On the surface, it might seem like an ocean without sharks would be a more enjoyable place. But, these predators play a very important role in the ocean ecosystem and they need our protection just like many other ocean dwelling creatures.
Sharks have been at the top of the food chain for hundreds of millions of years, but today their populations are in danger because of human activities, such as overfishing and finning (this is when people catch sharks, remove the fins, and dump the carcass overboard).
Andrew P. Nosal, Ph. D, Birch Aquarium’s new DeLaCour Postdoctoral Fellow for Ecology and Conservation, shares his shark expertise with the Perspectives on Ocean Science series in order to explain that all sharks are not the evil villains seen in movies, but are essential in maintaining a balanced ocean.
We’ve been to the moon and we’ve explored remote corners of our universe. What is next in our quest to unlock the secrets of our solar system?
Hear from Charles Kennel, chair of the National Academy’s Space Science Board and former Scripps Institution of Oceanography director, as he reviews NASA’s past accomplishments, present projects, and anticipated goals in “The Future of Human Space Exploration.”
To see more programs on Astrophysics and Space Science, visit our archive.
Leopard sharks are a special species of shark found only along the West coast of North America, their territory spanning from Washington to Baja California. A distinctive characteristic of these creatures is their mild temperament. Unlike most sharks, which will bite anything that might be food, leopard sharks are timid and have such small mouths that they pose essentially no danger to humans. In fact, a leopard shark bite on a human has never been recorded by the International Shark Attack File.
Every Summer La Jolla Shores is the gathering site of hundreds of leopard sharks. A common misconception of this behavior is that these sharks convene here to mate or give birth, but in fact scientists are not quite certain what they do at this annual conference.
Did you know there are unheard sounds in the Earth’s atmosphere that can travel all the way around the world?
Dr. Michael Hedlin of UC San Diego’s Scripps Institution of Oceanography explains that when massive events occur in the atmosphere low frequency sounds are generated that can be received all over the earth, depending on the magnitude of the event. Much like when there is an earthquake and seismic waves can be read on seismometers around the planet.
Although we cannot hear these sounds because of their low frequencies, there is still a lot they can tell us about things like volcanic eruptions and meteorite impacts.
We have all heard about climate change, but did you know that there is a fight for justice within this claim?
Climate justice is more than just a demand for the stop of wrongful damage to the environment. It goes deeper into the tangible effects of climate change and the way they are unequally effecting the world’s population.
According to the Center on Global Justice at UC San Diego, “Climate Justice links human rights and development to achieve a human-centered approach, safeguarding the rights of the most vulnerable and sharing the burdens and benefits of climate change and its resolution equitably and fairly. Climate justice is informed by science, responds to science, and acknowledges the need for equitable stewardship of the world’s resources.”
Mary Robinson was the first woman president of Ireland and has served as the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. She has been a long standing icon for social justice and has recently devoted her attention to campaigning for climate justice.