News

23 March 2017
It’s an image nobody wants to see: The body of a majestic blue whale, lying limp over the bow of a massive cargo vessel, or washed up on a beach, fatally wounded from what’s commonly known as a “ship strike.” The collisions have become all too frequent, as ship traffic proliferates along migratory...
17 March 2017
The oceans are great at absorbing carbon dioxide (CO2) from the air, but when their deep waters are brought to the surface, the oceans themselves can be a source of this prevalent greenhouse gas. Wind patterns together with the Earth’s rotation drive deep ocean water — and the CO2 it sequesters —...
14 March 2017
Swimming with metaphorical sharks is one thing, but actually getting into the water with the razor-toothed ocean predators? Crazy, right? Not according to the masses of shark-obsessed scuba divers who travel great distances — and pay big money — to get face time with the giant fish. A multimillion-...
14 March 2017
Roughly 13,000 years ago, large ice-age mammals known as megafauna — horses, camels, mammoths, mastodons and many others — suddenly disappeared in North America. At the same time, a widespread human culture vanished. Mounting scientific evidence suggests this happened in dramatic fashion by a comet...
23 February 2017
Many shark populations around the world are known to have declined over the past several decades, yet marine scientists lack important baseline information about what a healthy shark population looks like. A clearer picture is now coming into focus — thanks to a team of scientists who investigated...
23 January 2017
Making up 90 percent of the inhabitable space on our planet and providing half of the world’s oxygen, oceans play an irreplaceable role in global health, in every sense of the word. Add to that the worth of oceans as a global asset — estimated at $24 trillion — and the need to protect the health of...
10 January 2017
There’s a new pest in town and it’s threatening one of the area’s top crops: avocados. First discovered in Los Angeles County in 2003, six-legged Asian shot hole borers have been found by UC Santa Barbara researchers in their own backyard. Last year, the insects appeared in avocado orchards in...
21 December 2016
The oil discharged into the Gulf of Mexico following the explosion and sinking of the Deepwater Horizon (DWH) rig in 2010 contaminated more than 1,000 square miles of seafloor. The complexity of the event has made it difficult for scientists to determine the long-term fate of oil in this ocean...
15 December 2016
In early 2014, when a large-scale marine heat wave in the Pacific Ocean produced temperature anomalies greater than anything seen since recordkeeping began in the early 1900s, marine scientists saw something else, too: opportunity. Ocean researchers at UC Santa Barbara quickly seized the chance to...
8 December 2016
Since my recent move to Tucson, Arizona, a wave of nostalgia has engulfed me. I miss the Pacific. I’ve been thinking about the Western horizon where the ocean kisses the sky, the salt air stays on my lips, and where tar balls, masses of fragrant black goo, sometimes stick to the bottom of my feet....

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