News: November 2018

What seabirds can tell us about the tide

When the UK's Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) set out to tag razorbills, their aim was to track their behaviour and movements along the coast of North Wales. The tag data revealed that, at night, these seabirds spent a lot of their time idle on the sea surface. "We saw this as an opportunity to re-use the data and test if the birds might be drifting with the tidal current," says Matt Cooper, a Master of Oceanography graduate from Bangor University in Wales. It turns out they were, according to a new study led by Cooper that shows the potential of using seabirds to measure ocean currents. The results are published today in the European Geosciences Union journal Ocean Science.

Publication date: 29 November 2018

Why are we getting these warm wild winds?

Is there a cold winter on the way?

Whilst our weather has warmed in the last couple of days with the arrival of mild westerly winds from the Atlantic, there are indications further afield which may point to a cold winter for Wales.

Scientists monitoring ocean conditions over the tropical Pacific Ocean have detected a warming of the surface water which is a strong indicator of the onset of a major global climate event, known as an “El Nino”.

Publication date: 29 November 2018

What planet Earth might look like when the next supercontinent forms – four scenarios

The outer layer of the Earth, the solid crust we walk on, is made up of broken pieces, much like the shell of a broken egg. These pieces, the tectontic plates, move around the planet at speeds of a few centimetres per year. Every so often they come together and combine into a supercontinent, which remains for a few hundred million years before breaking up. The plates then disperse or scatter and move away from each other, until they eventually – after another 400-600 million years – come back together again.

This article by Mattias Green, Reader in Physical Oceanography, Bangor UniversityHannah Sophia Davies, PhD Researcher, Universidade de Lisboa , and Joao C. Duarte, Researcher and Coordinator of the Marine Geology and Geophysics Group, Universidade de Lisboa is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

Publication date: 27 November 2018