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News Releases

Study of Patagonian Glacier’s Rise and Fall Adds to Understanding of Global Climate Change

Increased global temperatures are frequently viewed as the cause of glacial melt, but a new study of Patagonia’s Gualas Glacier highlights the role of precipitation in the glacier’s fluctuation. The study, conducted by Sbastien Bertrand of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) and his colleagues, compares past temperature and rainfall data with sediment records of glacier fluctuations and the historical observations of early Spanish explorers.

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Study Links Major Shifts in Indian Civilizations to Past Changes in Monsoon

A fundamental shift in the Indian monsoon has occurred over the last few millennia, from a steady humid monsoon that favored lush vegetation to extended periods of drought, reports a new study led by researchers at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI). The study has implications for our understanding of the monsoon’s response to climate change.

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WHOI Receives $1Million from Keck Foundation for First Real-Time Seafloor Earthquake Observatory at Cascadia Fault

One of the most dangerous faults in North America is the Pacific Northwest’s Cascadia fault – an offshore, subduction zone fault capable of producing a magnitude 9 earthquake that would damage Portland, Tacoma, Seattle, and Victoria, British Columbia, and generate a large tsunami. Yet there are currently no instruments installed offshore, directly above the fault, for measuring the strain that is currently building up along the fault.
But a recent $1 million grant from The W. M. Keck Foundation to scientists at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) will change that. An interdisciplinary project led by WHOI geologist Jeff McGuire, an expert in global earthquake seismology and geodesy, and John Collins, director of WHOI’s Ocean Bottom Seismometer Lab, will build and install the first seafloor geodesy observatory above the expected rupture zone of the next great Cascadia earthquake.

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Study Examines How Diving Marine Mammals Manage Decompression

How do marine mammals, whose very survival depends on regular diving, manage to avoid decompression sickness? Do they, indeed, avoid it? A workshop held by WHOI’s Marine Mammal Center brought together the world’s experts in human diving and marine-mammal diving physiology to discuss the issue of how marine mammals manage gas under pressure.

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Two WHOI Scientists Receive Medals from the American Geophysical Union


Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution scientists Henry Dick, a geologist, and Joseph Pedlosky, a physical oceanographer, have been selected to receive two of the American Geophysical Union’s prestigious medals this year. The awards will be given at an honors ceremony on December 7 in San Francisco at the American Geophysical Union (AGU) Fall Meeting, the largest worldwide conference in the geophysical sciences, attracting nearly 20,000 Earth and space scientists, educators, students, and policy makers.

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WHOI Director of Research to Join Mass. Governor Patrick on Innovation Economy Mission to Brazil

Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) Executive Vice President and Director of Research Larry Madin will join Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick and a coalition of business executives, academic leaders, and government officials on the Massachusetts-Brazil Innovation Economy Mission 2011 this December to pursue job growth and economic development partnerships between Massachusetts and Brazil.

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Stranded Dolphins Exhibit Bubbles, and Ability to Recover

In a study published online in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B, a team that includes researchers from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) has confirmed that bubbles do form in live, stranded dolphins. But in many cases, those animals are able to “manage” those bubbles and can resume relatively normal lives of swimming and diving in the ocean.

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