Best of 2011 from BCS

I hope everyone welcomed the New Year with style and grace! Here is a fun list to recap the “Top 12 most popular posts written by Beach Chair Scientist in 2011”:

1. It’s as easy as A, B, Sea: Weddell Sea
2. Happy as a clam
3. Beach trivia
4. 5 facts about fish farming
5. Basics on renewable energy
6. 13 apps for your day at the beach
7. Blue Sway – Paul McCartney
8. Can you write with a sea pen?
9. The Majestic Plastic Bag – Part IV
10. Linda Thornton, an inspiring aquaculturist on a mission for sustainability
11. How deep is the ocean?
12. 30 reasons to be grateful for the ocean

 

New ‘marine life encyclopedia’ launched

I think there might be another great bookmark to add to your ocean facts files! Please spend some time reviewing this great new resource, a marine life encyclopedia, compiled by Oceana. Over 500 creatures, places, and concepts can be explored. The pictures are bright and colorful and the information is up-to-date and easy to digest. It seems fantastic if you want a quick answer to a question.

Even if you think you know all the answers, test yourself with this Ocean IQ quiz!

The content on the marine life encyclopedia site has been licensed to Dorling Kindersley, one of the world’s leading educational publishers.

Who owns the oceans?

We all own the oceans … no, wait! No one owns the oceans. Sometimes it is very confusing to answer this question.

Since the third United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea the jurisdictions of the oceans are known as this:

  • 0-3 nautical miles from the coastline of the country is considered a countries’ territorial seas and are subject to the rules of the country. Invading these waters can be seen as attack.
  • In the United States 0-12 nautical miles is subject to individual state laws.
  • Adjacent to the 12 nautical miles and out to 200 nautical miles is the Exclusive Economic Zone which gives states and/or a countries the “right to explore and exploit, and the responsibility to conserve and manage, the living and non-living resources.”

For more information click here.

No more fish in the sea

From Good (an on-line web magazine dedicated to enabling  individuals, businesses, and non-profits to push the world forward) an infographic detailing the decline of popular fish species in the last 50 years. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the Untied Nations calculates how many fish are left in the ocean by counting how many fish are allocated for harvesting (assuming the maximum are caught).

How much salt is in the ocean?

salt-773845The amount of salt in the ocean, known as ‘salinity’, is a measure of the of the amount of salt dissolved in 1000 grams of water. The amount is expressed as parts per thousands (ppt).

Refractometers are a tool used to measure the amount of salinity in the ocean. The salinity in the ocean is approximately 32 to 35 ppt. Freshwater has a salinity of zero. The estuaries fluctuate their salinity level depending upon the tides. But, it’s always below the open ocean. The poles have a lower salinity because the cold water does not evaporate as fast.

Do you have another great question? Email info@beachchairscientist.com and let us know what you always ponder while digging your toes in the sand!

Why is the ocean blue?

blueMy immediate answer is that the ocean had a rough day at the office.

A lot of people think it is because of the reflection of the sky, but, that is missing an important part of the puzzle. If you think about it the ocean is not really blue everywhere, is it?

What needs to be said is that sunlight particles may be reflected by the surface of the water, but, some may not. The sun contains all colors of the rainbow: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and violet. Yellow and red are absorbed immediately within the surface of the water leaving the green and blue to our naked eye.

What does this have to do with the fact that the ocean isn’t blue everywhere? Well, that all depends on what is in the oceans too. Different things absorb the sunlight differently. If the ocean floor is bare, the ocean appears crystalline blue. If there is a lot of plant life (phytoplankton, other plants or organic materials) it will generally appear greener.

But we’ve only scratched the surface here. Check back often at beachchairscientist.com for more insight about your favorite beach discoveries.

Image (c) of FreeFoto.com.