Sticky tape and simulations help assess microplastic risk

Microplastics are considered the most common form of marine litter.

by Natalie Grover Tiny pieces of plastic, now ubiquitous in the marine environment, have long been a cause of concern for their ability to absorb toxic substances and potentially penetrate the food chain. Now scientists are beginning to understand the level of threat posed to life, by gauging the extent of marine accumulation and tracking … Read more

Scientists explore underwater frontiers with submersible tablet computers

Technology for underwater use could change the way professional divers and researchers work.

A team of experienced science divers has created the world’s first submersible touchscreen for a tablet computer, whose applications are already helping marine scientists, law enforcement, explorers and other professionals toil beneath the waves and could usher in a new era of underwater ICT. It’s part of a new wave of subsea technology, which also … Read more

Europe must sea food in a new way thanks to warming waters

Aquaculture and fish farms must adapt to the changing sea conditions of climate change.

Aquaculture, or fish farming, is one of the world’s fastest growing food sectors, providing about half of all the fish we eat. As it stands, climate change is altering our ocean’s environment, causing the seawater to become warmer and impacting the marine  ecosystems profoundly. How will these changes affect marine species, consumers and industries that rely … Read more

Garbage-collecting aqua drones and jellyfish filters for cleaner oceans

It is estimated that more than 150 million tonnes of plastics have already accumulated in the world's oceans.

A Roomba-like ocean trash collector modelled on a whale shark and a microplastic filter made from jellyfish slime could prevent litter from entering our oceans and help tackle a growing problem that poses threats to wildlife, deters tourists and impacts on coastal economies. The cost of sea litter in the EU has been estimated at up to … Read more

Warmer, saltier polar water could change global ocean currents

When ice shelves melt, they dump freshwater into the sea which lightens the salty water.

Melting ice shelves are changing the ocean’s chemistry at the South Pole and the result could be a change in global currents and increased glacial melt, according to scientists who are creating maps to feed into climate change models. At the North and South Poles, cold dense water sinks, powering the so-called global ocean conveyor belt, … Read more

Raising ocean literacy levels could protect marine environment

Getting people involved in local community projects can help them engage with how the oceans are changing.

Hundreds of kilometres away from any sea, ocean or sandy beach, students from countries such as the Czech Republic have been discovering their connection with the marine world. While Europe’s landlocked states are understandably not so preoccupied with seas and oceans, camps run by members of Ecsite — the European network of science centres and museums — … Read more