Underwater Robot Tracked Ocean Sediment During Hurricane Sandy

A Teledyne Webb autonomous underwater glider RU23 belonging to Rutgers University deployed off the New Jersey coastline in 2012… In October 2012, Hurricane Sandy struck the northeastern United States around New Jersey and devastated a number of large metropolitan areas, including New York City. However, for all the destruction and chaos it wrought, the storm also allowed researchers to closely monitor a host of environmental and physical phenomena associated with a storm of such magnitude… The glider used optical and acoustic backscatter- techniques similar to radar in which sound or light is bounced off of surroundings and analyzed upon return- to survey the water for sediment particles of two different sizes (0.4 and 0.1 millimeter) commonly used in models. It observed that both particle sizes got completely suspended in the water column during the 24-hour period of peak storm intensity.

Read the entire article at www.eos.org »

Study: Flooding Frequency to Increase

A new study finds that rising seas from climate change will bring in the second half of this century frequent flooding at elevations now only inundated once in every 100 years… Sea level in North Carolina is forecast to rise by between 12 and 20 inches by the middle of the century and by as much as 4.2 feet by the year 2100 unless there is a substantial reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, according to a new study published in the journal Climate Change… "Scenarios of future rise are dependent upon understanding the response of sea level to climate changes. Accurate estimates of past sea-level variability provide a context for such projections," said Rutgers oceanographer Benjamin Horton, another of study’s authors.

Read the entire article at www.coastalreview.org »

Climate Change and the Warming Oceans

For this month’s hourlong Climate Cast, we talk to experts to learn how different parts of the ocean handle a changing climate… Last month, University of Texas researchers published a study finding that coral reefs are adapting to warmer ocean water more quickly than expected… Ben Horton studies sea level as a professor at Rutgers University. He is currently in Singapore.

Read the entire article at www.mprnews.org »

Study Looks at Gender Change in Black Sea Bass as Survival Tactic

black_sea_bass_grnmsScientists have long known black sea bass are “protogynous hermaphrodites,” a species in which fish that begin life as females can switch gender to male. But the details of how and why that happens are not completely understood. A study led by Professor of Marine and Coastal Sciences Olaf Jensen suggests that this behavior may be a strategy to keep balance in the population. Understanding the dynamics of the sex change could help biologists and government fisheries managers better assess the overall black sea bass stock, calculations that up to now have been forcing season closures and lost money for the shore’s party and charter boat fleet. Read more at Rutgers Today.

Rutgers Scientist Says Sex-Switching Fish May Reveal Environmental Clues

If you’ve seen the Jurassic Park movies, this story might just ring a bell with you. A Rutgers University biologist is studying how and why some breeds of fish can convert from female to male. And, sometimes, back again… That it’s possible has been known for decades, observed in laboratory environments. It’s what brings about the change in the wild that drives Olaf Jensen’s work… So, why should we care? According to Jensen, it’s nature’s way of sustaining the species, and this knowledge is helpful in predicting fish populations and knowing how much of a particular species can be safely harvested by recreational and commercial fishermen.

Read the entire article at www.cbslocal.com »