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A airplane sprays chemical dispersants on an oil slick during the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Two new studies have shown that sunlight transforms oil spills on the ocean surface more significantly and quickly than previously thought. The phenomenon considerably limits the effectiveness of chemical dispersants, which are designed to break up floating oil and reduce the amount of oil that reaches coastlines. (Photo by Stephen Lehmann, U.S. Coast Guard)
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.
Over the last century, many of the world’s major rivers have been modified for the purposes of flood control, power generation, and commercial navigation. A new study out of Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution suggests that engineering modifications to the Mississippi River interact with the have increased the risk of extreme floods to unprecedented levels.
Each summer, the South Asian monsoon transforms parts of India from semi-arid into lush green lands able to support farming. The annual infusion of rainfall and resulting runoff into the Ganges, Brahmaputra, and other rivers in the region also has a very different, but no less dramatic, impact on the Bay of Bengal in the northeast Indian Ocean.
Steve Elgar, a senior scientist at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), has been selected as a 2016 National Security Science and Engineering Faculty Fellow (NSSEFF) by the Department of Defense.
An analysis of long-term, water quality monitoring data reveals that climate change is already having an impact on ecosystems in the coastal waters of Buzzards Bay, Mass. These impacts relate to how nitrogen pollution affects coastal ecosystems.
Scientists from WHOI calculated the first direct estimate of how much and in what form organic carbon is exported to the ocean by rivers.
The Peter and Elizabeth C. Tower Foundation has awarded the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) a $150,000 grant that will help fund a three-year collaborative project with Cape Abilities—a nonprofit organization dedicated to finding good jobs for Cape Cod residents with disabilities.
WHOI scientists have received a $1 million grant from The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation to develop science-based climate change adaptation solutions for coastal communities.
A new study by WHOI geologist Liviu Giosan and his colleagues documents the historic sediment record along the Danube River delta, and offers simple and inexpensive strategies to enhance deltas's natural ability to trap sediment and maintain their floodplains against rising sea levels and increasingly frequent and severe storms.
A new study combining the latest archaeological evidence with state-of-the-art geoscience technologies provides evidence that climate change was a key ingredient in the collapse of the great Indus or Harappan Civilization almost 4000 years ago. The study, led by WHOI geologist Liviu Giosan, also resolves a long-standing debate over the source and fate of the Sarasvati, the sacred river of Hindu mythology.
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).
A three-year study into the cause of local area red tides is set to begin March 21. A team of researchers from the National Park Service, U.S. Geological Survey, and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution will be examining the cause of red tides in the Nauset Marsh Estuary and its embayments in Cape Cod, Mass.
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.
Arctic coastal environments are some of the most vulnerable to climate change. A team of WHOI researchers visited Canada’s Mackenzie River Delta in April 2007 to find out just how vulnerable.
Nearly four decades after a fuel oil spill polluted the beaches of Cape Cod, researchers have found the first compelling evidence for lingering, chronic biological effects on a marsh that otherwise appears to have recovered.
New pathway for pollution may change views of how much mercury is lingering in coastal waters.
With growing global populations and ever-increasing demands for seafood, fish farms are expected to expand significantly over the next few decades. But is aquaculture economically sustainable?
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