25 de abr de 2007

Pós-graduação em Oceanografia Química e Geológica - IOUSP

Aberto o processo seletivo para o Programa de Oceanografia Química e Geológica do Instituto Oceanográfico da USP. O período de inscrição é de 20/4 a 21/05/2007. Maiores informações podem ser obtidas em:

12 de abr de 2007

IMBER/LOICZ Continental Margins Open Science Conference

IMBER ( http://www.imber.info/) and LOICZ ( http://www.loicz.org/) are jointly organizing a Continental Margins Open Science Conference which will be held September 17-21, 2007 at East China Normal University (ECNU), Shanghai, China.
This conference will provide a discussion platform for highlighting the most recent advances in the field and try to identify emerging directions and future research challenges. The conference is open to all students and scientists involved in biogeochemical cycles and ecosystems in the continental margins.

We are pleased to announce that the online Abstract submission is now opened. We encourage scientists and students to submit their abstract for oral or poster presentation to one of the following sessions:

Session 1) Ocean-Shelf biogeochemical Exchanges
Session 2) Continental Shelf Biogeochemistry and Couplings with Benthic Systems
Session 3) Continental Shelf Carbon in a High CO2 World
Session 4) Continental Shelf Ecosystems from High to Low Latitudes
Session 5) Integrated Observations and Modeling: Visions and Reality
Session 6) Eutrophication and Oligotrophication in Coastal Systems
Session 7) Low Oxygen on Continental Shelves
Session 8) Sustainable Use of Continental Shelf Resources

Abstract submission deadline is JUNE 1, 2007 by electronic submission through the conference web site only. Further information and guidelines are available at http://www.confmanager.com/main.cfm?cid=792&nid=6298

Notification of acceptance or rejection of submitted abstracts will be e-mailed to the corresponding author by 30 June, 2007.

We sincerely hope that you will be able to participate. If you need further information, please do not hesitate to contact us at shanghai.osc@univ-brest.fr

Please do not hesitate to distribute this announcement as appropriate.

6 de abr de 2007

Poverty reduction must not exacerbate climate change

Nature 446, 372 (2007)
Authors: Terence P. Dawson & Simon J. Allen Sir
Current international policy responses to the world's two most serious problems, poverty and climate change, seem to be pulling in opposite directions.To boost economic growth in less developed countries, international development agencies and the World Trade Organization at the Doha conference in 2001 ( Read More)

5 de abr de 2007

Southern Ocean Current Faces Slowdown Threat

Source: http://www.planetark.com/avantgo/dailynewsstory.cfm?newsid=41021
Story by Michael Byrnes
Date: 23/3/2007

HOBART - The impact of global warming on the vast Southern Ocean around Antarctica is starting to pose a threat to ocean currents that distribute heat around the world, Australian scientists say, citing new deep-water data.

Melting ice-sheets and glaciers in Antarctica are releasing fresh water, interfering with the formation of dense "bottom water", which sinks 4-5 kilometres to the ocean floor and helps drive the world's ocean circulation system.

A slowdown in the system known as "overturning circulation" would affect the way the ocean, which absorbs 85 percent of atmospheric heat, carries heat around the globe.

"If the water gets fresh enough ... then it won't matter how much ice we form, we won't be able to make this water cold and salty enough to sink," said Steve Rintoul, a senior scientist at the Australian government-funded CSIRO Marine Science.

"Changes would be felt ... around the globe," said Rintoul, who recently led a multinational team of scientists on an expedition to sample deep-basin water south of Western Australia to the Antarctic.

Water dense enough to sink to the ocean floor is formed in polar regions by surface water freezing, which concentrates salt in very cold water beneath the ice. The dense water then sinks.

Only a few places around Antarctica and in the northern Atlantic create water dense enough to sink to the ocean floor, making Antarctic "bottom water" crucial to global ocean currents.

