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"Discovered by scientists using the manned submersible Curasub in the deep-reef waters of the Caribbean island of Curaçao, a new scorpionfish species is the latest one captured with the help of the sub's two robotic arms.
Found by Dr. Carole C. Baldwin, lead scientist of the Smithsonian's Deep Reef Observation Project (DROP) and based at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC, Ms. Diane Pitassy, also affiliated with the Smithsonian in Washington, and Dr. Ross Robertson, Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, Panama, the new species is described in the open access journal ZooKeys. In their paper, the authors also discuss the depth distributions and relationships of western Atlantic members of its genus.
The new scorpionfish is distinguished from other similar scorpionfishes by a number of physical traits, including its distinctive bright orange-red colors, more elongated fin rays, and DNA. Inhabiting depths between 95 m and 160 m, it is also the deepest-living member of its genus in the western Atlantic Ocean.
The new scorpionfish is officially called Scorpaenodes barrybrowni in honor of Substation Curaçao and freelance photographer Barry Brown, who "has patiently, diligently, and expertly taken photographs of hundreds of fishes and invertebrates captured alive by DROP Investigators," explain the authors. "He has generously shared his photographs, and they have enhanced numerous scientific and educational publications. It is an honor to recognize Barry Brown's contributions to science through his photography."
"Fish specimens that are brought up from deep reefs only occasionally surface alive," explains Baldwin. When DROP scientists return to the surface in the Curasub with a living fish, Barry races it to his aquarium and begins to work his photographic magic."
The new fish already has a common name as well. For the public, it will be known as the Stellate Scorpionfish, deriving from its star-shaped yellowish spots and the radiating pigment markings accentuating its eyes.
The manned submersible Curasub reaches depths up to 300 m and is used by DROP and other marine scientists to search for tropical marine fishes and invertebrates, while conventional SCUBA divers are unable to reach deeper than 30 - 50 metres below the water surface.
"The 50-300 m tropical ocean zone is poorly studied - too deep for conventional SCUBA and too shallow to be of much interest to really deep-diving submersibles," notes Baldwin. (The Curasub is providing scientists with the technology needed to remedy this gap in our knowledge of Caribbean reef biodiversity)."

(Posted by +rasha kamel​)
Manned submersible Curasub, sneaking around the twilight depths of the Caribbean island of Curaçao in search of currently unknown species, has found yet another new one. The scorpionfish, now described in the open access journal ZooKeys, is the tenth fish species described recently by scientists from the Smithsonian Institution's Deep Reef Observation Project (DROP). Being the deepest-living member of its genus in the area, it also stands out in ...
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"One of only two venomous lizards in the world, the Gila monster (pronounced HEE-luh) remains an enduring symbol of the Southwest U.S. But these charismatic animals are in trouble, scientists warn, due to climate change".

(Posted by +rasha kamel​)
This symbol of the Southwest already lives at its limits in terms of water, while development is also taking a toll.
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"New light has been shed on a common but poorly understood bacteria known to live in low-oxygen areas in the ocean. By culturing and sequencing the microbe's entire genome, the oceanographers found that it significantly contributes to the removal of life-supporting nitrogen from the water in new and surprising ways".

(Posted by +rasha kamel​)
New light has been shed on a common but poorly understood bacteria known to live in low-oxygen areas in the ocean. By culturing and sequencing the microbe's entire genome, the oceanographers found that it significantly contributes to the removal of life-supporting nitrogen from the water in new and surprising ways.
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"As the Siberian Times reports, researchers working on a remote island off the coast of Siberia stumbled upon an unusual sight: In some places, the normally solid tundra is turning into a grassy trampoline. The cause of the wobbly patches is likely due to climate change.
Much of the ground in Siberia is permafrost — soil that remains frozen year-round, except for a small layer on the surface. This also freezes natural processes that occur in soil, such as plant growth and decomposition.
But when the frozen dirt thaws, carbon that was locked inside starts to bubble to the surface. It is estimated that around 1,400 gigatons of carbon lies dormant in permafrost at the moment — more carbon than is currently available in the atmosphere. If you listen closely to the video, you can actually hear the trapped gases whoosh out when the ground is punctured by a boot".

(Posted by +rasha kamel​)
In Siberia, climate change is causing gassy bubbles to appear in the permafrost.
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Igniting such a patch might be fun. Either one gets a cool video or a Darwin award.
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"June’s global land and sea temperature was a record high for the month, the 14th consecutive monthly record. But the rate of increase has slowed with El Niño ending. However, the expected La Niña is not developing as planned".

