The World Is Running Out of Male Sea Turtles – Science Alert

Green Sea Turtle (by Laura Gooch CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 DEED via Flickr).

Green sea turtles are already an endangered species, mainly due to humans hunting them, harvesting their eggs, degrading their habitats, or entangling them in garbage of some kind. But they also face another, more insidious threat from people: the loss of male hatchlings from the species…that this is partly caused by rising temperatures due to climate change – but a new study has now unveiled another human-caused problem driving this trend. Certain pollutants may promote feminization in sea turtles, explains lead author Arthur Barraza, a toxicologist with the Australian Rivers Institute at Griffith University…

Research Confirms Link Between Snow Crab Decline and Marine Heatwave – NOAA Fisheries

Snow Crab detail (by NOAA Fisheries, public domain).

“During the marine heatwave, snow crabs faced a triple threat,” said lead author and Alaska Fisheries Science Center stock assessment scientist Cody Szuwalski. “Their metabolism increased, so they needed more food; their habitat was reduced so there was less area to forage; and crabs caught in our survey weighed less than usual. These conditions likely set them up for the dramatic decline we saw in 2021…”

Seaweed is mucking up beaches. This robot could stop it — and fight climate change – NPR

Sargassum sacs (by John Turnbull CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 DEED via Flickr).

In shallow waters, sargassum can smother coral reefs and alter the water’s pH balance, killing off local seagrasses and mangroves. It can choke boat motors, constricting local fishing yields if not cutting off whole marinas. Sargassum once clogged a desalination plant so badly that residents of the U.S. Virgin Islands were told the drinking water may not be safe…

One way to save coral reefs? Deep freeze them for the future – NPR

Corals of Fagatele Bay in National Marine Sanctuary of American Samoa. (by: Greg McFall courtesy of NOAA Office of Marine Sanctuaries CC BY 2.0 via Flickr).

Ocean temperatures have been extremely hot this summer, wreaking havoc on some of the world’s highly vulnerable coral reefs. With marine heat waves only expected to get worse as the climate changes, scientists are increasingly focusing on an emergency plan: collecting coral specimens and safeguarding them onshore….

NOAA and partners race to rescue remaining Florida corals from historic ocean heat wave – NOAA

Animated satellite-based map showing the build-up of ocean heat stress in the waters around Florida between June 25 and July 23, 2023. Coral reefs in the southern portion of the Florida Keys have been experiencing extreme heat stress for weeks. In areas where the Degree Heating Week (DHW), which is directly related to the timing and intensity of coral bleaching, reached 4 °C-weeks, significant coral bleaching is expected; in areas where the DHW reached 8 °C-weeks, severe coral bleaching and significant mortality are expected (courtesy of NOAA, based on NOAA Coral Reef Watch data, Public Domain).

In mid-July 2023, heat-stressed corals in the southern Florida Keys began bleaching—expelling their food-producing algal partners—amid the hottest water temperatures ever documented in the region during the satellite record (dating back to 1985). As weeks of heat stress have continued to accumulate, bleaching and death have become more widespread, raising fears of a mass mortality event on the region’s already fragile reefs…

The real story behind the Atlantic’s record-breaking seaweed blobs – BBC

Sargassum in St. Marin (Mark Yokoyama CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 via Flickr).

Along the coastlines of the Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico, a monster is lurking. It creeps in with the tide and you’ll likely smell it before you see it. Giant clumps of sargassum seaweed have been washing ashore, choking the surf and blanketing beaches in a brown, stinking mass.

The clumps are breaking off an enormous raft of free-floating seaweed known as the Great Atlantic Sargassum Belt, which stretches 5,000 miles (8,047km) between the Gulf of Mexico and the west coast of Africa and can be seen from space…