Farewell to the Knorr
Over its 44-year career, the retiring research vessel Knorr was on the scene for many of the most significant discoveries in the ocean.
WHOI Scientists Garner Awards in 2013
As the year 2013 ends, we profile scientists who recently received awards and recognition for their work.
Beneath Arctic Ice, Life Blooms Spectacularly
Scientists have discovered a massive bloom of phytoplankton beneath ice-covered Arctic waters. Until now, sea ice was thought to block sunlight and limit the growth of microscopic marine plants living under the ice. The amount…
A Newfound Cog in the Ocean Conveyor
A decade into the 21st century, scientists have confirmed the existence of a new and apparently crucial ocean current on the face of the Earth. International teams led by Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) oceanographer…
Exploring the Arctic in the Midst of Change
Chief Scientist Bob Pickart and his 26-member science team were in the hangar at the Barrow Air Search and Rescue Station, waiting for the helicopter. An Inupiat community barnacled to a rocky beach at the…
Mysteries at High Latitudes
We were watching waves, Kjetil Våge and I, from the open transom on the research vessel Knorr. It was mid-October 2008 in the Irminger Sea, where nautical standards are different. The wind had diminished overnight…
Into the Wild Irminger Sea
In the Denmark Strait, Oct. 7, 2008 Maybe it’s lubberly to talk about those waves in the language of aesthetics, as if they were natural attractions like alpine peaks, but objective nautical numbers didn’t suffice….
Ocean Conveyor’s ‘Pump’ Switches Back On
One of the “pumps” that helps drive the ocean’s global circulation suddenly switched on again last winter for the first time this decade. The finding surprised scientists who had been wondering if global warming was…
A New Way to Monitor Changes in the Arctic
The Arctic is changing in response to Earth’s changing climate. Arctic ecosystems that have evolved over millions of years face changes occurring over 25 to 30 years, the average lifetime of a polar bear. And…
Reaching Up Into Perilous, Icy Waters
A year had passed since we deployed our mooring in the western Arctic Ocean, which is a long time to ponder the fate of an instrument in a stormy and ice-infested ocean. The wait becomes…
Adventure in the Labrador Sea
The sound of the general alarm bell reverberated through the ship. At 2:30 AM, this couldn’t be a drill. Even more puzzling, we were still dockside in Halifax, four hours from our scheduled departure for…