416 posts
Animated map of microplastics in the ocean

Using estimates based on satellite data, Joshua Stevens for NASA Earth Observatory mapped the concentration of microplastics in the ocean over time: Researchers at the University of Michigan (UM) recently developed a new method to map the concentration of ocean microplastics around the world. The researchers used data from eight microsatellites that are part of the Cyclone Global Navigation Satellite System (CYGNSS) mission. Radio signals from GPS satellites reflect off...

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Scale of ocean depths

We know the oceans are deep, but it’s difficult to grasp the scale of just how deep, because, well, it’s underwater. MetaBallStudios, a YouTube channel that focuses on perspective and 3-D animation, guides you through the depths of major bodies of water. You’ll pass notable on-land monuments along the way. [via kottke] Tags: 3-d, depth, MetaBallStudios, ocean, scale

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Cooling Gulf Stream

This is quite a dive by Moises Velasquez-Manoff and Jeremy White for The New York Times. They look at the potential danger of melting ice from Greenland flowing into the Gulf Stream. An animated map of currents and temperature, reminiscent of NASA’s Perpetual Ocean from 2011, shows what’s going on underwater. The piece flies you through as you scroll with a familiar view as if you’re in space looking down....

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Scroll, scroll, scroll through the depths of the ocean

The oceans are deep. But how deep and what’s down there? Neal Agarwal provides this piece, The Deep Sea, that scales the depths of the ocean to your browser window. Scroll, scroll, and then scroll some more to see what sea life (and other things) reside at various depths. Agarwal’s Size of Space piece from last month explores the size of space in a similar vein. It’s equally fun. This...

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Increasing ocean temperatures, decreasing ice

For National Geographic, Kennedy Elliot made a series of heatmaps that show the relative shifts in the ocean: The oceans don’t just soak up excess heat from the atmosphere; they also absorb excess carbon dioxide, which is changing the chemistry of seawater, making it more acidic. “Ocean acidification is one simple and inescapable consequence of rising atmospheric CO2 that is both predictable and impossible to attribute to any other cause,”...

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X-Ray of the oceans

Using satellite data and spatial models, researchers estimate human influence in the ocean. Darker means more impact. Two-thirds of the ocean shows increased strain from human-related factors, such as fishing and climate change. And more than three-quarters of coastal waters suffer from climate change and increases in the effects of harmful land-based activities, including pollution. In all, the researchers classified more than 40 percent of the ocean as “heavily impacted”...

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