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There are more microbes in a bucket of seawater than there are people on Earth. Despite their abundance, humans are only just beginning to fathom the complex role marine microbes play in the ocean ecosystem.
WHOI Scientist Receives Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation Marine Microbiology Initiative Investigator Award
WHOI biogeochemist Mak Saito has been selected for a Marine Microbiology Initiative (MMI) investigator award by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation. Saito is one of 16 scientists who will receive funds from a total of up to $35 million to pursue pioneering research in the field of marine microbial ecology.
The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) will host a public forum on ocean acidification and its effects on ocean life. Ocean acidification is a global problem that results from the increase of carbon dioxide (CO2) released into the atmosphere primarily from burning fossil fuels. Excess CO2 in the air dissolves in seawater and is converted to corrosive carbonic acid that puts the lives of many marine organisms at risk.
Scientists from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) have conducted a new study to measure levels of carbon at various depths in the Arctic Ocean. The study, recently published in the journal Biogeosciences, provides data that will help researchers better understand the Arctic Ocean’s carbon cycle—the pathway through which carbon enters and is used by the marine ecosystem. It will also offer an important point of reference for determining how those levels of carbon change over time, and how the ecosystem responds to rising global temperatures.
Researchers Assess Radioactivity Released to the Ocean from the Fukushima Dai-Ichi Nuclear Power Facility
The impact on the ocean of releases of radioactivity from the Fukushima nuclear power plants remains unclear. But a new study by U.S. and Japanese researchers analyzes the levels of radioactivity discharged from the facility in the first four months after the accident and draws some basic conclusions about the history of contaminant releases to the ocean.
Global warming could destabilize the pool of carbon in the Ganges-Brahmaputra basin and similar places on Earth, potentially increasing the rate of CO2 release into the atmosphere.
Scientists from WHOI and the Marine Biological Laboratory were awarded a $1.2 million NSF collaborative grant for studies on the role of sulfur-oxidizing bacteria in salt marsh nitrogen and carbon cycling. The fieldwork will be conducted at the Plum Island Ecosystem Long-Term Ecological Research site on Boston's North Shore.
Changes in ocean chemistry due to increased carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions are expected to damage shellfish populations around the world, but some nations will feel the impacts much sooner and more intensely than others, according to a study by scientists at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI).
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution to Lead Expedition to Measure Radioactive Contaminants in the Pacific Ocean
The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) will lead the first international, multidisciplinary assessment of the levels and dispersion of radioactive substances in the Pacific Ocean off the Fukushima nuclear power plant—a research effort funded by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation.
The Earth is constantly manufacturing new crust, spewing molten magma up along undersea ridges at the boundaries of tectonic plates. The process is critical to the planet’s metabolism, including the cycle of underwater life and the delicate balance of carbon in the ocean and atmosphere. Now, scientists at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) have observed ocean crust forming in an entirely unexpected way—one that may influence those cycles of life and carbon and, in turn, affect the much-discussed future of the world’s climate.
An international group of scientists has banded together to help educate the public about “ocean acidification,” a pressing problem resulting from increased CO2 emissions in the world’s oceans. The problem raises concerns about the ability of certain organisms to survive in that altered environment and about the overall health of the oceans.
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).
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.”
A study newly published in Nature Geoscience has solved a ten-year-old mystery about the source of an essential nutrient in the ocean.
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).
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.
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.
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.
Hydrocarbonsmolecules critical to lifeare routinely generated by the simple interaction of seawater with the rocks under the Lost City hydrothermal vent field in the Atlantic Ocean. The production of such building blocks of life makes Lost City-like vents strong contenders as places where life might have originated on Earth, according to research led by the University of Washington and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.
The release of sulfur and nitrogen into the atmosphere by power plants and agricultural activities plays a minor role in making the ocean slightly more acidic on a global scale, but the impact is greatly amplified in the shallower waters of the coastal ocean, according to new research by atmospheric and marine chemists.
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