Tag Archives: ocean science

The Amazing Diversity of Fishes!

8232The aquatic world presents the widest diversity of habitats, so it’s no surprise that fishes have come to present the widest diversity of vertebrate species.

From the darkest depths to tropical shores, there are more than 33,000 species of living fishes, accounting for more than half of the extant vertebrate diversity on Earth.

For years, Curator of Scripps Institution of Oceanography’s Marine Vertebrate collection, Phil Hastings, has been immersed in the systematics and phylogeny of fishes, their marine biogeography, and the ecology and behavioral evolution of fishes, and takes you on a tour of what makes this most diverse array of animals.

Watch The Amazing Diversity of Fishes.

Browse more programs from Perspectives on Ocean Science.

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Shark Conservation: Safeguarding the Future of Our Ocean

On the surface, it might seem like an ocean without sharks would be a more enjoyable place. But, these predators play a very important role in the ocean ecosystem and they need our protection just like many other ocean dwelling creatures.

Sharks have been at the top of the food chain for hundreds of millions of years, but today their populations are in danger because of human activities, such as overfishing and finning (this is when people catch sharks, remove the fins, and dump the carcass overboard).

Andrew P. Nosal, Ph. D, Birch Aquarium’s new DeLaCour Postdoctoral Fellow for Ecology and Conservation, shares his shark expertise and explains that all sharks are not the evil villains seen in movies, but are essential in maintaining a balanced ocean.

Watch “Shark Conservation: Safeguarding the Future of Our Ocean” to hear about all of the benefits sharks provide and why they deserve our protection.

Watch more videos on sharks, or browse other videos in Perspectives on Ocean Science presented by Birch Aquarium and the Scripps Institution of Oceanography.

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Protecting Our Living Ocean Resources

Wildlife conservation is a well established notion within Western culture, but convincing developing nations about its importance can be challenging.

Lisa Ballance, Director of the Marine Mammal and Turtle division of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Southwest Fisheries Science Center explains that although the United States has implemented policies like the Endangered Species Act and the Marine Mammal Protection Act, animals don’t understand and abide by geopolitical boundaries.

The mission of the Marine Mammal and Turtle Division is mainly to assess the status and trends of these animals’ health and livelihood within their ecosystem, as well as identify and mitigate threats and educate others on the science of conservation.

Watch Protecting Our Living Ocean Resources from Birch Aquarium’s Perspectives on Ocean Science Lecture Series to learn about ways to protect and sustain some of the ocean’s most rare and vulnerable resources.

If you like this video, watch other programs in Oceanography, Marine Science, and Marine Bioscience.

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Climate Change hasn’t Changed

In “An Inconvenient Truth,” Al Gore presents his case on climate change based on the “Keeling Curve,” measurements of the increasing levels of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere.

These first records of rising CO2 levels were taken in the 1950′s by Charles David Keeling of UC San Diego’s Scripps Institution of Oceanography.

Even then scientists were aware of the green house effect created by CO2 in the earth’s atmosphere. Keeling tracked the increasing levels of CO2 for decades, but it didn’t take long for him to link the rising CO2 levels with the burning of fossil fuels. Although it was known that the burning of fossil fuels created CO2, it was widely believed that the ocean absorbed all of that excess carbon dioxide. Keeling was the first person to prove that CO2 was accumulating in the atmosphere, as it still is today.

In “The Scientific Case for Urgent Action to Limit Climate Change,” Distinguished Professor Emeritus Richard Somerville of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography presents a case based on some of the initial measurements of CO2 in the atmosphere taken by Keeling.

In this video, Somerville further explains this research and his ideas for how to reduce the emissions causing climate change. If you want more information on climate change and ocean science, check out the “Perspectives on Ocean Science” series.

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Exploring Beyond the Abyss: The Deep Sea Challenge Expedition

James Cameron Deep Sea Challenge
Explorer-filmmaker James Cameron emerges from his sub after returning from Challenger Deep.
Photograph by Mark Thiessen, National Geographic

In spring 2012, the Deep Sea Challenge Expedition, with film director and National Geographic Explorer in Residence James Cameron, conducted submersible operations in the deepest point on Earth, the Mariana Trench.

In “Exploring Beyond the Abyss: The Deep Sea Challenge Expedition,” Scripps Institution of Oceanography’s Doug Bartlett, the chief scientist of this headline expedition and a leading expert in microbial life in the planet’s most remote and extreme places,  describes what the journey was like and how his research is providing greater insight into how organisms thrive in such extreme depths of the ocean.

Watch it online now and take your own expedition inside the video archive of the fascinating “Perspectives on Ocean Science” series.

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