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News Releases


Galapagos Expedition Reveals Unknown Seamounts, New Species

Galapagos Expedition Reveals Unknown Seamounts, New Species

During a three-week expedition in August, an international team led by the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), in partnership with the Charles Darwin Foundation for the Galápagos Islands and in close collaboration with the Galápagos National Park Directorate, conducted the first scientific expedition to map and characterize the seamounts on the Galápagos platform and the diverse…

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Drag from Fishing Gear Entanglements Quantified

In a paper published online Dec. 9, 2015, in Marine Mammal Science, a research team led by the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), has for the first time quantified the amount of drag on entangled whales that is created by towing fishing gear, such as rope, buoys, and lobster and crab traps. The study provides…

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Higher Levels of Fukushima Cesium Detected Offshore

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.  The level of cesium in the sample is 50…

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Warming Ocean Worsened Australia’s Fatal 2010/2011 Floods

flood

A study by a team of U.S. and Australian researchers shows that long-term warming of the Indian and Pacific oceans played an important role in increasing the severity of the devastating floods that struck Australia in 2010/2011. The study was published in Geophysical Research Letters.

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New Study Projects That Melting of Antarctic Ice Shelves Will Intensify

New Study Projects That Melting of Antarctic Ice Shelves Will Intensify

New research published today projects a doubling of surface melting of Antarctic ice shelves by 2050 and by 2100 may surpass intensities associated with ice shelf collapse, if greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuel consumption continues at the present rate. Ice shelves are the floating extensions of the continent’s massive land-based ice sheets. While the…

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WHOI Elects New Officers to its Board and Corporation

WHOI Elects New Officers to its Board and Corporation

Today, the Board of Trustees of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) elected David B. Scully as the new chairman of the Board.  Scully was elected to the WHOI Corporation in 2010 and to its Board in 2012. In addition to Scully’s appointment, Jefferson Hughes, Jr. has been elected vice chairman of the Board of…

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Gulf Stream Ring Water Intrudes onto Continental Shelf Like “Pinocchio’s Nose”

Gulf Stream Ring Water Intrudes onto Continental Shelf Like "Pinocchio's Nose"

Ocean robots installed off the coast of Massachusetts have helped scientists understand a previously unknown process by which warm Gulf Stream water and colder waters of the continental shelf exchange. The process occurs when offshore waters, originating in the tropics, intrude onto the Mid-Atlantic Bight shelf and meet the waters originating in the Arctic. This…

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King Crabs Threaten Antarctic Ecosystem Due to Warming Ocean

King crabs may soon become high-level predators in Antarctic marine ecosystems where they haven’t played a role in tens of millions of years, according to a new study led by Florida Institute of Technology. “No Barrier to Emergence of Bathyal King Crabs on the Antarctic Shelf,” published online in the Proceedings of the National Academy of…

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Novel Tag Developed for Squid, Jellyfish

A new data-logging tag, called the ITAG, developed at WHOI specifically for small and delicate invertebrates not only quantifies ocean conditions but also measures animals’ responses to their physical environments in high resolution.

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WHOI Takes Delivery of New Research Vessel Neil Armstrong

Following completion of successful acceptance trials, the nation’s newest research vessel, the Neil Armstrong, was officially turned over by the U.S. Navy on September 23 to the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), which will operate the vessel as part of the national academic fleet. In May 2010, the Office of Naval Research selected WHOI to…

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Marine Archaeologists Excavate Greek Antikythera Shipwreck

Archaeologists excavating the famous ancient Greek shipwreck that yielded the Antikythera mechanism have recovered more than 50 items including a bronze armrest (possibly part of a throne), remains of a bone flute, fine glassware, luxury ceramics, a pawn from an ancient board game, and several elements of the ship itself.     “This shipwreck is…

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Associated Industries of Massachusetts Honors WHOI

Associated Industries of Massachusetts (AIM) will honor the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) for contributions to the Massachusetts economy at an event Monday in Foxboro marking AIM’s centennial. AIM will present its 100th anniversary Next Century award to WHOI, the world’s largest, private non-profit oceanographic research institution and a global leader in the study and…

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Climate Change Will Irreversibly Force Key Ocean Bacteria into Overdrive

A new study from University of Southern California and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) shows that changing conditions due to climate change could send Tricho into overdrive with no way to stop – reproducing faster and generating lots more nitrogen. Without the ability to slow down, however, Tricho has the potential to gobble up all…

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Evidence of Ancient Life Discovered in Mantle Rocks Deep Below the Seafloor

Ancient rocks harbored microbial life deep below the seafloor, reports a team of scientists from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), Virginia Tech, and the University of Bremen. This new evidence was contained in drilled rock samples of Earth’s mantle – thrust by tectonic forces to the seafloor during the Early Cretaceous period. The new…

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WHOI, NEAQ Embark on Expedition to the Phoenix Islands

A research team led by the New England Aquarium (NEAQ) and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) are heading out on a 6,000-mile expedition to one of the most remote places on Earth—the Phoenix Islands in the central Pacific Ocean. Throughout the month of September and in the midst of a strengthening Pacific El Nino, researchers…

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Examining the Fate of Fukushima Contaminants

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…

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New AUV Plankton Sampling System Deployed

Traditionally, pumps and nets are used for sampling plankton, which require sampling at predetermined stations or towing nets behind a ship, followed by visually sorting collected organisms into taxonomic groups. Samples generally combine organisms collected throughout horizontal or vertical tracks, making it impossible to detect small gradations or species-specific patterns in larval distribution.  The sampling…

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Heat Release from Stagnant Deep Sea Helped End Last Ice Age

The build-up and subsequent release of warm, stagnant water from the deep Arctic Ocean and Nordic Seas played a role in ending the last Ice Age within the Arctic region, according to new research led by an international team of scientists. The study, published today in Science, examines how the circulation of the combined Arctic…

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Ultrasounds for Coral Reefs?

In a study, published Aug. 6, 2015 in Marine Ecology Progress Series, scientists at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) used low-cost autonomous underwater recorders over four months to collect “soundscapes” of reefs in in the U.S. Virgin Islands. They showed how the collective sound recordings of reef inhabitants painted vivid pictures of the reefs’ abundance…

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River Buries Permafrost Carbon at Sea

As temperatures rise, some of the carbon dioxide stored in Arctic permafrost meets an unexpected fate—burial at sea. As many as 2.2 million metric tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) per year are swept along by a single river system into Arctic Ocean sediment, according to a new study led by Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI)…

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Shifting Winds, Ocean Currents Doubled Endangered Galapagos Penguin Population

New research suggests shifts in wind currents over the past three decades, possibly due to climate change and natural variability, have nudged the Equatorial Undercurrent north. The changing current expanded the nutrient-rich, cold water farther north along the coasts of the two islands, likely bolstering algae and fish numbers in the cold pool. This allowed…

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