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Oceanus Articles


Marshes, Mosquitoes, and Sea Level Rise

Marshes, Mosquitoes, and Sea Level Rise

In the 1930s, the Cape Cod Mosquito Control Project dug approximately 1,500 miles of ditches across marshes on the Cape to drain their water and reduce the number of ponds where mosquitoes can breed. Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution biogeochemist Amanda Spivak is studying how this and other management decisions have changed the ability of coastal marshes to store carbon and protect against sea level rise.

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Can We Improve Monsoon Forecasts?

Can We Improve Monsoon Forecasts?

Scientists are exploring the ocean to gain new insights into forecasting the still-unpredictable monsoon rains that billions of people depend on to irrigate their crops

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The Unseen World on Coral Reefs

The Unseen World on Coral Reefs

We have learned that microbial communities on and within us—a microbiome—keep people healthy. Corals reefs also have their own microbiomes that they couldn’t function without.

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The Recipe for a Harmful Algal Bloom

The Recipe for a Harmful Algal Bloom

Harmful algal blooms can produce toxins that accumulate in shellfish and cause health problems and economic losses. They have increased in strength and frequency worldwide. Can we get advance warnings of when and where they will occur?

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Life at the Edge

What makes the shelf break front such a productive and diverse part of the Northwest Atlantic Ocean? A group of scientists on the research vessel Neil Armstrong spent two weeks at sea in 2018 as part of a three-year, NSF-funded project to find out.

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A Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Ocean

A Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Ocean

Like someone monitoring the traffic flow on a road system, MIT-WHOI Joint Program graduate student Sam Levang is examining the flow of the ocean’s global circulation, which has big impacts of our climate.

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Forecasting Where Ocean Life Thrives

Forecasting Where Ocean Life Thrives

The ocean, like the atmosphere, has “fronts,” and it’s hardly quiet on them. In fact, that is where the plankton that provide the foundation of the ocean food web are most prolific.

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A Change Has Come in the Arctic

A Change Has Come in the Arctic

On a long voyage across the Arctic Ocean, an MIT-WHOI graduate students finds chemical clues that climate change has already had impacts on the region.

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Students Get Their Sea Legs

Students Get Their Sea Legs

Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution is known for its ocean-going research. But some incoming graduate students in the MIT-WHOI Joint Program may never have set foot a large research ship before. A new orientation cruise aboard the research vessel Neil Armstrong is introducing students to shipboard life and oceanographic research.

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Mission to the Ocean Twilight Zone

Mission to the Ocean Twilight Zone

The twilight zone is a part of the ocean 660 to 3,300 feet below the surface, where little sunlight can reach. It is deep and dark and cold, and the pressures there are enormous. Despite these challenging conditions, the twilight zone teems with life that helps support the ocean’s food web and is intertwined with Earth’s climate. Some countries are gearing up to exploit twilight zone fisheries, with unknown impacts for marine ecosystems and global climate. Scientists and engineers at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution are poised to explore and investigate this hidden frontier.

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Industrial krill fishing

animation of industrial fishing

The twilight zone’s biological abundance makes it an attractive target for commercial fishing operations and a potential source of life-sustaining protein to support growing human populations and the demand for food. Factory ships are already harvesting twilight-zone organisms that migrate between surface waters and the twilight zone. Industry is on the brink of deepening the reach of those fisheries into the midwater, beyond national boundaries where relatively few laws or regulations apply.

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How Is the Seafloor Made?

How Is the Seafloor Made?

An ultrasound for the Earth? Using sound waves, a graduate student peers into the crystalline texture of the tectonic plates that cover our planet’s surface.

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Unearthing Long-Gone Hurricanes

Unearthing Long-Gone Hurricanes

A graduate student at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution tracks a trail of clues left behind on the seafloor by hurricanes as they stream across the ocean.

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