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News Releases


Buesseler Appointed to Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences

Buesseler

Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Senior Scientist Ken O. Buesseler has been appointed a foreign member of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences.  Buesseler is one of two foreign members in the 2013 cohort of 17 new members. The selection committee made special notice of Buesseler’s pioneering role in detection and interpretation of radioactive…

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Study reveals how fishing gear can cause slow death of whales

Using a “patient monitoring” device attached to a whale entangled in fishing gear, scientists showed for the first time how fishing lines changed a whale’s diving and swimming behavior. The monitoring revealed how fishing gear hinders whales’ ability to eat and migrate, depletes their energy as they drag gear for months or years, and can…

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Scientists Explore Roots of Future Tropical Rainfall

How will rainfall patterns across the tropical Indian and Pacific regions change in a future warming world? Climate models generally suggest that the tropics as a whole will get wetter, but the models don’t always agree on where rainfall patterns will shift in particular regions within the tropics. A new study, published online May 19…

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New Robotic Instruments to Provide Real-Time Data on Gulf of Maine Red Tide

A new robotic sensor deployed by Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) in Gulf of Maine coastal waters may transform the way red tides or harmful algal blooms (HABs) are monitored and managed in New England. The instrument was launched at the end of last month, and a second such system will be deployed later this…

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WHOI to Host Public Event on Fukushima and the Ocean

Japan’s “triple disaster,” as it has become known, began on March 11, 2011, with a magnitude 9.0 earthquake—the fourth largest ever recorded. Following the quake, a 40 to 50-foot tsunami inundated the northeast Japanese coast and resulted in an estimated 20,000 missing or dead. The massive wave also caused catastrophic damage to the Fukushima Dai-ichi…

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Experts Call for Network to Monitor Marine Biodiversity

A group of oceanographic experts is calling for the establishment of a national network to monitor the diversity of marine life, a key bellwether of ocean and human health. Their work is described in the April 11 issue of BioScience. Lead author, Professor J. Emmett Duffy of William & Mary’s Virginia Institute of Marine Science and…

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Research Enables Fishermen to Harvest Lucrative Shellfish on Georges Bank

Combined research efforts by scientists involved in the Gulf of Maine Toxicity (GOMTOX) project, funded by NOAA’s Ecology and Oceanography of Harmful Algal Blooms (ECOHAB) program, and administered by the National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science (NCCOS), have led to enhanced understanding of toxic algal blooms on Georges Bank.   This new information, coupled with an…

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Explorer and Filmmaker James Cameron Gives DEEPSEA CHALLENGER Sub to Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

Explorer and filmmaker James Cameron and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) have formed a partnership to stimulate advances in ocean science and technology and build on the historic breakthroughs of the 2012 Cameron-led DEEPSEA CHALLENGE expedition exploring deep-ocean trenches. The announcement comes on the one-year anniversary of Cameron’s unprecedented solo dive to 35,787 feet, almost 11,000 meters, to the…

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Researchers Issue Forecast for ‘Moderate’ New England Red Tide in 2013

New England is expected to experience a “moderate” red tide this spring and summer, report NOAA-funded scientists studying the toxic algae that cause blooms in the Gulf of Maine. The “red tide” is caused by an alga Alexandrium fundyense, which produces a toxin that can cause paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP).  Red tide typically occurs annually…

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Scientists Reveal Quirky Feature of Lyme Disease Bacteria

Scientists have confirmed that the pathogen that causes Lyme Disease—unlike any other known organism—can exist without iron, a metal that all other life needs to make proteins and enzymes. Instead of iron, the bacteria substitute manganese to make an essential enzyme, thus eluding immune system defenses that protect the body by starving pathogens of iron.…

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Glaciers Contribute Significant Iron to North Atlantic Ocean

All living organisms rely on iron as an essential nutrient. In the ocean, iron’s abundance or scarcity means all the difference as it fuels the growth of plankton, the base of the ocean’s food web. A new study by biogeochemists and glaciologists at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) identifies a unexpectedly large source of iron…

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Study Provides New Insights on Drought Predictions in East Africa

With more than 40 million people living under exceptional drought conditions in East Africa, the ability to make accurate predictions of drought has never been more important. In the aftermath of widespread famine and a humanitarian crisis caused by the 2010-2011 drought in the Horn of Africa—possibly the worst drought in 60 years— researchers are…

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Scientists Use Marine Robots to Detect Endangered Whales

Two robots equipped with instruments designed to “listen” for the calls of baleen whales detected nine endangered North Atlantic right whales in the Gulf of Maine last month. The robots reported the detections to shore-based researchers within hours of hearing the whales (i.e., in real time), demonstrating a new and powerful tool for managing interactions…

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Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Establishes New Center for Marine Robotics

The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) announces a new Center for Marine Robotics. The Center brings together academic, national security, and industrial partners with the goal of applying the full potential of computation and intelligence to bear to the ocean. “WHOI envisions the Center as the place where the future of robotic technology and capability…

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WHOI Research Projects Awarded $5.2 M to Support Marine Microbial Research

There are more microbes in a bucket of seawater than there are people on Earth. Despite their abundance, humans are only just beginning to fathom the complex role marine microbes play in the ocean ecosystem. These tiny creatures are responsible for the chemical reactions that drive Earth’s marine biogeochemical cycles, yet, in terms of how…

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Study Looks at Gray Seal Impact on Beach Water Quality

Scientists from the newly created Northwest Atlantic Seal Research Consortium (NASRC) are using data collected by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH) to investigate whether seals may impact beach water quality along Outer Cape Cod. A growing population of gray seals has been cited as the reason for beach closures due to poor water…

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WHOI Biologist Ketten Named AAAS 2012 Fellow

Ketten

Darlene Ketten of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution has been named a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). Election as an AAAS Fellow is an honor bestowed upon AAAS members by their peers. A marine biologist and neuro-anatomist specializing in functional analyses and biomedical imaging of sensory systems, Ketten was…

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WHOI Engineers Develop and Test New Underwater High-Speed Wireless Communication System

Engineers from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) have developed a new wireless underwater communication system to control remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) in real time. This new method may eliminate the need for long tether cables, offering a new degree of freedom in underwater robotics. The system, recently deployed on the WHOI battery-powered Nereus vehicle,…

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New Research Consortium Brings Scientists, Fishermen, and Managers Together to Address Seal Issues in the Northeast

People come from miles away to see the seals off the shores of Cape Cod and surrounding regions, but the animals are creating some challenges for local fishermen. Recent increases in local seal abundance have led to concerns about fisheries interactions. The urgency of documenting, understanding, and mitigating these interactions has become more apparent. These…

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