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California’s Fourth Climate Assessment Report

California’s Coast and Ocean Summary Report on our coast and ocean is out. We're seeing the greenhouse gas-driven changes already and expect more in the future. They will have significant consequences for California’s coastal economy, communities, ecosystems, culture, and heritage, and some are already occurring. These consequences will have ripple effects in California well beyond the local areas directly affected, effects that could extend into the U.S. economy.

Earth Has a Hidden Plastic Problem—Scientists Are Hunting It Down

Trillions of tiny particles generated by our plastic-reliant society are polluting environments worldwide.

During a research cruise to the Sargasso Sea in fall 1971 marine biologist Ed Carpenter first noticed peculiar, white specks floating amidst the mats of brown sargassum seaweed. After some investigating he discovered they were tiny bits of plastic. He was stunned. If thousands of the broken down particles were showing up in in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, 550 miles from any mainland, he says, “I figured it’s all over the place.”

Blob, bloom and Dungie doom

On November 6, 2015, commercial crab fishermen in California received news that the opening of the Dungeness crab fishery would be delayed as a result of elevated seafood toxin levels. The commercial rock crab fishery was also closed until further notice. For those fishermen, this was pretty devastating news, and it only got worse.

Read the full story HERE (2.3 MB PDF)

San Francisco Bay nutrients and plankton dynamics as simulated by a coupled hydrodynamic-ecosystem model

An open source coupled physical-biogeochemical model is developed for San Francisco Bay (SFB) to study nutrient cycling and plankton dynamics as well as to assist ecosystem based management and risk assessment. The biogeochemical model in this study is based on the Carbon, Silicate and Nitrogen Ecosystem (CoSiNE) model, and coupled to the unstructured grid, Semi-Implicit Cross-scale Hydroscience Integrated System Model (SCHISM).

Acid secretion by the boring organ of the burrowing giant clam, Tridacna crocea

The giant clam Tridacna crocea, native to Indo-Pacific coral reefs, is noted for its unique ability to bore fully into coral rock and is a major agent of reef bioerosion. However, T. crocea's mechanism of boring has remained a mystery despite decades of research.

Read the full article.

An ecological framework for informing permitting decisions on scientific activities in protected areas

There are numerous reasons to conduct scientific research within protected areas, but research activities may also negatively impact organisms and habitats, and thus conflict with a protected area’s conservation goals.

Troubled Waters?

As climate change looms, SF State’s Estuary & Ocean Science Center monitors the health of the Bay

Marin gets thousands for projects to combat sea-level rise

SF State’s Estuary and Ocean Science Center to receive $190,000 grant to accelerate research on nature-based adaptation and restoration focused on SF Bay’s steeper shores and rocky habitats and alternatives to rip-rap and seawalls. The project will fill a knowledge gap for SF Bay and engage in community education through ecological research, science education, and restoration and adaptation planning and design.

SF State Launches New Floating Sentinel

Two banana-yellow buoys anchored along the Tiburon shore will be San Francisco Bay’s sentinels against shifts in water chemistry due to climate change.

Read the Estuary News article.

Could Seaweed Save California’s Coast?

CSU faculty researchers find that marine plants could play a big role in reducing ocean acidification, a devastating side effect of climate change.

Read the article HERE.