Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute
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News from MBARI2008
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News Brief 12—December 2008:
First major experiment installed on MARS ocean observatory.

On December 9, 2008, a team of MBARI researchers installed the first major science experiment on the new MARS ocean observatory, almost 900 meters below the surface of Monterey Bay. This project, known as the Free-Ocean Carbon Enrichment (FOCE) experiment, will help researchers study the effects of ocean acidification on marine organisms.
^ROV Ventana carrying an extension cable from the FOCE experiment to the main MARS node.

News Release—17 November 2008:
Deep-sea observatory goes live

Off the coast of Central California, in the inky darkness of the deep sea, a bright orange metal pyramid about the size of two compact cars sits quietly on the seafloor. Nestled within the metal pyramid is the heart of the Monterey Accelerated Research System (MARS)the first deep-sea ocean observatory offshore of the continental United States.
^The completed hub of the MARS observatory rests on the seafloor of Monterey Bay. The MARS Observatory will allow scientists to perform a variety of real-time experiments 900 meters below the ocean surface.

News Release—29 September 2008:
Sounds travel farther underwater as world's oceans become more acidic

As humans release more and more carbon dioxide into the Earth's atmosphere, the chemistry of the oceans is also changingseawater is becoming more acidic as some of this carbon dioxide dissolves in the oceans. New research shows that changes in ocean temperature and chemistry will have an unexpected side effectsounds will travel farther underwater.
^Increasing carbon dioxide concentrations in the atmosphere are increasing the acidity of seawater, which in turn allows sounds (such as whale calls) to travel farther underwater.

News Brief—15 September 2008:
Studying acidic oceans

MBARI marine biologist James Barry works with marine chemist Peter Brewer on the Free-Ocean Carbon Enrichment (FOCE) experiment to study the effects of ocean acidification on marine organisms. Reporter Lauren Sommer prepared a slide show and interview with Jim for public broadcasting station KQED (San Francisco) as part of their multimedia science series QUEST.
^Jim Barry working in the MBARI "wet lab."

Feature Story—7 August 2008:
New remotely operated vehicle arrives at MBARI

On July 23, 2008, MBARI's newest remotely operated vehicle (ROV) arrived in Moss Landing, after being shipped from the manufacturer in Newcastle, England. This vehicle will replace ROV Tiburon, which since 1997 has helped researchers study the deep sea from British Columbia to Baja California to Hawaii.
^Dale Graves helps unpack MBARI's new remotely operated vehicle.

News Brief— 31 July 2008:
MBARI scientist leads cruise to study how changing ocean conditions affect marine algae

On July 30, MBARI researcher Zbigniew Kolber began a two-week cruise in the open ocean north of the Hawaiian Islands. During this cruise, Kolber will be directing the Ocean Perturbation Experiment (OPEREX) to find out how changes in the ocean environment (both natural and human-induced) affect the growth of marine algae.
^During the OPEREX cruise, Dr. Kolber will be using the University of Hawaii's research vessel Kilo Moana.

Feature Story— 24 July 2008:
MBARI open house provides fun for all ages

MBARI's held its annual open house on July 19, 2008. This once-a-year event featured science and technology exhibits, displays of deep-sea video, research presentations, children's activities, ocean career information, and much more.
^Remotely operated vehicle (ROV) pilot Mark Talkovic demonstrates the use of ROV Ventana's manipulator arm during the 2008 open house.

Feature Story— 30 May 2008:
Chasing icebergsPart II

Why would anyone want to go to Antarctica in the middle of winter? Well, for one thing, it's a good place to study icebergs. In December 2005, marine ecologist Ken Smith led a team that spent a month in Antarctica's Weddell Sea, and came away with a new perspective on icebergs. Instead of just immense chunks of sterile ice, they found that some Antarctic icebergs are floating oases of life. In June 2008, Smith and his colleagues will be heading south again, this time to find out more precisely why icebergs attract so much marine life.
^In 2005, MBARI researcher Ken Smith (at right) led an expedition to study life around Antarctic icebergs using a variety of tools, including this small remotely operated vehicle (ROV).

News Brief—22 May 2008:
MBARI's 2007 Annual Report describes effects of climate change on the oceans... and more.

Climate change is affecting the world's oceans in many unpredictable ways, some of which are highlighted in MBARI's 2007 Annual Report.
^The cover of the 2007 MBARI annual report features underwater images of Humboldt squid.

