Live deep-sea footage

The Visions ’11 cruise is streaming live deep-sea video footage via an ROV puttering around in the depths.  Read more about the cruise here and check out the live video feed here.  (If you’re having trouble with the feed, right click/command click on the video, hit ‘settings’ and uncheck the ‘enable hardware acceleration’ box.)  This leg of the cruise is over Axial Seamount in the Pacific.

Via Alden Denny, geology and GIS extraordinaire.  You can follow expedition updates on the twitter machine @VISIONS11ops.

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Dear conservative pundits, climate science is still accurate.

So I’m getting to the party late with this one–but this should be reiterated.  255 members of the National Academy of Sciences (and 11 Nobel Laureates) wrote a letter in support of the integrity of climate science and scientists.  And it wasn’t really covered in the news.  The piece was sent, as an op-ed, to the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and the Washington Post.  Incredibly, it was rejected from all of these national-level newspapers.  255 scientists fully agree on a single issue; that alone should warrant attention.  The letter was eventually published in the journal Science, which then got some attention due to the image associated with the letter being a collage, rather than a single image.

The letter goes on to state some well-known tenets of climate change that are based on empirical evidence:  the planet is indeed warming; the increase of greenhouse gases over the past century is anthropogenic; natural climate events are being “overwhelmed by human-induced changes”; ocean acidification is occurring, and sea-level rise and other changes in global cycles may be affected by the warming; and these changes will impact a myriad of ecosystems and coastal human populations, the availability of food, water, and more.  The authors also

…call for an end to McCarthy-like threats of criminal prosecution against our colleagues based on innuendo and guilt by association, the harassment of scientists by politicians seeking distractions to avoid taking action, and the outright lies being spread about them.

Read more at Climate Progress and at the Huffington Post where Peter Gleick (the lead author of the letter) authored an essay on the subject.  You can read the actual letter in Science here.

Misinformation on an issue as potentially grave as climate change (and all of the associated effects, ocean acidification, etc.) should be aggressively pointed out.  The media needs to understand that everyone’s opinion is not equally valid.  You cannot compare information from someone fueled by empirically-unsupported, partisan talking points to information from someone working in and publishing peer-reviewed research in the field. It’s completely nonsensical.

Cephalopod: 1, H. Sapien: 0

A crafty cephalopod makes off with a diver’s video camera (complete with invertebrate-themed soundtrack!).

PS:  I’ve been lax with Anthozoa for the past few weeks due to grad student frantic-ness, among other things.  This shall soon be fixed.  Have patience my dear reader(s)!

Via The Daily Beast.

Brave New Ocean

Brave New Ocean is a talk given by Dr. Jeremy Jackon of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, an extraordinarily prolific and influential marine ecologist, paleontologist, and paleoecologist.  So grab a beer or some green tea and watch this talk he gave at UCLA last February concerning global change, shifting baselines, parallels between trawling and drunken bulldozer drivers, and much more.

Almost right away, Dr. Jackson mentions a paper by Dr. Daniel Pauly that first really put forth the idea of shifting baselines.  Don’t let the fact that it was initially published as a one-page postscript belie its importance.  Get it here (first publication under 1995).  You can also snag the abstract of Dr. Jackson’s paper, which channels Huxley in its title, here.