Articles on southern ocean

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Breaking the ice: while scientists increasingly understand why Antarctic sea ice is growing, it remains tricky to forecast. Australian Antarctic Division

Expanding sea ice is causing headaches for Antarctic stations

Antarctica's sea ice is changing in ways that scientists didn't predict, and is now causing headaches for Antarctic stations.
A US Coast Guard icebreaker cuts a swathe through the icy the Southern Ocean earlier this year, on its way to rendezvous with a stricken fishing vessel. Allyson Conroy/US Coast Guard/Wikimedia Commons

35 years on, is the deal to protect Antarctica’s oceans working?

On the eve of a summit in Chile to discuss the protection of marine life in Antarctic waters, much still needs to be done to guard against overfishing, climate change and other threats.
Catch from Japan’s previous whaling program. The new program will kill fewer whales. EPA/TIM WATTERS / SEA SHEPHERD

Japan’s new whaling program is a small win for whales, but…

This week, Japan announced a research plan for its New Scientific Whale Research Program in the Antarctic Ocean, to replace previous programs. In March this year, Japan’s previous whaling program, JARPA…
Antarctica has actually been protected from sea ice melt by the ozone hole. Vassil Tzvetanov

The ozone hole leaves a lasting impression on southern climate

Many people think of sunburn and skin cancer when they hear about the ozone hole. But more ultraviolet (UV) radiation isn’t the only problem. The ozone hole has also led to dramatic changes in Southern…
Bad news for icebergs: oceans in the Southern Hemisphere have been soaking up more heat energy than previously thought. Andrew Meijers/BAS

Southern oceans heating up faster than scientists realised

The upper layers of the world’s oceans have been warming much faster than oceanographers realised over the past few decades…
Japan’s whaling program was defeated in The Hague, but that might not stop more whales being taken in the future. EPA/Tim Watters/Sea Shepherd Australia/AAP

Japan could resume whaling – this time with The Hague’s blessing

Japan is reportedly set to release plans to resume killing whales in the Southern Ocean in the 2015-16 season. It seems like a defiant move, coming just six months after the International Court of Justice…
The Ross Sea: one of the places where sea ice extent is increasing. Brocken Inaglory/Wikimedia Commons

What is the paradox of increasing Antarctic sea ice really telling us?

This year could well see a new record set for the extent of Antarctic sea ice – hot on the heels of last year’s record, which in turn is part of a puzzling 33-year trend in increasing sea ice around Antarctica…
The search is over only for the Bluefin-21 underwater probe on board the Australian Navy’s Ocean Shield, now returning to port in WA. EPA/Chris Beerens/Australian Defence Department

Time to search deeper in the ocean for missing flight MH370

The search for missing flight MH370 isn’t over in the Southern Indian Ocean – it’s just going deeper in an attempt to cover the ocean floor over a much wider area. Much of the search effort so far has…
An unmanned Bluefin-21 of the type used in the underwater search for MH370. EPA/Leut Kelli Lunt/Australian Department of Defense

Searching underwater for MH370 is a shot in the dark

The ongoing search for missing flight MH370 has shown how finding objects such as debris on the ocean is difficult, but finding them underwater in the deep ocean is much more challenging. As of Tuesday…
Air and sea search for missing flight MH370 in one of the most volatile oceans. AAP/AP/Rob Griffith

Why locating MH370 in the Southern Ocean is so difficult

Searching for the debris of flight MH370 in the Southern Ocean is not just a case of looking for a needle in a haystack; it is a case of searching for a needle that moves hundreds of kilometres every day…
Melting ice, growing ice, and shifting acidity: what the future holds for the great white south. AAP Image/Dean Lewins

IPCC: where to for Antarctica and the Southern Ocean?

The general thrust of the IPCC’s Fifth Assessment Report - released on Friday – can be summarised as: “there is now more evidence that climate change is occurring”. Antarctica and the Southern Ocean are…
Best served chilled: Antarctic krill (Euphausia superba) Uwe Kils/BAS

A view to a krill: warming seas may leave predators hungry

Although it is far from the power stations, roads and flight paths of the populated world, the Southern Ocean is already responding to climate change. Average sea temperatures in some parts have risen…
Are Jack Sparrow’s diaries in there somewhere? Jurriaan Persyn

Bone-eating worm bonus for shipwreck hunters

New research has shown that the Southern Ocean near Antarctica is filled with whale bone-eating worms, but it lacks wood-eating marine fauna, which are found everywhere else in the world’s oceans. This…
Tiny fragments of plastic, upon each of which balances a miniature world of microbial life. Marilou Maglione/SEA

Welcome to The Plastisphere: ocean-going microbes on vessels of plastic

The amount of plastic debris accumulating in the open ocean has doubled in 40 years. This has been is a topic of increasing public concern and scientific interest since it was first reported in the 1970s…
I love the smell of rat poison in the morning… Tony Martin/SGHT

The birdlife of South Georgia is handed another chance

Across the world, the damage caused by invasive alien species is second only to habitat destruction by humans in reducing the planet’s biodiversity. Their effect is especially potent on islands. Cats…

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