The Orange Band has had the luxury of so many by-sea experiences during Exploration. While there are still a few trips and outings left in the weeks after Spring Break, we took some time this week to read about the aquatic topics that the kiddos found interesting and intriguing. Enjoy the Orange Band’s recent research!
Record temperatures in 2015 and 2016 have caused significant damage to Australia’s Great Barrier Reef. It is the biggest living organism in the world and can be seen from outer space. The reef stretches 1,400 miles off the coast of Queensland, in the Coral Sea. Coral are typically brightly colored, but when water temperatures get too hot, they become white. This is called bleaching, and it occurs when coral get rid of the algae which they use for food.
Bleached coral are more likely to get diseases, and they can take multiple decades to recover from bleaching. The Great Barrier reef has experienced significant bleaching before, in 1998 and 2002, but it only affected about 60 percent of the reef during both of those incidents. Currently, 90 percent of the reef is affected, and it is still experiencing bleaching in 2017.
Terry Hughes is a scientist in Australia. He helped to lead a study which showed the effect of global warming on coral. He has been observing, from above and underwater, the Great Barrier Reef’s bleaching. As summer comes to an end in the southern hemisphere, Hughes is hoping that the weather cools down in the next few weeks, and that it won’t be as warm next summer. “It broke my heart to see so many corals dying on northern reefs on the Great Barrier Reef in 2016,” he said. The world’s nations met in Paris in 2015 to discuss climate change, and they have agreed to try to limit the average warming to 3.6 degrees fahrenheit per year.
Did you know that Polar bears are going into villages in Alaska to look for food? According to an article, Melting sea ice brings polar bears and humans closer together, the reason is the sea ice polar bears hunt on is staying melted for longer, so they are going to villages and getting into their food supply.
As the article states, “the more humans and bears interact, the greater chance there is that someone or some bear will get hurt.” For example if a human came to close to the polar bear and the polar bear felt threatened they might attack. Or if a polar bear came on to a person’s property or near their house people might try to scare the polar bear away or get rid of them and end up hurting the bear in the process.
Native Alaskans have ice cellars that they have been using for over 100 years to store whale meat called muktuk. But recently polar bears have been getting into them and eating their food supply. A nonprofit group called Defenders of Wildlife gave the Alaskans special stainless steel food containers and so far they have been successful, but polar bears are still lingering longer than usual.
The sea ice is melting faster because of our use of fossil fuels, such as coal, oil, and gas, as well as deforestation. Not only does this affect the polar bears but it affects us too. I think we should avoid using these as much because it is endangering many species including humans. Not just because of global warming but as I stated before it is causing animals and humans to come closer together and the outcome is not always good.
By: Charlotte Jewell
Getting close to dolphins was a bad thing, but feeding them is a bigger problem than we think! The core of the problem was (and still is!) is tourists. Tourists probably don’t know or if they do know, they don’t care don’t care.
First of all feeding them is a federal offense, it can also change the dolphins behavior. Feeding them tells them that they can go close to boats, it also shows their offspring to beg instead of hunting. According to Amber Kuehn, who works for the Coastal Discovery Museum and also leads dolphin research excursions, “Dolphins don’t taste their food,They swallow it whole; they’re lazy like people are.” Dolphins are creatures that eat live food, they don’t usually eat canned food, like sardines. They usually eat herring or mackerel, without human bacteria on it. According to a Kuehn, “Fish are their source of fresh water so dolphins that eat human food can become dehydrated and eventually die.”
Dolphins may seem cute and cuddly but their have been several incidents where people have gotten hurt just by trying to feed dolphins! According to Wayne Mcfee, research wildlife biologist for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in Charleston, “We’ve had numerous instances of people being bitten by them, and these animals have anywhere from 80 to 100 sharp, conical teeth.” Another problem is Sea World in San Diego. Sea World has been basically torturing dolphins and other sea life! Humans have pretty much taken over the world. seriously. Dolphins are related to humans, why should we torture them when we don’t like being tortured! Dolphins have their own life! We shouldn’t disturb their lives! They are living creatures!!!
By Roman Stadler
Some of the most important texts in history are the dead sea scrolls. Some goat herders found a cave in the desert called Judean in Israel. There were some teenagers who found bottles sorted into rows and that had some text in it. The text had a series of paper the jars that the found it in. According to the Washington Post, they were so old that some of the writing was not there and disintegrated. “They found the oldest writing known to humans.” The Arab explorers found the 12th scroll and it was written in hebrew and a few were written in greek and Aramaic.
