2009 News Releases
December 17, 2009
John Farrington and David Gallo of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) have been named fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). Election as a fellow is an honor bestowed upon AAAS members by their peers.
December 17, 2009
Oceanographers using the remotely operated vehicle (ROV) Jason discovered and recorded the first video and still images of a deep-sea volcano actively erupting molten lava on the seafloor.
December 11, 2009
Woods Hole Consortium Delegates Participating in U.N. Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen this Week
Directors and scientists from the Woods Hole Consortium are in Copenhagen, Denmark, this week to speak on climate change impacts on ocean, air, land, and polar-ice ecosystems—whose fates are inextricably linked—at the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP15).
December 1, 2009
In a striking finding that raises new questions about carbon dioxide’s (CO2) impact on marine life, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) scientists report that some shell-building creatures—such as crabs, shrimp and lobsters—unexpectedly build more shell when exposed to ocean acidification caused by elevated levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2).
November 24, 2009
The annual rate of increase in carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuels has more than tripled in this decade, compared to the 1990s, reports an international consortium of scientists, who paint a bleak picture of the Earth’s future unless “CO2 emissions [are] drastically reduced.”
November 19, 2009
Scientists and Web developers at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) have created a new educational Web site with crucial tips on how to prepare for and survive a tsunami. Tagged as “an interactive guide that could save your life,” the site also features the latest tsunami-related science research and compelling tsunami survivor videos and interviews.
November 19, 2009
Bruce A. Warren—one of the world’s pre-eminent researchers of deep ocean currents and scientist emeritus at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI)—is the 2010 winner of the prestigious Sverdrup Gold Medal, awarded by the American Meteorological Society (AMS).
November 12, 2009
Sea Education Association (SEA) is preparing to conduct the first-ever research expedition dedicated solely to examining the accumulation of plastic marine debris in the North Atlantic Ocean. The expedition is funded by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Marine Debris Program, and is in collaboration with the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and Woods Hole Sea Grant.
November 5, 2009
A chemical culprit responsible for the rapid, mysterious death of phytoplankton in the North Atlantic Ocean has been found by collaborating scientists at Rutgers University and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI). This same chemical may hold unexpected promise in cancer research.
September 28, 2009
A study newly published in Nature Geoscience has solved a ten-year-old mystery about the source of an essential nutrient in the ocean.
September 24, 2009
Federal and academic marine scientists in the Northeast have combined resources in a new effort to understand how the large marine ecosystem off the northeastern U.S. functions. Don Anderson, senior scientist at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, will direct the newly formed, NOAA-funded Cooperative Institute for the North Atlantic Region.
September 21, 2009
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change estimates that sea level may rise as much as two feet over the next 100 years. However, we lack a full understanding of polar ice cap behavior, and there is concern that the potential for future sea level rise may be significantly underestimated. On Friday, September 25, 2009, from 2 – 5 p.m., in Redfield Auditorium, Water Street, Woods Hole, the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) is hosting a free public colloquium entitled “Where Land & Sea Meet: Managing Shoreline Change Over the Next 100 Years.”
September 2, 2009
A Cooperative Agreement signed by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the Consortium for Ocean Leadership (OL) gives Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) and its partners approval to begin construction on ocean observing infrastructure at coastal sites offshore of southern New England, Oregon, and Washington, and at high latitude open-ocean sites in the Atlantic, Pacific, and Southern Oceans. The observatories will be built and installed over the next five years.
August 27, 2009
A new 2,000-year-long reconstruction of sea surface temperatures (SST) from the Indo-Pacific warm pool (IPWP) suggests that temperatures in the region may have been as warm during the Medieval Warm Period as they are today.
July 7, 2009
The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) announced today that it has appointed Christopher J. (Chris) Winslow to the position of chief financial officer (CFO) and VP for Finance and Administration. Winslow will assume his duties at WHOI on August 24, 2009.
June 17, 2009
Changes in ocean chemistry — a consequence of increased carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from human industrial activity — could cause U.S. shellfish revenues to drop significantly in the next 50 years, according to a new study by researchers at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI).
