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News Releases


Research suggests giant kelp has different factors that bear on its growth dynamics

The macroalga giant kelp, which is an iconic and important ecosystem-structuring species found off the coast of California and many other coastlines, can grow 100-feet long within 1-2 years. Now, researchers using novel remote sensing observations have found that different factors may bear on the spatial growth dynamics of the Macrocystis pyrifera kelp, which is…

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Study finds bio-based cellulose acetate plastic used in consumer goods disintegrates in ocean much faster than assumed

Woods Hole, MA — Cellulose diacetate (CDA), a bio-based plastic widely used in consumer goods, disintegrates, and degrades in the ocean far quicker than previously assumed, according to a new study published in Environmental Science & Technology Letters. “These findings challenge the paradigm set by governmental agencies and advocacy groups that CDA-based materials persist in…

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“Mantle wind” blows through slab window beneath Panama

A Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution-led team unravels the existence of a 900-mile-long mantle conduit between the Galapagos and Central America Woods Hole, MA — Volcanic gases are helping researchers track large-scale movements in Earth’s deep interior. Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) scientists, together with a group of international collaborators, have discovered anomalous geochemical compositions beneath…

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Development of a curious robot to study coral reef ecosystems awarded $1.5 million by the National Science Foundation

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A prototype of an autonomous underwater vehicle capable of navigating complex underwater environments and of collecting data adaptively over long periods of time. Daniel Hentz / ©Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Woods Hole, MA — A grant by the National Science Foundation to researchers at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) and Syracuse University aims to…

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WHOI multidisciplinary team selected for prestigious National Science Foundation Program

Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) has been selected by the U.S National Science Foundation (NSF) for phase one of a two-part Convergence Accelerator Program, a $21 million investment to advance use-inspired solutions addressing national-scale societal challenges. WHOI is one of sixteen teams across the US chosen to participate in Track E: The Networked Blue Economy,…

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Modeling our climate future; WHOI to lead ocean current research

Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) senior scientist of physical oceanography, Dr. Young-Oh Kwon, and WHOI adjunct scientist, Dr. Claude Frankignoul, have received a new research grant from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Modeling, Analysis, Predictions and Projections (MAPP) Program, funding their research project focusing on western boundary ocean currents and their correspondence with…

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Study Finds Growing Potential for Toxic Algal Blooms in the Alaskan Arctic

A warming Arctic presents potential new threats to humans and marine wildlife in the fast-changing region   Changes in the northern Alaskan Arctic ocean environment have reached a point at which a previously rare phenomenon—widespread blooms of toxic algae—could become more commonplace, potentially threatening a wide range of marine wildlife and the people who rely…

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Nippon Foundation-GEBCO Seabed 2030 Project and WHOI enter partnership to map the world’s ocean

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Woods Hole, Mass. — The Nippon Foundation-GEBCO Seabed 2030 Project and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding in recognition of both organisations’ work to advance our understanding of ocean bathymetry. This will complement the goals of the United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development. Seabed 2030 is a…

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WHOI collaborates to bring video installation to United Nation Headquarters

Vertical Migration by artist group SUPERFLEX will be projected onto the facade of the United Nations’ 505-foot tower in New York, on 21-24 September 2021, coinciding with the 76th General Assembly and Climate Week NYC. The projection seeks to draw global attention to the critical role of the ocean in global climate, a primary focus…

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Flipping the “genetic paradox of invasions”

A new study led by Carolyn Tepolt, an associate scientist of biology at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, is investigating the adaptive mechanisms of the green crab along the west coast of North America, where it has shown extensive dispersal in the last decade despite minimal genetic diversity.

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A recent reversal in the response of western Greenland’s ice caps to climate change

New collaborative research from the WHOI and five partner institutions published today in Nature Geoscience, reveals that during past periods glaciers and ice caps in coastal west Greenland experienced climate conditions much different than the interior of Greenland. Over the past 2,000 years, these ice caps endured periods of warming during which they grew larger…

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Sunlight can break down marine plastic into tens of thousands of chemical compounds, study finds

Sunlight was once thought to only fragment plastics in the marine environment into smaller particles that chemically resemble the original material and persist forever. However, scientists more recently have learned that sunlight also chemically transforms plastic into a suite of polymer-, dissolved-, and gas-phased products. Now, a new study finds that this chemical reaction can…

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Some coral reefs are keeping pace with ocean warming

Some coral communities are becoming more heat tolerant as ocean temperatures rise, offering hope for corals in a changing climate. After a series of marine heatwaves hit the Phoenix Islands Protected Area (PIPA) in the central Pacific Ocean, a new study finds the impact of heat stress on the coral communities lessened over time.

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