The scrolls were 2,000 years old. Some of the scrolls were broken up into small bits and even though they were small the can be sold for a lot of money. People found the scrolls with some of the torah in it and the Ten Commandments. The torah is a scroll in judaism and it is all in Hebrew. It is the book that Jewish people read on shabbat. And also one of the most important archeological discoveries of the 20th centuries. In 60 years we’ll have a new first cave. Some of the caves had arrowheads and knives and different artifacts in the caves. Israel antiquities authorities told the archaeologists to go to the Qumran cave and protect the scrolls from the looters. It is a race as more looters are looking for more pieces of the paper. According to the Washington Post, “Finds of huge importance are still waiting to be discovered.”
Tides happen when the moon’s gravitational pull pulls up the water onto the shore. Why does the tide come and go? When the earth rotates the moon’s gravitational pull pulls on part of the earth then when the earth rotates it pulls on the other part of the earth. Are the tide’s the same everywhere? No if the earth was perfectly round and all water the tides would be the same.
There is still a lot to learn about tides.
“Poseidon at Sea”
Hello, have you ever wondered about Poseidon, the Greek god of the sea? Poseidon has two brothers, Zeus and Hades. Zeus rules the sky while Hades rules the underworld, and Poseidon rules the sea.
Poseidon’s symbols of power are the trident and the horse. He married a nayade, a girl whose life source depends on the ocean named Ameritrade. Poseidon is the second most powerful Greek god. The Greeks believed that to cross the Mediterranean, a sea in the Greek area, you would need to make a sacrifice to Poseidon unless you wanted for your boat to sink and you to drown. Poseidon liked white bulls most of all. The Greeks also believed that Poseidon could make earthquakes with his trident. This is very common for Greek gods to act selfish and picky. As the article, Myths and Legends, explains, “Like the sea he can be calm and quiet at times, and then raging and violent.” This basically sums up Poseidon’s natcher.
Poseidon is said to have an army of cyclopes and a war chariot pulled by hippocampi, fish tailed horses. Once, Olympus was attacked by giants and Poseidon fought and killed a giant named Polybotes. Poseidon can be helpful like when he helped Zeus send the evil Titan lord Kronos to Tartarus. Poseidon does not enjoy the company of his brother, Zeus. One time he, Athena, and Hera wanted to take over and make the Olympian council to make fair. These three Greek gods had the idea of not just Zeus ruling but all the Olympian gods ruling with equal power. In the end they were not successful. Poseidon wanted everything to be fair but being the second most powerful Greek god he did not always get fair. Now that you see that Poseidon is fantastic you should make a sacrifice to Poseidon next time you go on the water.
Several million years ago the Isthmus of Panama (a thin strip of land in between North America and South America) formed causing the Great American Biotic Interchange, when land animals could cross from North America to South America.
The Isthmus of Panama
Some experts think something similar is happening in the arctic. A team of experts led by Seabird Mckinnon wrote a paper that explores what they call faunal exchange. Faunal exchange is when animals from multiple different places are able to travel to other places and become invasive species. The paper looks at the increase of animals found in the wrong ocean recently and says that the reason for this is global warming in the arctic. Is says that normally animals can’t swim through the arctic because of sea ice. This is the same for birds, except they can fly over the ice, but the paper says that because of the sea ice, they can’t dive for food. But the paper says that global warming is melting the sea ice, making paths for animals to follow. This could have dramatic effects to the environment including changes to the food chain.
But some people don’t like the paper. “Some people might feel that this paper is not loaded down with evidence – they’re basically talking about 10 or 20 species that have been seen out of their geographic range – but they make a good point,” said Larry Crowder, science director for Stanford University’s Center for Ocean Solutions. (He was not involved with the paper). “If there hasn’t been a gray whale in the Atlantic in 200 years and now there is one, that’s a change,” hHe added. Kristin Laidre, a principal scientist at the University of Washington’s Polar Science Center said that the ideas in the paper aren’t new to the scientific community. “I think in the kind of ecological studies that consider the consequences of ice loss, the idea that species in the Pacific may become more connected with species in the Atlantic [or vice versa] isn’t really a new idea.” Kristin Laidre was the head author of a paper that was about arctic marine mammals and how they are dealing with climate change. The paper also realizes the likelihood that arctic animals will move towards oceans that they aren’t supposed to be in. A good number of the animals mentioned in Kristin Laidre paper are also mentioned in Seabird Mckinnon’s paper. Pacific auks and Atlantic northern gannets have both been spotted in the wrong ocean along with a gray whale spotted off the coast of Israel. These sightings have increased in recent years, and I am looking forward to see what would happen if polar bears showed up in New York for example. I want to see if they would change color or not, and if they would all be put in the zoo.