Archive for the 'Art' Category

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A novel approach to ocean acidification

Pteropods may look otherworldly, but they are a real and threatened species of minuscule marine snail whose appearance in Homer author Nancy Lord’s new novel “pH” makes the book not science fiction, but an example of science in fiction.

“pH” is the first novel for Lord, a mostly literary nonfiction writer whose five previous books have looked at endangered Cook Inlet beluga whales, personal recollections of setnet fishing, and northern experiences of climate change. “pH” gives its first factual data point on page three: “Alaska has more coastline than the rest of the United States put together.” The thought that immediately follows in the mind of “pH”’s hero, marine biologist Ray Berringer, is that it only makes sense for Alaskans to lead the study of ocean acidification and how it affects the food chains on which many coastal lives — and the economic lives of many Alaskans — depend.

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Art and senses in the service of science

By designing experiments directly targeting our values scientists can achieve more effective scientific communication. Recent research at the University of Gothenburg has shown that art and emotions can help scientists play a key role in getting people to take action based on knowledge.

Marine biologist Sam Dupont during the school project “I am the Ocean”.

The increasing destruction and pollution of the ocean subsequently threatens humanity by putting at risk the countless services provided by marine ecosystems. In the face of global changes such as warming and ocean acidification, only collective action can lead to the needed mitigation and adaptation measures.

When it comes to the responsibility of society for causing these changes, the scientific evidence is strong. But it is complicated by competing values, uncertainties and complexity in causation. The scientific community is still struggling to deliver strong messages to citizens and policymakers.

Continue reading ‘Art and senses in the service of science’

Nancy Lord’s pH: a novel

Although Nancy Lord has been writing powerfully about our role in the destruction of our natural environment for a long while, this is the first full-length fiction by the famed Alaska naturalist and former Alaska Writer Laureate (2008-10).

Anyone interested in or concerned about climate change knows that in many ways, Alaska is ground zero in the United States. We’ve all seen photos on the web of the rotting permafrost, the starving polar bears, and the disappearing sea ice, but what Lord’s novel does is give compelling life to one of the most devastating and often unseen aspects of climate change: the acidification of the ocean. The title “pH” refers to the focus of the science at the heart of Lord’s novel: the rapid changes in pH in our waters indicating an increase in ocean acidification.

Continue reading ‘Nancy Lord’s pH: a novel’

2017 Annual World Oceans Day Oceanic Photo Competition

Deadline for submissions: 12 May 2017!

Photography is a powerful medium of expression that can be used to communicate strong positive messages about a subject. This open and free photo competition seeks to inspire the creation and dissemination of such positive imagery, which conveys the beauty and importance of the ocean and humankind’s relation to it.

The photo competition has five thematic categories open for photographic submissions:

  • Underwater seascapes
  • Underwater life
  • Above water seascapes
  • Human Interaction: Making a Difference
  • Youth Category: open category, any image of the ocean (above or below the surface) [Youth is defined as under 16 years of age as of 1 April 2017]

The entries must be submitted electronically through the World Oceans Day Photo Competition portal in accordance with the competition guidelines and subject to the competition rules. Winning images will be recognized at the United Nations on Wednesday, 8 June 2017 during the United Nations event marking World Oceans Day 2017.

Continue reading ‘2017 Annual World Oceans Day Oceanic Photo Competition’

Silent Oceans: the effect of ocean acidification on marine sounds – Video Abstract

Research paper: Rossi T., Connell S. D. & Nagelkerken I., 2016. Silent oceans: ocean acidification impoverishes natural soundscapes by altering sound production of the world’s noisiest marine invertebrate. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 283(1826). Article (subscription required).

Multimedia production credit: Animate Your Science.

Grad students create interactive EMS Museum exhibit on ocean acidification

Geosciences graduate students worked to create a new exhibit in the EMS Museum & Art Gallery. The exhibit focused on several students’ research and employs numerous hands-on activities to create an interactive exhibit. Museum visitors can see 3D replicas of microscopic sea life that may be affected by increased ocean acidification, can use a magnifying glass to see real specimens up-close, and can learn more about microscopic sea life and ongoing Penn State oceanography research using an iPad display.

Penn State College of Earth and Mineral Sciences Marketing and Communications, 28 February 2017. Video.


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OA-ICC HIGHLIGHTS

Ocean acidification in the IPCC AR5 WG II

OUP book