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A pod of Risso’s dolphin. Credit: NEAQ/ACCOL aerial survey team

Airborne marine biologists were amazed by the sheer abundance and diversity of large marine wildlife in their recent aerial survey of the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument, the only marine national monument on the East Coast, about 150 southeast of Cape Cod.

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A new study suggests that growth of trans-Arctic shipping and the accompanying increase in emissions may offset some of the overall warming trend in that region. (Getty Images)

With sea ice in the Arctic melting at an alarming rate, opportunities for trans-Arctic shipping are opening up, and by mid-century ships will be able to sail right over the North Pole -- something not previously possible for humankind.

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DeepSea submersible collects coral sample. Image provided by Héctor Guzmán

A study in the journal Bulletin of Marine Science describes a new, blood-red species of octocoral found in Panama. The species in the genus Thesea was discovered in the threatened low-light reef environment on Hannibal Bank, 60 kilometers off mainland Pacific Panama, by researchers at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama (STRI) and the Centro de Investigación en Ciencias del Mar y Limnología (CIMAR) at the University of Costa Rica.

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A recent expedition led by Dr. Blair Thornton, holding Associate Professorships at both the University of Southampton and the Institute of Industrial Science, the University of Tokyo, demonstrated how the use of autonomous robotics and artificial intelligence at sea can dramatically accelerate the exploration and study of hard to reach deep sea ecosystems, like intermittently active methane seeps.

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A topographic map of the rock surface below the glacier. The brown peak is the inactive volcano, Mount Resnik. The blue bar shows the missing layers, also known as an unconformity, that travels in a straight line toward the sea. The vertical walls are tracks where the snowmobile mapped the ice layers. Nicholas Holschuh/University of Washington

A region of West Antarctica is behaving differently from most of the continent’s ice: a large patch of ice there is thickening, unlike other parts of West Antarctica that are losing ice. Whether this thickening trend will continue affects the overall amount that melting or collapsing glaciers could raise the level of the world’s oceans.

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Fur seal pup. Credit: Phillip Island Nature Parks, CC-BY

A census of annual pup production by Australian fur seal populations revealed the first reduction since species-wide protection was implemented in 1975, according to a study published September 5 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Rebecca McIntosh of the Phillip Island Nature Parks in Victoria, Australia, and colleagues. The study also shows that the long-term monitoring program for the Australian fur seal has effectively tracked population trends over time.

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