June 2, 2009
A new type of deep-sea robotic vehicle called Nereus has successfully reached the deepest part of the world’s ocean, reports a team of U.S. engineers and scientists aboard the research vessel Kilo Moana. The dive to 10,902 meters (6.8 miles) occurred on May 31, 2009, at the Challenger Deep in the Mariana Trench in the western Pacific Ocean.
May 18, 2009
The most extensive study of pollutants in marine mammals’ brains reveals that these animals are exposed to a hazardous cocktail of pesticides such as DDTs and PCBs, as well as emerging contaminants such as brominated flame retardants.
May 18, 2009
Forecasts of polar bear populations and their likely responses to climate change have been strengthened by a new study that refutes criticisms of the scientific basis for listing the polar bear under the Endangered Species Act.
May 13, 2009
A new study by researchers at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) and the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) is the first to quantify the amount of oil residue in seafloor sediments that result from natural petroleum seeps off Santa Barbara, California.
May 13, 2009
Research led by oceanographers at WHOI and Duke University have teased out a new piece of the North Atlantic circulation puzzle, finding that much of the southward flow of cold water from the Labrador Sea moves along a previously unknown path in the interior of the North Atlantic -- a finding that may impact the work of global warming forecasters.
May 6, 2009
On Monday, May 4, a team of researchers from WHOI was working in the Great South Channel 40 miles east-southeast of Chatham, Mass., when they sighted a humpback whale severely entangled in fishing gear. They alerted a rescue team from the Provincetown Center for Coastal Studies (PCCS) and kept watch over the humpback for three hours until the PCCS team could steam to the area to free the whale.
April 22, 2009
Researchers Report Potential for "Moderately Large" Red Tide Outbreak in the Gulf of Maine Region for 2009
The potential for an outbreak of the phenomenon commonly called “red tide” is expected to be “moderately large” this spring and summer, according to researchers with the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and North Carolina State University.
April 21, 2009
John Toole of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) has been elected a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, one of the nation’s most esteemed honorary societies and a center for independent policy research.
April 2, 2009
Three leading research centers based in Woods Hole, Mass., announce the creation of the Woods Hole Consortium, a new alliance that will bring their combined scientific power to bear on some of the major issues facing society today and spawn scientific growth and job opportunity on the South Coast of Massachusetts. The consortium comprises the Woods Hole Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL), Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), and Woods Hole Research Center (WHRC), and focuses on the interlocking issues of climate change and ecosystems health and human well-being.
April 1, 2009
The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) has successfully completed its “Depth of Leadership” campaign, the Institution’s Board of Trustees recently announced, with $194.6 million raised over the past nine years. This total represents the largest amount the Institution has ever raised in a campaign.
March 31, 2009
Beginning April 4, students, teachers, museum visitors, and virtual explorers can join a multi-institutional team of researchers led by Carin Ashjian of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) on a 38-day expedition in the Arctic’s Bering Sea.
March 26, 2009
Scientists, policymakers, environmentalists, and industry representatives will gather next week at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) to discuss the issue of mining precious metals from the seafloor. A public colloquium, which will feature keynote addresses from leading voices on the subject and a panel discussion, will be held on Thursday, April 2, from 2 to 5 p.m. in WHOI’s Redfield Auditorium, Woods Hole, MA. The event, the 5th Elisabeth and Henry Morss Jr. Colloquium, is free and open to the public and will also be broadcast in real time on the Web.
March 25, 2009
Children of baby boomers aren’t the only ones who have taken to setting up home far from where their parents live. A new study published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences documents how larval dispersal connects marine fish populations in a network of marine protected areas – information that is critical for fisheries managers.
March 24, 2009
Steve Elgar, a senior scientist in the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) Applied Ocean Physics and Engineering department, was recently named a 2009 National Security Science and Engineering Faculty Fellow (NSSEFF) by the Department of Defense (DoD).
