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In the late 1980s, more than three-quarters of the winter flounder caught in Boston Harbor—one of the most polluted harbors in America—showed signs of liver disease, many of them with cancerous tumors. But now, a scientist at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) has documented a dramatic rebound in flounder health spurred by decades of remediation efforts.
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 found lingering radioactivity in the lagoons of remote Marshall Island atolls in the Pacific Ocean where the United States conducted 66 nuclear weapons tests in the 1940s and 1950s.
Scientists have found a previously unsuspected place where radioactive material from the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant disaster has accumulated—in sands and brackish groundwater beneath beaches up to 60 miles away. The sands took up and retained radioactive cesium originating from the disaster in 2011 and have been slowly releasing it back to the ocean.
A study published Aug. 28, 2017, in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences adds a new dimension to the controversial decision to inject large amounts of chemical dispersants immediately above the crippled oil well at the seafloor during the Deepwater Horizon disaster in 2010.
Killifish living in four polluted East Coast estuaries have adapted to survive levels of toxic industrial pollutants that would normally kill them, tolerating concentrations up to 8,000 times higher than sensitive fish. A new study reveals the complex genetic basis for the Atlantic killifish’s remarkable resilience.
Five years after the Fukushima accident, scientific data about the levels of radioactivity in the ocean off our shores are available publicly thanks to ongoing efforts of independent researchers, including WHOI radiochemist Ken Buesseler, who has led the effort to create and maintain an ocean monitoring network along the U.S. West Coast.
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 monitoring the spread of radiation in the ocean from the Fukushima nuclear accident report finding an increased number of contaminated sites off the US West Coast, along with the highest detection level to date, from a sample collected about 1,600 miles west of San Francisco.
An international research team reports results of a three-year study of sediment samples collected offshore from the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant in a new paper published August 18, 2015, in the American Chemical Society's journal, Environmental Science and Technology. The research aids in understanding what happens to Fukushima contaminants after they are buried on the seafloor off coastal Japan.
Scientists at WHOI have for the first time detected the presence of small amounts of radioactivity from the 2011 Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant accident in a seawater sample from the shoreline of North America.
On the fourth anniversary of the disaster, WHOI and the Aquarium of the Pacific debut a new program about ocean radioactivity motivated by the Fukushima nuclear accident.
Monitoring efforts along the Pacific Coast of the U.S. and Canada have detected the presence of small amounts of radioactivity from the 2011 Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant accident 100 miles (150 km) due west of Eureka, California.
Nearly five years after the Deepwater Horizon explosion spilled roughly 200 million gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico, scientists are still working to answer the question: Where did all the oil go?
A new study has found that the dispersant compound DOSS, which decreases the size of oil droplets and hampers the formation of large oil slicks, remains associated with oil and can persist in the environment for up to four years.
With concern among the public over the plume of radioactive ocean water from Fukushima arriving on the West Coast of North America and no U.S. government or international plan to monitor it, a new project from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) is filling a timely information gap.
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) marine chemist Ken Buesseler began sampling and analyzing seawater surrounding the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant three months after the 2011 disaster. Today, he launched a crowd sourcing campaign and citizen science website to collect and analyze seawater along the West Coast of North America as the radioactive plume travels 5,000 miles across the Pacific Ocean this year.
Scientists have discovered a diverse multitude of microbes colonizing and thriving on flecks of plastic that have polluted the oceans—a vast new human-made flotilla of microbial communities that they have dubbed the 'plastisphere.'
An analysis by WHOI biologist Rebecca Gast examines water quality data to determine whether a growing population of gray seals along Cape Cod beaches can be blamed for beach closures.
Japan fisheries data provides insight into the fate and impacts of radionuclides from Fukushima 18 months after the worst accidental release of radiation to the ocean in history.
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