Archive for 10/29/2011

Jeff Burnside and Brian Hamacher – 

Two legendary sea explorers are in South Florida this week to help promote a project that gives people a glimpse at an ocean they’ve likely never seen.

Seakeepers, a group of global yacht owners based in Miami, recruits owners of yachts to install sensors or bring aboard scientists to deploy devices along their routes across the globe.

Sylvia Earle, the world’s leading female ocean explorer, and Fabien Cousteau, the grandson of Jacques Cousteau, are supporting the project at the Fort Lauderdale Boat Show, which runs through Monday.

The inexpensive devices capture data and video from some of the deepest places ever seen, as much as seven miles below the ocean surface.

“It is pretty amazing. The idea of the technology allows us to come on the epicenter, if you will, right over the top of the ship,” said deepsea engineer Kevin Hardy. “And right below is areas of the ocean that we’ve never been to before.”

The project is bringing back exciting video, but there’s still so much left to explore, Earle said.

Full story…

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Jamie Becker – 

There are countless stories in every drop of seawater. But with a cast of millions and more plotlines than a daytime soap opera, the stories can be a bit difficult to follow.

The stories, of course, depend on which particular drop you’re watching and what time you tune in, but in the sunlit waters of our ocean’s surface, about a million microscopic organisms are living their lives in every single drop.

They take in what they need to live, spit out what they don’t, reproduce, and die. They may get eaten, starve to death, or become infected by viruses and explode all over the place. Some battle each other for resources, while others work together and depend on each other.

Drops of seawater may be lacking in romance and gunfights, but they house a wealth of ongoing dramatic tales of microscopic life and survival.

A drop is quite small, and microorganisms are even smaller. Their invisible complex micro-stories might seem inconsequential. So why would anyone bother watching them ?

Three-quarters of our planet is covered with a layer of seawater that is more than two miles deep on average. That volume adds up to somewhere around a trillion trillion drops (or a septillion, if you prefer) and about 100,000 times as many microbes.

This hard-to-fathom abundance means that the lives of these small organisms have large-scale consequences for our planet. They play vital roles that help determine the productivity of marine fisheries and the amount of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide in our atmosphere.

Full story…

Daily Mail –

It is usually a hobby which takes patience, care, and for the artist to be at their most comfortable so they can create true masterpieces.

But while most painters insist that ‘you can’t rush art’, time is of the essence for these unusual artists, who paint unique pieces as underwater divers 20 metres beneath the surface.

The group of underwater divers from the Ukraine complete their series of drawings after plunging to the depths of the Black Sea.

Although some watercolours take hours to finish, the scuba-trained artists are painting against the clock, as their diving equipment only allows them to draw for 40 minutes at a time.

And time is not the only issue the artists have to deal with, as their watery surroundings change the colour of their paints mid-piece.

Artist Denis Lotarev told the BBC: ‘An artist has to take into account the depth at which he is working because the colours change from the surface.

Full story…