PO Top Story Slideshow

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    Researchers from the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) watch a Slocum Glider take measurements off the coast of South Africa. Physical oceanographer Louis St. Laurent collaborates with UKZN professor Derek Stretch to measure minute changes in the properties of Sodwana Bay, which is home to charismatic species like whale sharks and manta rays.  (Photo by Sean Whelan, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)
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    Research specialist Frank Bahr (left) and physical oceanographer Glen Gawarkiewicz analyze data on currents collected off Cape Hatteras. In 2015, Gawarkiewicz and his colleagues published a paper that analyzed the relationship between sea level and waters across the continental shelf-break, and found that sea level anomalies are a predictor of shelf water temperature.  (Photo by Chris Linder, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)
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    Data from the ice-covered Arctic Ocean is hard to come by because the region is remote and the environment hostile. Scientists and engineers overcome these challenges by deploying ice-based observatories (IBOs) like this one, which makes continuous measurements that paint a picture of interactions between the atmosphere, ice, and ocean.  (Photo by Rick Krishfield, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)
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    Increased flow of ice from glaciers in Greenland and Antarctica has tripled the contribution of continental ice sheets to sea level rise over the last 20 years. Physical oceanographer Fiamma Straneo uses a variety of methods – from helicopters to moorings to autonomous vehicles – to understand what is driving these changes.  (Photo by Rebecca Jackson, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)
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    MIT-WHOI Joint Program student Isabela Le Bras stands by a flotation sphere, which keeps a mooring, a string of instruments anchored to the ocean floor, upright in the water column. Moorings help to monitor the velocity, temperature, and salinity of currents, and help scientists understand how ocean circulation affects Earth’s climate system.  (Photo courtesy of Jinbo Wang)
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    A satellite image shows Helheim Glacier, one of many glaciers that drain ice from the Greenland Ice Sheet into fjords connected to the ocean. In 2013, a team of physical oceanographers deployed a mooring in Sermilik Fjord to examine whether it links warming ocean waters to the glacier, spurring melting and raising sea levels.  (Image courtesy of Fiamma Straneo, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)