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Hakai Magazine is all about the coast, but other outlets sometimes share our fascination. Every week on Strand we round up our favorite coastal stories from around the web.
Arctic sea ice volume rebounds, but not recovering
by Andrea Thompson for Climate Central
“The volume of sea ice left at the end of the summer melt season seems to vary more from year to year than had perhaps been previously appreciated; after declining for several years, sea ice volume shot up after the unusually cool summer of 2013, the data revealed.
The authors of a new study reviewing the volume data, detailed on Monday in the journal Nature Geoscience, are quick to caution, though, that one single year of rebound doesn’t suggest any sea ice recovery, as the overall trend is still downward.”
Meet the adorable “sea bunny” taking over the internet
by Jane J. Lee for National Geographic
“The animal isn’t actually a tiny ocean-dwelling rabbit. The creature eliciting ‘awwws’ around the world is a type of sea slug called Jorunna parva.
Most are less than an inch (2.5 centimeters) long and can be found throughout the Indo-Pacific Ocean from South Africa to the central Pacific.”
British navy warship tests a 3-D-printed drone at sea
by Paul Marks for Popular Science
“Before the test, it wasn’t clear whether a low-cost printed drone could handle rolling swell and windy conditions, he says. ‘As far as we know, it was a world first.’ The technology was developed in partnership with researchers and a 3-D printing company, and could find its way into civilian and commercial use.”
Nano-sized synthetic coral could suck up ocean’s pollutants
by Levi Sharpe for Popular Science
“Industrial and manufacturing processes release heavy metals such as mercury and lead into the ocean. Not only can it kill wildlife, but it can lead to terrible physical and cognitive side effects in humans who consume fish that have absorbed the pollutants as well. In a study published in the Journal of Colloid and Interface Science, researchers at Anhui Jianzhu University in China created nano-sized, coral-like structures that use aluminum oxide to absorb mercury out of the water.”
Alien islands: why killing rats is essential to save key wildlife
by Ted Williams for Environment 360
“It will be another two years before Team Rat can positively declare the island rodent-free, but the prognosis couldn’t look better. Surviving glaciers sealed off three sections that could be treated independently. Birds are already recovering in sections completed in 2011 and 2013; and careful monitoring has revealed no sign of rats. In January 2015 the first successful nest of the South Georgia pipit was discovered in the 2013 section. At this writing, the project appears to be humanity’s first success in saving a species from the effects of global warming.”
Stowaways and crimes aboard a scofflaw ship
by Ian Urbina for The New York Times
“In May 2011, Mr. Mndolwa and Mr. Kobelo got their chance at a new life. They overheard a deckhand in port mention that the red-bottomed ship waiting dockside with no night watchman was leaving soon for England. Carrying their passports, a loaf of bread and a plastic bag filled with orange juice, the men shimmied across the ship’s mooring rope that night, crept down to the engine room, and stayed there, whisperingly still, for the next five days.”