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The ocean has a long memory. When the water in today’s deep Pacific Ocean last saw sunlight, Charlemagne was the Holy Roman Emperor, the Song Dynasty ruled China and Oxford University had just held its very first class. During that time, between the 9th and 12th centuries, the earth’s climate was generally warmer before the cold of the Little Ice Age settled in around the 16th century. Now ocean surface temperatures are back on the rise but the question is, do the deepest parts of the ocean know that?
Sea levels are rising globally from ocean warming and melting of land ice, but the seas aren’t rising at the same rate everywhere. Sea levels have risen significantly faster in some U.S. East Coast regions compared to others. A new study led by the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) reveals why.
Surface melting across Greenland’s mile-thick ice sheet began increasing in the mid-19th century and then ramped up dramatically during the 20th and early 21st centuries, showing no signs of abating, according to new research published Dec. 5, 2018, in the journal Nature. The study provides new evidence of the impacts of climate change on Arctic melting and global sea level rise.
A new study from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) has uncovered the history of bleaching on a coral reef in the epicenter of El Nino, revealing how some corals have been able to return after facing extreme conditions. The study was published October 26, 2018, in the journal Communications Biology.
A research team led by Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) found the fingerprint of a massive flood of fresh water in the western Arctic, thought to be the cause of an ancient cold snap that began around 13,000 years ago.
Sea levels in coastal areas can be affected by a number of factors: tides, winds, waves, and even barometric pressure all play a role in the ebb and flow of the ocean. For the first time, however, a new study led by the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) has shown that river outflow could play a role in sea level change as well.
For Emperor penguins waddling around a warming Antarctic, diminishing sea ice means less fish to eat. How the diets of these tuxedoed birds will hold up in the face of climate change is a big question scientists are grappling with.
Scientists have long known that steep mountain ranges can draw carbon dioxide (CO2) out of the atmosphere—as erosion exposes new rock, it also starts a chemical reaction between minerals on hill slopes and CO2 in the air, “weathering” the rock and using CO2 to produce carbonate minerals like calcite.
Colonies of breeding king penguins behave much like particles in liquids do, according to new study by the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) and international colleagues. This "liquid " organization and structure enables breeding colonies to protect themselves against predators while also keeping members together.
Just like with humans, the skin on marine mammals serves as an important line of defense against pathogens in their environment. A new study sheds light on the skin microbiome—a group of microorganisms that live on skin—in healthy humpback whales, which could aid in future efforts to monitor their health.
Rising temperatures along the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean will force American lobsters (H. americanus) farther offshore and into more northern waters, according to a new study led by researchers at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI).
Scientists have found surprising evidence of rapid climate change in the Arctic: In the middle of the Arctic Ocean near the North Pole, they discovered that the levels of radium-228 have almost doubled over the last decade.
The living, breathing ocean may be slowly starting to suffocate. More than two percent of the ocean’s oxygen content has been depleted during the last half century, according to reports, and marine “dead zones” continue to expand throughout the global ocean. This deoxygenation, triggered mainly by more fertilizers and wastewater flowing into the ocean, pose a serious threat to marine life and ecosystems.
As Earth warms due to human-caused climate change, extreme climatic events like heat waves, droughts, and spikes in ocean temperatures have increased and are projected to become even more common by the end of this century. To assess impacts to albatrosses, Jenouvrier and her coauthors examined sea surface temperature data and records of extreme warming events since 1978 on albatrosses breeding at Kerguelen Island.
New research highlights the devastation caused when global-scale ocean warming interacts with short-lived weather anomalies, and adds urgency to the question of how reefs will fare through the end of this century.
In the cold depths along the sea floor, Antarctic Bottom Waters are part of a critical part of the global circulatory system. Over the last decade, scientists have been monitoring changes in these waters, but a new WHOI study suggests these changes are themselves shifting in unexpected ways, with potentially significant consequences for the ocean and climate.
At this week’s American Geophysical Union meeting, a team of researchers from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) presented their latest research findings on the long-range predictions of rainfall on land. Their method is based on ocean salinity rather than sea surface temperatures, which has been the standard for decades.
A new study may have cracked the longstanding “marine methane paradox,” finding that the answer may lie in the complex ways that bacteria break down substances excreted into seawater by living organisms.
To help understand the ongoing changes in their slice of the ocean, a group of commerical fishermen in southern New England are now part of a fleet gathering much-needed climate data for scientists through a partnership with the Commercial Fisheries Research Foundation (CFRF) and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI).
WHOI scientists have found a potential path to better seasonal rainfall predictions. Their study shows a clear link between higher sea surface salinity levels in the North Atlantic Ocean and increased rainfall on land in the West African Sahel, the area between the Sahara Desert and the savannah in Sudan.
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