(Posted by +Betsy McCall​ & shared by +rasha kamel​)​
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"A recent drought shut down the Amazon Basin's carbon sink by killing trees and slowing trees' growth rates, a study has shown.
The term carbon sink refers to the ability of a natural zone to absorb CO2 from the atmosphere.
In the first basin-wide study of the impacts of the 2010 drought, data showed trees' mortality rate went up while growth rates declined.
The findings have been published by the Global Biogeochemical Cycles journal.
The Amazon Basin is a key player in the Earth's carbon cycle, holding 17% of the terrestrial vegetation carbon stock.
An international team of scientists studied the affects of two drought events, in 2005 and 2010, that affected large swathes of forest across the region, using data from the long-running Rainfor network that gathers data from almost 100 locations across the Amazon Basin.
Co-author Ted Feldpausch from the University of Exeter, UK, said the study was the first large-scale, direct demonstration of tropical drought slowing tree growth, describing the findings as (extremely important)".

(Posted by +rasha kamel​)
A recent drought shut down the Amazon Basin's carbon sink by killing trees and slowing trees' growth rates, a first-of-its-kind study shows.
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"Prometheus, the mythological Greek heroic deity, has been given a namesake in a new species of tiny rain frog, discovered in southwestern Ecuador".

(Posted by +rasha kamel​)
Prometheus, the mythological Greek heroic deity, has been given a namesake in a new species of tiny rain frog, discovered in southwestern Ecuador.
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"The Deep Space Climate Observatory spacecraft hovers between the Earth and Sun, keeping a constant eye on our planet’s sunlit side from about a million miles away.
Yet even from that extremely distant vantage point (called Lagrange Point 1), DSCOVR’S camera was able to discern a broad blanket of smoke from wildfires raging in Siberia.
Look for the smoke within the circled area in the image above, acquired by the EPIC camera on July 21, 2016. Click the image to open it in a new window, and then click on it again for a close up view. The smoke is clearly visible".

(Posted by +rasha kamel​)
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"There is some consolation in how the fossil fuel-induced climatic changes we increasingly experience through droughts and storm surges are playing out. It could have happened sooner, and therefore already have been much worse".

(Posted by +rasha kamel​)
There is some consolation in how the fossil fuel-induced climatic changes we increasingly experience through droughts and storm surges are playing out. It could have happened sooner, and therefore already have been much worse.
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"California needs to better prepare for droughts. A new study highlights the costs, benefits and obstacles of a possible solution -- managed aquifer recharge".

(Posted by +rasha kamel​)
California needs to better prepare for droughts. A new study highlights the costs, benefits and obstacles of a possible solution -- managed aquifer recharge.
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"Woody climbing vines, known as lianas, are preventing tropical forests from recovering and are hampering the ability of forests to store carbon, scientists are warning. Instead of taking decades to recover, tropical forests are at risk of taking hundreds of years to re-grow because of lianas, which spread rapidly following extensive tree-felling".

(Posted by +rasha kamel​)
Woody climbing vines, known as lianas, are preventing tropical forests from recovering and are hampering the ability of forests to store carbon, scientists are warning. Instead of taking decades to recover, tropical forests are at risk of taking hundreds of years to re-grow because of lianas, which spread rapidly following extensive tree-felling.
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"A new NASA-led study finds that almost one-fifth of the global warming that has occurred in the past 150 years has been missed by historical records due to quirks in how global temperatures were recorded. The study explains why projections of future climate based solely on historical records estimate lower rates of warming than predictions from climate models".

(Posted by +rasha kamel​)
A new NASA-led study finds that almost one-fifth of the global warming that has occurred in the past 150 years has been missed by historical records due to quirks in how global temperatures were recorded. The study explains why projections of future climate based solely on historical records estimate lower rates of warming than predictions from climate models.
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Interesting. I actually once worked with a woman scientist who had just returned from Antarctica doing ice core sampling.
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Scientists and engineers helping save the planet.
Introduction
The Azimuth Project is an international collaboration to create a focal point for scientists and engineers interested in saving the planet. Our goal is to make clearly presented, accurate information on the relevant issues easy to find, and to help people work together on our common problems.  We need your help! 

The Azimuth Project includes a wiki, a blog, and a discussion forum

This Azimuth page here on Google+ lets you keep track of news related to energy, the environment and sustainability.  Posts on this page are written by Rasha Kamel, John Baez, Jim Stuttard, Frederik De Roo and David Tanzer.  The posts reflect the individual authors views and taste; we don't agree about everything!