Media advisory—20 May 2008:
Scientists and decision makers discuss the fate of the ocean

Marine life and marine ecosystems are already suffering from changes relating to increasing concentrations of carbon dioxide in the Earth's atmosphere. Many marine scientists are well aware of these changes, but are concerned that critical scientific information is not reaching decision makers. To address this communication gap, the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute is hosting Ocean Science Summit 2008, a high-level conference on climate change and ocean health.
^This illustration shows some of the threats to ocean ecosystems (coral bleaching and changes in marine algae and fisheries) that may result as our oceans become more acidic.

Feature story—8 Apr 2008:
Octopus mating games

Many animals (including humans) spend a great deal of time selecting and fighting to keep their mates. Octopuses, which tend to be loners, have never been shown to engage in such complicated reproductive strategies. However, a new research paper by MBARI postdoctoral fellow Christine Huffard shows that at least one type of octopus (and probably others) do engage in elaborate "mating games."
^A male octopus (right) mates with a female by transfering packets of sperm to the female using a specialized mating arm.

Feature story—10 Mar 2008:
Dangerous unknowns
MBARI researcher points out lack of information on chemical weapons dumps in the sea

Large quantities of chemical weapons sit on the seafloor, slowly degrading and posing a hazard to fishers and ocean scientists who stumble upon these stockpiles, according to a recent article by MBARI ocean chemist Peter Brewer and Noriko Nakayama of University of Tokyo.
^Oceanographers never know what types of old military hardware (and other trash) they will find on the seafloor.

Feature story—3 Mar 2008:
Weird worms of the deep

Its been six years since MBARI biologist Robert Vrijenhoek went looking for deep-sea clams and stumbled upon a 30-foot whale carcass. In those six years, Vrijenhoek and his team observed the ecosystem thriving around this carcass, discovered strange and wonderful worms with roots, sank five more whale carcasses to create artificial whale falls, and hauled cow bones to the seafloor to see if worms would grow on them too.
^Two flatfish rest beside vertebrae from a dead whale that Vrijenhoek's team towed out to sea and placed on the seafloor.

News Brief—3 March 2008:
Ocean acidification may affect photosynthesis in marine algae

MBARI researcher Zbigniew Kolber presents findings on the effects of ocean acidification on photosynthesis in the sea at a press conference during the 2008 Ocean Sciences Meeting March 2 through 7 in Orlando, Florida.
^Research engineer Zbigniew Kolber tests the photosynthetic efficency of marine algae.

Media advisory—14 Feb 2008:
MBARI researchers speak out on ocean acidification

Most discussion on the impacts of climate change in the oceans has focused on sea level rise. Less well known to the public and policy makers is the continuing decrease in ocean pH resulting from increasing carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Such ocean acidification will affect marine life across the globe and throughout the food chain. The implications for social policy could be enormous.
^By studying the effects of carbon dioxide on deep-sea animals, scientists can begin to understand how deep ocean ecosystems may change as more and more of this gas dissolves in the ocean.
 

News Brief—22 Jan 2008:
Subtropical oceans add oxygen to atmosphere

The subtropical Pacific is a net source of oxygen for the Earths atmosphere, according to a new paper published in the Jan. 17 issue of Nature by MBARI marine chemist Kenneth Johnson and Stephen Riser of the University of Washington.
^Researchers test a new oxygen sensor attached to a yellow Argo float used for open-ocean monitoring.

News Brief—11 Jan 2008:
Marine scientists question commercial plans for ocean fertilization.

In the January 11 issue of Science magazine, MBARI chemical oceanographer Ken Johnson joined 14 other prominent marine scientists from around the world in stating that there is not enough scientific information to justify selling carbon sequestration credits based on ocean iron fertilization.
^Scientists study iron fertilization during the 2002 SOFEX experiment.

News Release— 9 Jan 2008:
Stanford, Aquarium, MBARI launch new center to tackle global threats to oceans

To address major, ongoing threats to the marine environment, Stanford University, the Monterey Bay Aquarium, and MBARI have joined forces to create the Center for Ocean Solutions.
^The new Center for Ocean Solutions will help ensure that the ocean's abundant life is sustained for future generations.

Last updated: Jul. 24, 2012