been in most part restricted to shallow-water species, and relatively limited in terms of the nature and number of markers used. In SponGES we will employ a genomic-based approach to investigate the phylogenetic relationships, biogeographic patterns as well as genetic diversity, structure and connectivity of several deep-sea grounds-forming species at different spatial scales. Metagenomic and metatranscriptomic approaches will also be used to assess the composition and infer the function of sponges-associated microbial communities.

The candidate will be based at the University of Bergen but collaborate with researchers from several partner institutions of the SponGES consortium.

Application deadline: December 14, 2016

For more information: https://www.jobbnorge.no/en/available-jobs/job/131198/postdoctoral-fellow-in-bioinformatics

The post Opportunity: Postdoctoral Fellow In Bioinformatics At The University Of Bergen (Dec. 14) appeared on Consortium for Ocean Leadership.


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Great Smoky Mountains fires leave three dead, ‘scene of destruction’

(Reuters) – Local officials said on Tuesday that “the worst is over” for two small Tennessee resort towns in the Great Smoky Mountains where wildfires killed three people, destroyed or damaged more than 100 homes, forced thousands to flee and threatened country music star Dolly Parton’s theme park, Dollywood.


Reuters: Environment

Climate models may be overestimating the cooling effect of wildfire aerosols

Whether intentionally set to consume agricultural waste or naturally ignited in forests or peatlands, open-burning fires impact the global climate system in two ways which, to some extent, cancel each other out. On one hand, they generate a significant fraction of the world’s carbon dioxide emissions, which drive up the average global surface temperature. On the other hand, they produce atmospheric aerosols, organic carbon, black carbon, and sulfate-bearing particulates that can lower that temperature either directly, by reflecting sunlight skyward, or indirectly, by increasing the reflectivity of clouds. Because wildfire aerosols play a key role in determining the future of the planet’s temperature and precipitation patterns, it’s crucial that today’s climate models — upon which energy and climate policymaking depend — accurately represent their impact on the climate system.

ENN: Top Stories

Giant arch slides over Chernobyl site to block radiation for a century

CHERNOBYL, Ukraine (Reuters) – In the middle of a vast exclusion zone in northern Ukraine, the world’s largest land-based moving structure has been slid over the Chernobyl nuclear disaster site to prevent deadly radiation spewing from the stricken reactor for the next 100 years.


Reuters: Environment

With Climate Change, Not All Wildlife Population Shifts Are Predictable

Wildlife ecologists who study the effects of climate change assume, with support from several studies, that warming temperatures caused by climate change are forcing animals to move either northward or upslope on mountainsides to stay within their natural climate conditions.

But a new study of lowland and higher-mountain bird species by wildlife ecologists Bill DeLuca and David King at the University of Massachusetts Amherst now reports an unexpected and “unprecedented” inconsistency in such shifts. The majority of the mountain bird community responded against expectation and shifted downslope despite warming trends in the mountains. They say the result “highlights the need for caution when applying conventional expectations to species’ responses to climate change.”

ENN: Top Stories

Jon White – From the President’s Office: 11-28-16

Ocean Leadership ~

As many were enjoying Thanksgiving in the traditional way – with good food, friends, and family (and perhaps choosing to #OptOutside on Friday) – mine was a little different. I spent my Thanksgiving week in Brussels, where I dined on mussels instead of turkey, frites instead of sweet potatoes, and waffles instead of pumpkin pie. 
 
More importantly, I was able to spend much of the week working with our partners in the European Union (EU) on ways to enhance international ocean science partnerships.  Many organizations and leaders within the European Commission framework (as well as our long-term partner and counterpart, the European Marine Board), are eager to collaborate with COL and our members. During a meeting with the Director General of the Marine Resources Unit in the Research and Innovation department of the Directorate-General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries (DG MARE), I was astonished by the similarities we have in priorities and focus areas, including aquaculture, ocean governance, and ocean observing. I look forward to growing relationships and partnerships with our EU associates in the coming months to enhance our cooperative advocacy efforts on the global scale and to enable new opportunities for COL members. I encourage you to explore the links and topics above, as well as EU”s BILAT USA 4.0, which was launched earlier this year to more actively encourage scientific and technological cooperation with the U.S. (including potential participation in Joint Programme Initiative areas that include oceans, food security, and climate change)

On another note:  Along with 28 other CEOs of U.S. science and technology societies, I signed onto a letter to President-elect Trump asking him to appoint a science advisor and for the community to have the opportunity to meet with him or members of the transition team. You can read the full letter here.

Although a long way from home last week, I certainly didn’t pass up the chance to reflect and give thanks. The last 11 months have been dynamic in many ways for COL and me. I am especially grateful for the opportunity I have had to work closely with the extraordinary individuals, institutions, and corporations that comprise our consortium as we strive to make our ocean better — for everyone in the world.  

-Jon
RADM Jonathan W. White, USN (ret.); M.S.
President and CEO
Consortium for Ocean Leadership

Member Highlight
Oceans Act As A ‘Heat Sink’: No Global Warming ‘Hiatus’
A new multi-institutional study of the so-called global warming “hiatus” phenomenon — the possible temporary slowdown of the global mean surface temperature (GMST) trend said to have occurred from 1998 to 2013 — concludes the hiatus simply represents a redistribution of energy within Earth system, which includes the land, atmosphere and the ocean. In a paper published in Earth’s Future, a journal of the American Geophysical Union, lead author Xiao-Hai Yan of the University of Delaware, along with leading scientists from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), Scripps Institution of Oceanography, and University of Washington, discuss new understandings of the global warming “hiatus” phenomenon. In particular, the researchers point to the prominent role played by the global ocean in absorbing the extra heat from the atmosphere by acting as a “heat sink” as an explanation for the observed decrease in GMST, which is considered a key indicator of climate change.

In Memoriam: Erich Bloch
We are sad to report the passing of our esteemed colleague Erich Bloch, who served as director of the National Science Foundation (NSF) from 1984 to 1990. Mr. Bloch worked to improve public funding for education, interdisciplinary research, and engineering. His accolades include the National Medal of Technology and Innovation (awarded in 1985 from President Ronald Reagan for his groundbreaking contributions to IBM’s computer systems and technologies) and the National Science Board’s highest award for scientific achievement, the Vannevar Bush Award (awarded in 2002).

The post Jon White – From the President’s Office: 11-28-16 appeared on Consortium for Ocean Leadership.


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