But the freshening of Antarctic deep water was a sign that the "overturning circulation" system in the world's oceans might be slowing down, Rintoul said, and similar trends are occurring in the North Atlantic.

For the so-called Atlantic Conveyor, the surface warm water current meets the Greenland ice sheet then cools and sinks, heading south again and driving the conveyor belt process.

But researchers fear increased melting of the Greenland ice sheet risks disrupting the conveyor. If it stops, temperatures in northern Europe would plunge.

Rintoul, who has led teams tracking water density around the Antarctic through decades of readings, said his findings add to concerns about a "strangling" of the Southern Ocean by greenhouse gases and global warming.

Australian scientists warned last month that waters surrounding Antarctica were also becoming more acidic as they absorbed more carbon dioxide produced by nations burning fossil fuels.

Acidification of the ocean is affecting the ability of plankton -- microscopic marine plants, animals and bacteria -- to absorb carbon dioxide, reducing the ocean's ability to sink greenhouse gases to the bottom of the sea.

Rintoul said that global warming was also changing wind patterns in the Antarctic region, drawing them south away from the Australian mainland and causing declining rainfall in western and possibly eastern coastal areas.

This was contributing to drought in Australia, one of the world's top agricultural producers, he said.

Northwest Atlantic Ocean Ecosystems Experiencing Large Climate-Related Changes

Source: http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2007-02/nsf-nao022307.php
Public release date: 23-Feb-2007
Contact: Cheryl Dybas ( cdybas@nsf.gov - 703-292-7734)
National Science Foundation

Research shows links between collapse of fisheries and bottom-living species Ecosystems along the continental shelf waters of the Northwest Atlantic Ocean--from the Labrador Sea south of Greenland all the way to North Carolina--are experiencing large, rapid changes, report oceanographers funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) in the Feb. 23, 2007, issue of the journal Science.

While some scientists have pointed to the decline of cod from overfishing as the main reason for the shifting ecosystems, the paper emphasizes that climate change is also playing a big role.

"It is becoming increasingly clear that Northwest Atlantic ecosystems are being affected by climate forcing from the bottom up and overfishing from the top down," said Charles Greene, an oceanographer at Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y, and lead author of the Science paper. "Predicting the fate of these ecosystems will be one of oceanography's grand challenges for the 21st century."

Most scientists believe humans are warming the planet by burning fossil fuels and changing land surfaces. Early signs of this warming have appeared in the Arctic. Since the late 1980s, scientists have noticed that pulses of fresh water from increased precipitation and melting of ice on land and sea in the Arctic have flowed into the North Atlantic Ocean and made the water less salty.

At the same time, climate-driven shifts in Arctic wind patterns have redirected ocean currents. The combination of these processes has led to a freshening of the seawater along the North Atlantic shelf.

"Long time-series measurements, as well as research on large-scale ocean processes, are the key to improving our understanding of ecosystem shifts," says Mary Elena-Carr, program director in NSF's biological oceanography program. "This study brings together the important components: the atmosphere, freshwater flow, changes in currents and biological responses, all necessary to predicting future ecosystem responses to climate change."

Under normal conditions in summer months a warmer, less salty layer of water floats on the surface (warmer, less salty water is also less dense and lighter). This surface layer is known as a "mixed" layer, because wind-driven turbulence mixes the water and creates a uniform temperature, salinity and density to depths that can range from 25 to 200 meters.

Similar to the flow of heating and cooling wax in a lava lamp, when the air temperature cools during autumn, temperature and density differences lessen between the surface mixed layer and the cooler, saltier waters below. As the density differences get smaller, mixing between the layers typically increases and the surface mixed layer deepens.

But Greene cites recent scientific studies that reveal the influx of fresh water from Arctic climate change is keeping the mixed layer buoyant, inhibiting its rapid deepening during autumn. A gradual rather than rapid deepening of the mixed layer has impacted the seasonal cycles of phytoplankton (tiny floating plants), zooplankton (tiny animals like copepods) and fish populations that live near the surface.

