Seaweed that tastes like bacon? Sign me up!

Oregon State University researchers have patented a new strain of a succulent red marine algae called dulse that grows extraordinarily quickly, is packed full of protein and has an unusual trait when it is cooked.This seaweed tastes like bacon.

Slight global warming causes six meter sea level rise

A new review analyzing three decades of research on the historic effects of melting polar ice sheets found that global sea levels have risen at least six meters, or about 20 feet, above present levels on multiple occasions over the past three million years. What is most concerning, scientists say, is that amount of melting was caused by an increase of only 1-2 degrees (Celsius) in global mean temperatures.

We need to consider nature as capital to become more sustainable

Researchers today outlined in a series of reports how governments, organizations and corporations are successfully moving away from short-term exploitation of the natural world and embracing a long-term vision of “nature as capital” – the ultimate world bank upon which the health and prosperity of humans and the planet depend.The reports, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, suggest that significant progress has been made in the past decade, and that people, policy-makers and leaders around the world are beginning to understand ecosystem services as far more than a tree to cut or fish to harvest.

New study examines the air quality impacts of fracking wells

People living or working near active natural gas wells may be exposed to certain pollutants at higher levels than the Environmental Protection Agency considers safe for lifetime exposure, according to scientists from Oregon State University and the University of Cincinnati.The researchers found that hydraulic fracturing – a technique for releasing natural gas from below-ground rock formations – emits pollutants known as PAHs (polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons), including some that are linked with increased risk of cancer and respiratory ailments.“Air pollution from fracking operations may pose an under-recognized health hazard to people living near them,” said the study’s coauthor Kim Anderson, an environmental chemist with OSU’s College of Agricultural Sciences.

Mysterious “Internal Waves” yield more of their mysteries

Once a day, a wave as tall as the Empire State Building and as much as a hundred miles wide forms in the waters between Taiwan and the Philippines and rolls across the South China Sea – but on the surface, it is hardly noticed.These daily monstrosities are called “internal waves” because they are beneath the ocean surface and though scientists have known about them for years, they weren’t really sure how significant they were because they had never been fully tracked from cradle to grave.But a new study, published this week in Nature Research Letter, documents what happens to internal waves at the end of their journey and outlines their critical role in global climate. The international research project was funded by the Office of Naval Research and the Taiwan National Science Council.

Oregon State University study links climate changes in Northern and Southern Hemispheres – with 200 year lag

A new study using evidence from a highly detailed ice core from West Antarctica shows a consistent link between abrupt temperature changes on Greenland and Antarctica during the last ice age, giving scientists a clearer picture of the link between climate in the northern and southern hemispheres.Greenland climate during the last ice age was very unstable, the researchers say, characterized by a number of large, abrupt changes in mean annual temperature that each occurred within several decades. These so-called “Dansgaard-Oeschger events” took place every few thousand years during the last ice age. Temperature changes in Antarctica showed an opposite pattern, with Antarctica cooling when Greenland was warm, and vice versa.

Fish face pollution a mile deep

Deep-water marine fish living on the continental slopes at depths from 2,000 feet to one mile have liver pathologies, tumors and other health problems that may be linked to human-caused  pollution, one of the first studies of its type has found. The research, conducted in the Bay of Biscay west of France, also discovered the first case of a deep water fish species with an “intersex” condition, a blend of male and female sex organs. The sampling was done in an area with no apparent point-source pollution, and appears to reflect general ocean conditions.

The impact of increasing snowfall in Antarctica on sea level rise

A new study confirms that snowfall in Antarctica will increase significantly as the planet warms, offsetting future sea level rise from other sources – but the effect will not be nearly as strong as many scientists previously anticipated because of other, physical processes.That means that many computer models may be underestimating the amount and rate of sea level rise if they had projected more significant impact from Antarctic snow.Results of the study, which was funded by the National Science Foundation, were reported this week in the journal Nature Climate Change.

What's a fish native to Japan doing in the ocean off the coast of Oregon?

A team of scientists from Oregon State University and the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife is studying an unusual fish captured alive in a crab pot near Port Orford this week called a striped knifejaw that is native to Japan, as well as China and Korea.The appearance in Oregon waters of the fish (Oplegnathus fasciatus), which is sometimes called a barred knifejaw or striped beakfish, may or may not be related to the Japanese tsunami of 2011, the researchers say, and it is premature to conclude that this non-native species may be established in Oregon waters.But its appearance and survival certainly raises questions, according to OSU’s John Chapman, an aquatic invasive species specialist at the university’s Hatfield Marine Science Center in Newport.

Using satellites to monitor forest health

Scientists for the first time have simultaneously compared widespread impacts from two of the most common forest insects in the West – mountain pine beetle and western spruce budworm – an advance that could lead to more effective management policies.By combining data from satellites, airplanes and ground-based crews, the researchers have shown in unprecedented detail how insects affect Western forests over decades.In the past, forest managers relied on airplane surveys to evaluate insect damage over broad areas.