March 12, 2009
A paper published this week in Science shows for the first time that the warming climate is changing the numbers and composition of phytoplankton—the base of the food web—along the western shelf of the Antarctic Peninsula.
March 11, 2009
On Friday, March 6, 2009, for the first time ever, a North Atlantic right whale that had been severely entangled in fishing gear, was administered a sedation mixture that made it possible for rescuers to remove 90 percent of the entanglement.
March 10, 2009
A newly published paper by ocean scientists shows that airborne particles off the continents can have deadly effect on some marine phytoplankton. The findings have implications for atmospheric carbon dioxide levels and climate.
March 4, 2009
The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) and the Regional Technology Development Corp. (RTDC) of Cape Cod announced jointly today the signing of a technology transfer and entrepreneurial services agreement designed to accelerate the transfer of WHOI technology innovations to the marketplace.
February 9, 2009
The cycling of iron throughout the oceans has been an area of intense research for the last two decades. Oceanographers have spent a lot of time studying what has been affectionately labeled the Geritol effect ever since discovering that the lack of iron is a reason why phytoplankton grow lackadaisically in some of the most nutrient-rich surface waters. Just like humans, sometimes the ocean needs a dose of iron to function more effectively.
February 2, 2009
Get ready to send the biology textbooks back to the printer. In a new paper published in Nature, Benjamin Van Mooy, a geochemist with the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) and his colleagues report that microscopic plants growing in the Sargasso Sea have come up with a completely unexpected way of building their cells.
January 29, 2009
An experiment to study the effects of naturally deposited iron in the Southern Ocean has filled in a key piece of the puzzle surrounding iron’s role in locking atmospheric carbon dioxide in the ocean. The research, conducted by an international team led by Raymond Pollard of the National Oceanography Centre, Southampton, and included Matthew Charette, a marine chemist at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, found that natural iron fertilization enhanced the export of carbon to the deep ocean.
January 26, 2009
Popularized by the 2005 movie “March of the Penguins,” emperor penguins could be headed toward extinction in at least part of their range before the end of the century, according to a paper by Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) researchers published January 26, 2009, in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America.
January 22, 2009
Did a catastrophic flood of biblical proportions drown the shores of the Black Sea 9,500 years ago, wiping out early Neolithic settlements around its perimeter? A geologist with the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) and two Romanian colleagues report in the January issue of Quaternary Science Reviews that, if the flood occurred at all, it was much smaller than previously proposed by other researchers.
January 20, 2009
Coral reefs around the world are in serious trouble from pollution, over-fishing, climate change and more. The last thing they need is an infection. But that’s exactly what yellow band disease (YBD) is—a bacterial infection that sickens coral colonies. Researchers at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) and colleagues have found that YBD seems to be getting worse with global warming and announced that they’ve identified the bacteria responsible for the disease.
January 14, 2009
Scientists and engineers from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) and the U.S. Navy have discovered that sea turtles’ skulls and shells not only protect them from predators but also from extraordinarily powerful underwater shockwaves. The research, originally intended to help the Navy avoid harming turtles, could also point the way to designing improved body armor and helmets for soldiers on land.
January 13, 2009
Using a 218-year-long temperature record from a Bermuda brain coral, researchers at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) have created the first marine-based reconstruction showing the long-term behavior of one of the most important drivers of climate fluctuations in the North Atlantic.
January 12, 2009
WHOI Physical Oceanographer Joe Pedlosky to Present Haurwitz Lecture at American Meteorological Society Meeting
Joseph Pedlosky, a physical oceanographer with the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, has been awarded the Bernhard Haurwitz Memorial Lectureship at the American Metrological Society’s 89th Annual Meeting in Phoenix, Arizona, on January 14, 2009.
January 5, 2009
One of the “pumps” contributing to the ocean’s global circulation suddenly switched on again last winter for the first time this decade, scientists reported Tuesday (Dec. 23) in Nature Geoscience. The finding surprised scientists, who had been wondering if global warming was inhibiting the pump—which, in turn, would cause other far-reaching climate changes.