Normally, when the mixed layer deepens rapidly during autumn, phytoplankton numbers decline because they spend less time near the surface where they are exposed to the light necessary for growth. But with the mixed layer remaining relatively shallow, phytoplankton populations stay abundant throughout the fall. In turn, zooplankton that feed on phytoplankton have increased in number during the fall through the early winter. Herring populations also rose during the 1990s, which some scientists suspect may be because of more abundant zooplankton to feed on.

Greene's paper also cites a link between the collapse of cod fisheries in the early 1990s and an increase in bottom-living species such as snow crabs and shrimp, which cod prey upon. Without cod, other animals that live in the water column and feed on zooplankton, including herring, may have increased.

While the herring story is still unclear, the authors contend that the crash of cod populations does not explain why phytoplankton and zooplankton populations at the base of the food chain have risen during autumn.

"We suggest that, with or without the collapse of cod, a bottom-up, climate-driven regime shift would have taken place in the Northwest Atlantic during the 1990s," Greene said.

Andrew Pershing, also an oceanographer at Cornell, co-authored the paper.

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency that supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering, with an annual budget of $5.58 billion. NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 1,700 universities and institutions. Each year, NSF receives about 40,000 competitive requests for funding, and makes nearly 10,000 new funding awards. The NSF also awards over $400 million in professional and service contracts yearly.

3 de abr de 2007

Aquário com 12 mil Animais Marinhos e Centro de Pesquisas

Rio de Janeiro terá aquário com 12 mil animais marinhos e centro de pesquisas
Fonte: Ambiente Brasil (03-04-2007)

O Rio de Janeiro terá um aquário marinho com 5,4 milhões de litros de água. Decreto que aprovou o projeto do AquaRio foi publicado na segunda-feira (2) no Diário Oficial do Município.

Conforme o projeto, ao todo 12 mil animais marinhos, de mais de 400 espécies, serão expostos em dois tanques principais e 40 aquários menores.

O projeto prevê também a construção de um museu que abrigará exposições de outras entidades, incluindo universidades. Além disso, haverá atividades como cursos e palestras de educação ambiental. Em um aquário virtual, com a ajuda de computadores, as crianças aprenderão como cuidar dos peixes.  

Segundo o biólogo Marcelo Szpilman, que participou da concepção do projeto, a proposta é que o AquaRio seja transformado em um centro de referência em pesquisas marinhas. Para isso, está prevista a contratação de cerca de 100 estudantes da área de biologia marinha e veterinária.  

O biólogo prevê que uma das áreas mais importantes do aquário será a de recuperação de animais marinhos resgatados do mar. "O Rio de Janeiro prescinde de um lugar que possa tratar pingüins, tartarugas e lobos marinhos que eventualmente acabam chegando ao litoral e não têm para onde ir. Hoje ele é levado para um zoológico, que não tem equipamento, equipe ou espaço físico adequados para devolver este animal para à natureza", disse.

As obras do AquaRio, previsto para ser construído na avenida Rodrigues Alves, zona portuária do Rio, devem ter início ainda este ano. A inauguração está prevista para o final de 2008.  

Segundo o secretário municipal de Turismo, Rubem Medina, a construção do aquário integra o projeto de revitalização da região. "O AquaRio vai ficar a poucos metros da Cidade do Samba, da Vila Olímpica da Gamboa e da nova estação de passageiros de turismo, que será construída no Armazém 4 do porto. Na medida em que você cria pólos, desenvolve projetos, atrai outros investimentos e pode fazer com que toda a região se desenvolva e cresça", destacou o secretário.  

De acordo com Rubem Medina, a expectativa é de que 1,4 milhão de pessoas visitem o aquário por ano. Ele informou que a atração vai gerar 180 empregos diretos.  

O AquaRio está orçado em R$ 65 milhões e vai ser construído pela iniciativa privada em parceria com a Prefeitura. (Luiza Bandeira/ Agência Brasil)