SETAC MultiBrief
Feb. 26, 2015

Scientists bring oxygen back to suffocating waters
Nature World News
Experts are well aware that many of our oceans are running out of oxygen. Sometimes it's a consequence of pollution. Other times we can blame climate change, both man- and nature-driven. However, what is certain is that it's not good for us or the fish and crustaceans that many industries have learned to rely on. Now researchers believe they have found a way to put the oxygen back where it is needed.More

Vaccines, climate change, Ebola: Should scientists be more outspoken on controversial policy issues?
International Business Times
A new poll finds that American researchers feel a responsibility to weigh in when their scientific field intersects with politics and policy. In fact, 87 percent of scientists say engaging with the public and policy leaders is a fundamental part of their work, according to the Pew Research Center. Their engagement may be prompted by any number of global challenges that bring scientific knowledge to the forefront of policy today: Should children be vaccinated? How can we feed the world's 7 billion people? What can we do to ward off Ebola? How can we protect ourselves against the most damaging effects of climate change?More

Satellite images reveal ocean acidification from space
The Weather Channel
The depressing task of monitoring ocean acidification just got a little easier. A collection of scientists from Europe, the U.S. and India have developed a technique that could provide the first global and nearly real-time assessment of our rapidly acidifying seas. Their findings were published in the journal Environmental Science and Technology on Feb. 16, showing how data from satellites that measure salinity and other ocean conditions could be combined to produce a whole new way of monitoring acidification. More

Google Glass takes sharp look at plant health
Scientific American
Scientists in the U.S. have developed their very own pair of rose-tinted spectacles by adapting Google Glass to measure the chlorophyll concentration of leaves. Aydogan Ozcan and his research group at the University of California are passionate about creating new technologies through innovative, photonic methods and are well acquainted with the possibilities of wearable technology in scientific research. More

Why Americans still use Fahrenheit long after everyone else switched to Celsius
Virtually every country on earth aside from the United States measures temperature in Celsius. This makes sense; Celsius is a reasonable scale that assigns freezing and boiling points of water with round numbers, zero and 100. In Fahrenheit, those are, incomprehensibly, 32 and 212. This isn't just an aesthetic issue. More

Grads launch campaign to bike across America to teach pop-up science classes
Forget about the Tour de France — for Elizabeth Case and Rachel Woods-Robinson, it's time for Tour de U.S.A. On April 17, the two UCLA alums will embark on an eco-friendly cross-country road trip, pedaling their bicycles over 3,800 miles from San Francisco to New York City. Along the way, they'll make pit stops to teach middle school students quick lessons in physics, solar power and renewable energy.More

Corals face 'slow starvation' from ingesting plastics pollution, experts find
The Guardian
Corals such as those found on the Great Barrier Reef are at risk from the estimated 5tn pieces of plastic in the world's oceans because researchers have discovered they digest tiny fragments of plastic at a significant rate. A study led by the ARC centre of excellence for coral reef studies at James Cook University found that corals consumed "microplastics" about the same rate as their normal food.More

Navy funds a small robot army to study the Arctic
The Navy is paying researchers to develop gliders and other gizmos, and stick them in and near the ice, because it needs to figure out how quickly the thaw is coming. At the moment it looks like it's happening faster than expected, according to Craig Lee, a University of Washington researcher who led the Arctic study the Navy sponsored. Lee says scientists are still going through the data from last summer's study, but early indications are that warming Arctic waters are absorbing more sunlight and melting more ice than in past summers.More

World closes in on consensus to regulate fishing on the high seas
Scientific American
The high seas — the vast roiling ocean that reaches beyond a coastal states' 320-kilometer exclusive economic zone, or EEZ — is Earth's largest biosphere. It represents about 58 percent of our planet’s oceans and is mostly unexplored, exhaustively exploited and in rapid decline. That's why there was cause for celebration recently when, after a decade of hair-pulling discussions, national representatives at the United Nations finally agreed that the high seas need protection. More