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Programmed Cell Death and the Decline of Harmful Algal Blooms

Programmed cell death, or self-induced cell mortality, is the subject of increasing attention and research efforts. All phytoplankton blooms decline for a variety of reasons—nutrient depletion, zooplankton grazing, virus infections, sedimentation—but programmed cell death as a means to bloom termination is a new concept, and one not well understood. Dr. Deana Erdner, an NCCOS-sponsored researcher […]

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Could Future Land Use Changes Increase Storm Surge Flooding?

Scientists funded by the National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science have found that projected changes in coastal Gulf of Mexico land use and land cover could increase the extent of storm surge flooding by up to 70 percent above flooding from projected sea level rise alone. Using a newly developed predictive model, the University of […]

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Scenario Forecasts for Regional Coastal Management

Models play an increasingly important role in environmental problems, as decision makers need to consider the consequences of different climatic or environmental conditions, management scenarios, and population trends. Forecasts based on different environmental scenarios can move coastal decision-making to a proactive rather than a reactive mode. NCCOS, through partners within and outside of NOAA, supports […]

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Ocean Acidification Promotes Disruptive and Harmful Algal Blooms on Our Coasts

The general decline in ocean pH (i.e., more acidic conditions) from the increasing concentrations of carbon dioxide (CO2) is well documented. Also well documented are increased nutrients entering coastal waters often promoting excessive and ecosystem disruptive algae blooms, including harmful algal blooms. The decay of these coastal blooms promotes bacterial respiration resulting in increased CO2, […]

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Sea Level Rise Research Supports Gulf of Mexico Sentinel Site Cooperative

An NCCOS-funded study is investigating the ecological effects of sea level rise in the Gulf of Mexico. The effort is the focal point of the Northern Gulf of Mexico Sentinel Site Cooperative, a federal–state partnership established to advance sea level rise prediction and assessment capabilities. The cooperative seeks to improve coastal data and research products […]

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Bacteria Isolate Degrades Harmful Algal Toxins in Drinking Water

Cyanobacterial harmful algal blooms (“cyanoHABs”) occur worldwide—causing detrimental effects to ecosystems and local economies—and can produce toxins that pose threats to human health and limit potable water supplies. Microcystis and other genera of cyanobacteria produce a compound known as Microcystin-LR (MCLR) that is toxic to the liver and inhibits nerve functions, muscle activity, and cellular metabolism. […]

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NCCOS-sponsored Coral Reef Scientist Honored with New Species Name

In recognition of his contributions to NCCOS coral reef research, University of Puerto Rico scientist Dr. Francisco E. Pagán will have a new species of sediment-dwelling crustacean named in his honor. The new species—the cumacean crustacean Cumella pagani n. sp.—lives on the Caribbean mesophotic coral reefs studied by Dr. Pagán. Cumaceans are small, benthic marine crustaceans, […]

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Decaying Harmful Algal Blooms Still Dangerous: New Model Predicts Toxicity to Humans

Declining (terminating) harmful algal blooms continue to pose health hazards. When some harmful algal blooms die and disappear, their toxicity continues to affect the air above the bloom-infested waters. Some dinoflagellates produce toxins—such as the brevetoxins from the Florida red tide (Karenia brevis)—that are readily aerosolized when nearshore blooms die and release their toxins into […]

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